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Device Vulnerability and Threat Management Solutions: An Overview

Traditional device vulnerability and threat management solutions claim to fill gaps in vendor-provided security for connected devices. But how well do they really protect your connected devices, network, and business-valuable assets? In this post, we’ll drill down to see what traditional device security solutions offer, where most companies are still exposed to risk and what can be done to overcome these challenges.

The IoT industry has been growing exponentially. This has led to a proliferation of connected devices, which in turn, has changed the threat landscape and led to a sharp increase in IoT device targeting. 

From routers to switches, and modems to smartphones, connected devices all have the potential to become entry points for hackers. By exploiting connected device vulnerabilities, hackers are able to gain access to the most sensitive areas of an enterprise’s networks. And while most vendors equip devices with some form of threat detection tools, these solutions are usually specific to already-reported, known vulnerabilities for specific device types and manufacturers, and do not take other vulnerabilities into account. Therefore, companies cannot afford to depend on vendor solutions alone for their device security.

Traditional Device Security Solutions

Can traditional device vulnerability and threat management solutions fill in these gaps? Let’s find out.

Network-Based Solutions

Network scanning is basically the mapping of all active devices on a network. This is done by sending a ping to each device and waiting to get a response. Cyber threat detection is conducted by reviewing the responses to see if there are inconsistencies that could point to a threat. It’s like having a teacher calling attendance in class and waiting for each student to respond—slow, and easy to circumvent.  

By definition, network scanners are reactive, only detecting attacks after they happen. They have no way to proactively eliminate potential threats, and their support is limited. While they do offer the visibility to identify network-connected endpoints, they rarely incorporate the ability to accurately identify, track, and secure IoT devices. They’re also high risk—scanning gives an external tool access to an enterprise’s network and requires the devices’ credentials to perform the scans.

Client/Agent-Based Solutions

These endpoint threat management systems work with agents/clients on a connected device to uncover the device vulnerabilities. They were designed for computers, tablets, and phones that have the ability to run agents. However, IoT devices often run custom or outdated operating systems that cannot install agents after manufacturing. 

Therefore, connected device manufacturers have to cooperate fully and install the agent during the development of the firmware for this type of solution to be effective. Since manufacturers don’t generally install agents, cybersecurity systems see IoT devices as unknown endpoints, and their security issues are left unattended, exposing the enterprise to attack.

Vulnerability Management Solutions

Vulnerability management solutions aim to offer a proactive and preventative security alternative but many of them have disadvantages that limit their effectiveness. Most vulnerability management tools are only relevant to connected devices that can install a client or agent. So as explained above, they have limited applicability. 

Even when the device does have an agent or client, these VM solutions are still not ideal. For example, they generate a high rate of false positives, leading IT security teams to waste valuable time and resources manually verifying non-existent problems. Another problem is that they do not accurately prioritize vulnerabilities according to the device’s importance in business processes. This often results in less important devices that have a high CVSS score being marked as higher priority than more important devices with lower CVSS scores. Without the proper prioritization, critical devices can slip between the cracks and endanger the enterprise.

DeviceTotal- Everything you Need for End-to-End Device Vulnerability and Management

DeviceTotal is a complete threat elimination platform for connected devices. DeviceTotal enables you to effortlessly monitor your attack surface and get ahead of cyber threats, before they impact your connected networks. It gives you full visibility into your connected devices while continuously predicting, identifying, assessing, prioritizing, and mitigating cyber threats.

How does DeviceTotal Compare to Traditional Solutions?

DeviceTotal vs. Network-Based​

Unlike network-based solutions, DeviceTotal is predictive and can identify and eliminate attacks before they reach the network. It proactively scans connected devices and lets you know when device firmware needs to be updated to prevent exploitation. 

The DeviceTotal dashboard displays all of the connected devices and shows which are vulnerable to attack, and the risk severity level for each device, making it easy for your security team to decide where to focus its resources.

DeviceTotal vs. Client/Agent-Based

DeviceTotal doesn’t require any client or agent installation—it identifies each and every device connected to the network by scanning the device’s firmware files. It offers a centralized solution for all devices, even those that aren’t able to install agents due to their outdated or custom operating systems, and prevents them from becoming a security risk.

DeviceTotal vs. Vulnerability Management​

With DeviceTotal, there are no false positives. DeviceTotal provides the exact exploitation path for detected vulnerabilities, which allows it to verify that the vulnerability actually exists and can be weaponized in an attack. Even better—DeviceTotal not only identifies public vulnerabilities, it can also identify unknown vulnerabilities. DeviceTotal doesn’t require any network integration, making it a zero-risk solution.

Summing it Up

In today’s evolving threat landscape, the question isn’t whether your connected devices will be attacked, but when. Proactive threat elimination is the only way to keep your network safe and DeviceTotal is the only solution that offers an agentless, SaaS, zero-risk integration that supports any type of connected device.

It’s also the only solution that identifies unknown vulnerabilities, provides mitigation and action plans, and prioritizes security risks according to business impact so that you can focus your resources where they matter most.

Ready to get started?

Schedule your demo today and see how DeviceTotal can protect your network from vulnerabilities lurking within your connected devices.