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A phased approach to cybersecurity remediation using ServiceNow

Cybersecurity remains a critical concern for organizations across all sectors. With the evolving threat landscape and increasing complexity of IT infrastructures, managing vulnerabilities effectively is paramount. 

In this blog, I share some of the more pertinent principles to consider when roadmapping your attack surface management program. Additionally, I highlight how ServiceNow is streamlining the remediation process, ensuring proactive defense against potential threats.


Understanding the challenge

Cyber vulnerabilities come in various forms, from software flaws and misconfigurations to outdated systems and unauthorized access points. Each presents a unique risk to the organization's security posture, demanding a systematic approach to identification, assessment, and mitigation.


A phased approach

Most organizations have a robust infrastructure that they need to ensure remains secure including private and public cloud, containers, home-grown applications, and for some organizations operational technology devices.  Given these are generally managed by multiple vulnerability and secure configuration scanning tools, the thought of connecting them all to ServiceNow and managing work in a single source can be daunting.  

While some customers approach security hardening with an ‘implement everything at once’ approach, many will handle this in a phased approach, targeting either one or two data sources or data types at a time.  For example, if Infrastructure vulnerabilities are handled by a combination of Wiz and Qualys, and client device vulnerabilities are handled by CrowdStrike Falcon Endpoint Protection, an implementation could start off just managing vulnerabilities from Wiz and Qualys in ServiceNow.  

This approach allows for teams to get an understanding of how vulnerabilities are managed in ServiceNow before expanding into other data sources (i.e. Crowdstrike) or data types such as container vulnerabilities or secure configurations.


Phase 1: Identify and enrich

Once the scope has been identified, ServiceNow can get configured to ingest vulnerabilities from your initial scope of scanners.  Vulnerabilities are then enriched with supporting integrations such as the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) and CISA Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) integrations.  With the enrichment data and information from your CMDB, vulnerabilities get prioritized, assigned, and grouped into actionable tasks.


Phase 2: Remediate

Armed with prioritized vulnerabilities, organizations can then develop targeted remediation plans. ServiceNow Vulnerability Response (VR) allows for easy integration into Change Request to schedule and get approval to implement changes to resolve vulnerabilities.

Additionally, for vulnerabilities that cannot be immediately resolved, ServiceNow can manage approvals for Exception requests within VR or using an integration with Integrated Risk Management to manage exceptions. 
With remediation plans in place, teams execute necessary patches, updates, or configuration changes.  An advanced feature, Vulnerability Patch Orchestration, enables integrations to patching tools like BigFix and Microsoft SCCM to schedule deployment of patches.  


Phase 3: Validate and report

Real-time dashboards and reports provide visibility into ongoing efforts, facilitating timely validation of fixes and ensuring compliance with security policies, and closed-loop validation with the scanners ensures resolved vulnerabilities are closed or re-opened based on results of re-scans.


Key benefits of ServiceNow VR and Configuration Compliance

  • Centralized Visibility: Consolidates vulnerability and compliance data into a single platform, enhancing visibility and control.
  • Efficient Workflows: Automates repetitive tasks, accelerates response times, and reduces human error.
  • Scalable Solutions: Adapts to organizational growth and evolving security needs, supporting long-term cybersecurity strategies.
  • Compliance Assurance: Ensures adherence to regulatory requirements and industry standards, mitigating legal and financial risks.


Reduce your attack surface and the effort to manage it

Effective cybersecurity remediation demands a structured, phased approach leveraging advanced tools like ServiceNow VR and Configuration Compliance. By integrating vulnerability management and compliance monitoring into unified workflows, organizations can enhance their resilience against cyber threats while maintaining operational efficiency. Embracing these technologies not only safeguards sensitive data but also fosters a proactive cybersecurity posture in an increasingly digital world.

Explore our newest Built With ServiceNow offering, Cybersecurity Hardening, to learn how you can leverage the power of ServiceNow's Security Operations suite of tools more quickly and completely. 

Learn more


Dave O'Brien

Dave is a ServiceNow Solutions Architect with over 9 years of experience as both a ServiceNow implementation partner and as a customer. His experience on the platform spans ITSM, ITAM, ITOM, App Engine development, integrations, and automated testing.
[blog, security-risk] [Blog, Security & Risk]