What You Will Learn
Vulnerabilities are everywhere. There are new reports of weaknesses within our systems and software every time we turn around. Directly related to this is an increase in the quantity and severity of successful attacks against these weaknesses.
Managing vulnerabilities in any size organization is challenging. Enterprise environments add scale and diversity that overwhelm many IT security and operations organizations. Add in the cloud and the increasing speed with which all organizations must deliver systems, applications, and features to both their internal and external customers, and security may seem unachievable.
This course highlights why many organizations are still struggling with vulnerability management today and shows students how to solve these challenges. How do we manage assets successfully and analyze and prioritize vulnerabilities? What reports are most effective? How do we deal with vulnerabilities in our applications, and how do we treat them? We'll examine how the answers to these questions change as we move to the cloud or implement a private cloud or DevOps within our organizations. How do we make vulnerability management fun and get everyone to engage in the process? These are just some of the important topics we will cover in this course.
The primary goal of this course is to help you succeed where many are failing and to present solutions to the problems many are experiencing or will experience. Whether your vulnerability management program is well established or just starting, this course will help you mature your program and think differently about vulnerability management.
By understanding common issues and the solutions to them, you will be better prepared to meet the challenges you are facing or will face, and to determine what works best for your organization. Through class discussions and other exercises, you will learn specific analysis and reporting techniques so that you will be able to discuss the problems you and your peers are facing and how to solve those problems.
The course is based on the Prepare, Identify, Analyze, Communicate, and Treat (PIACT) Model:
- Prepare: Define, build, and continuously improve the program
- Identify: Identify vulnerabilities present in our operating environments
- Analyze: Analyze and prioritize identified vulnerabilities and other program metrics to provide meaningful assistance and guidance to stakeholders and program participants
- Communicate: Present the findings from analysis appropriately and efficiently for each stakeholder group
- Treat: Implement, test, and monitor solutions to vulnerabilities, vulnerability groups, and broader issues identified by the program
Knowing that our environments are adopting cloud services and becoming more tightly integrated with them, we'll look at both cloud and non-cloud environments simultaneously throughout the course, highlighting the tools, processes, and procedures that can be leveraged in each environment and presenting new and emerging trends.
A capstone exercise on the final course day of MGT516 features a business scenario that includes both enterprise and cloud-based environments. The exercise allows students to analyze and discuss how best to implement and maintain a vulnerability management program and leverage some of the information they have learned throughout the course. The group solutions are then reviewed in class so participants can learn what others outside their group have determined would best help the organization in the scenario succeed.
YOU WILL BE ABLE TO:
- Create, implement, or improve your vulnerability management program
- Establish a secure and defensible enterprise and cloud computing environment
- Build an accurate and useful inventory of IT assets in the enterprise and cloud
- Identify existing vulnerabilities and understand the severity level of each
- Prioritize vulnerabilities for treatment
- Effectively report and communicate vulnerability data within your organization
- Engage treatment teams and make vulnerability management fun
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE:
- Electronic Courseware containing the entire course content
- An introduction and walk-through of labs
- In-class quizzes as a review of recently covered material
Syllabus (30 CPEs)Download PDF
Day 1 begins with a discussion of how to make vulnerability management fun and improve engagement within your organization. Then, we dive into the cloud and discuss how cloud design and architecture can impact vulnerability management. We discuss how to discover and manage assets and what context is critical to the success of the program. Finally, we begin our discussion of how to find or identify vulnerabilities in our environments.
Introduction and Identify
- Course introduction and overview
- Cloud overview
- Cloud design and architecture
- Asset management
- Finding vulnerabilities
- Identification architecture
- Cloud identification
Day 2 wraps up our discussion on how to identify vulnerabilities and then moves into how to deal with all of the results. We will go over a variety of analysis and prioritization techniques that can be used to more effectively and efficiently deal with the data that are generated during identification.
Identify and Analyze
- Finding vulnerabilities
- Other considerations
- Analyzing vulnerabilities
- Introduction to solution grouping
Day 3 begins with how to communicate vulnerabilities, including what metrics are common or useful, and how to generate meaningful reports. We'll examine communication strategies and the different types of meetings that can facilitate communication and program participation. Then, we dive into how to treat vulnerabilities by discussing how change and patch management programs can impact vulnerability management.
Communicate and Treat
- Change management
- Patch management
Day 4 discusses the treat phase of the PIACT model. Successful treatment of vulnerabilities should be the primary goal of vulnerability management. Throughout the day we will discuss the common operational processes that are used to treat vulnerabilities. We will also look at some of the technology solutions available to assist with some of these processes, and discuss different and emerging operating models that may impact our treatment methodology.
Treatment, Buy-in, and Program
- Configuration management
- Cloud management
- Application management
- Alternative treatment
- Other considerations
- Getting buy-in
- Creating the program
Day 5 begins with a review of a scenario that triggers the group capstone exercise. The day is broken up into various sections and scenarios that stem from the main case study, which enables students to delve into various aspects of the PIACT model. A review of findings and conclusions will follow each section of the exercise, allowing each team to present its findings to the other teams and to engage in class discussions on the topics covered. The instructor will also present a potential solution for the scenarios discussed.
A basic understanding of risk management objectives and IT systems and operations is recommended for this course.
You must bring a computing device (laptop or tablet) with the latest version of Microsoft Excel. This will be used for multiple exercises throughout the course.
"It is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information available to us about the risks in our environments. Vulnerabilities are present in just about every device and software that we use, with new reports released daily. Managing this dynamic landscape is a challenge for all organizations.
"Our goal with this course is to provide students with a framework for a vulnerability management program. By enabling students to effectively identify the key problems within their environment, evaluate potential solutions to those problems, and efficiently communicate within their teams and to the organization on the effectiveness of vulnerability management."
"I have spent over a decade helping organizations improve their infrastructure and application vulnerability management capabilities and programs. It surprises me how many organizations are struggling with similar issues. I also frequently hear concerns from organizations about how to successfully implement vulnerability management in the Cloud when struggles still exist in their more traditional operating environments.
"With this course, we want to provide students with a better understanding of what they can do to improve their current program and extend that program into the Cloud. We want them to understand the common roadblocks they will face and provide solutions to these challenges. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to vulnerability management, but there are definitely common themes in mature organizations. The course is also a great opportunity to learn from what peers are doing in their organizations to solve some of the same problems you may be facing."