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IBM X-Force Red & Qualys introduce automated patching

19 Feb 2019
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IBM X-Force Red and Qualys are declaring a war on unpatched systems, and they believe automation is the answer.

The two companies will leverage Qualys Cloud Platform and Qualys Patch Management solution to boost IBM’s X-Force Red Vulnerability Management Services.

Together, they will provide automated vulnerability prioritisation and patching. This will allow customers to simplify vulnerability remediation and fix critical vulnerabilities in less time and using less resources.

"Based on our many conversations with security leaders, prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities seems to be the biggest vulnerability management headache," explains X-Force Red global head Charles Henderson.

According to IBM and Qualys, many organisations must manually identify and decipher vulnerabilities, and then decide which ones to fix first.

But the job doesn’t stop there – teams must then assign patching responsibilities and track remediation for each one, starting with the most critical vulnerabilities. All of this happens while vulnerabilities are exploitable and potentially exposing critical assets.

X-Force Red Vulnerability Management Services uses a proprietary algorithm to prioritize vulnerability remediation based on asset value, weaponisation, and other contextual factors. The team then facilitates the remediation process using a concurrency model. 

The top, most critical vulnerabilities are sent to the individuals in charge of remediation. As each is fixed, the next most critical vulnerability is then sent out, keeping the organisation focused on the highest risk vulnerabilities at all times.

"Qualys has released a patch management platform that automates patching with a click of a button. X-Force Red has created an algorithm that automatically prioritises vulnerabilities within minutes. By bringing our solutions together, we can offer organisations fast, effective and manageable remediation no matter how limited their resources and time,” says Henderson.

Qualys automates patch deployments using Qualys Cloud Agents. These agents allow IT and SecOps teams to centralise their patching and remediation of Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems, and hundreds of applications. 

Leveraging the Qualys PM solution, X-Force Red will be able to quickly target critical Common Vulnerability and Exposure IDs (CVEs) without researching knowledge base articles, then deploy the patch to endpoints, on-premises or cloud assets and verify remediation, all in less time.

Qualys WAS will allow X-Force Red to continuously discover and catalog web applications - including new and unknown ones, the companies state.

It will also allow X-Force Red to detect vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in web apps and APIs. Scaling to thousands of scans, WAS conducts incisive, thorough, and precise testing of browser-based web apps, mobile app backends, and Internet of Things (IoT) services.