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Customer Story: Revamping VM to Meaningfully Reduce Risk

March 5, 2024


Michelle McLean

A global consumer goods company chooses Avalor Security to automate its Vulnerability Management processes, gain accurate prioritization, and streamline its remediation workflows.


Manual processes, high costs, and new demands hindered a global consumer goods company’s effort to integrate DevSecOps practices and application security findings into its VM program

The team turned to Avalor to automate VM processes, deduplicate findings, provide accurate prioritization, and streamline remediation and verification workflows

Contextual prioritization and out-of-the-box workflows have improved their security posture and operational efficiency: “for the first time, we really have the VM program we’ve always wanted but didn’t think was possible. It’s changed our whole game.”

Beginning the process of hardening a vulnerability management program

In mid-2023, a global consumer goods enterprise decided to take a deep look at its vulnerability management (VM) program and analyze the potential impact of its gaps. This US-based company offers an extensive range of health, beauty, and home care products. Operating in more than 100 countries with 10,000+ employees, it drives over $7 billion in annual sales.

The company’s senior information security specialist, with the company more than 15 years, was tasked with streamlining the company’s vulnerability management (VM) program.  “In theory, we’ve always had four pillars to our VM program: scan, report, remediate, and verify,” he explains. “In reality, though, we’ve really only ever been able to do the first two.”

Outcomes at a Glance:

Holistic Data Integration:
The Avalor Data Fabric eliminates data silos, enriches contextual information, and enables the company to query and analyze data from various perspectives, enhancing the ability to manage risk effectively.

Effective Prioritization: Avalor aggregates and correlates data from the company’s vulnerability scanning, endpoint security, and cloud scanning systems now, and the company intends to add findings from its application development testing tools as well. Avalor adjusts risk scores to account for risks and mitigating controls.

Enhanced Remediation: By leveraging the Avalor capabilities for remediation, the company has implemented efficient and effective measures to remediate top vulnerabilities promptly, facilitating a more streamlined approach to resolving security gaps in its infrastructure.

Streamlined Verification: Avalor automates the verification stage of vulnerability management. The company can now automatically close and open tickets as needed to reflect the status of the vulnerability findings, eliminating the back-and-forth needed to validate ticket status.

New demands, highly manual processes, and excessive costs made it impossible to achieve vulnerability program goals

The company has been working to expand its DevSecOps practices, with a recent emphasis on application security, including software composition analysis (SCA) and static and interactive application security testing (SAST and IAST).

Unfortunately, incorporating those findings into a more comprehensive approach to VM had complicated an already limited program. “Everything we were doing was manual. We’d run the scans, but using Kenna to do prioritization was totally useless. We didn’t have any kind of mature process for remediation, and we weren’t even trying to do validation.”

The company had been extremely frustrated at the high cost — in both time and money — of trying to implement ServiceNow VR. “It takes many months and many 100s of 1000s of dollars to build any kind of customization into that platform.”

An Avalor introduction opened the door to a sophisticated VM program that exceeded all expectations

A valued advisor introduced the company to Avalor. “When I heard the scope of what the platform was supposed to do, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it,” said the VM program lead.

The company tested the Avalor Unified Vulnerability Management module with just a few data integrations — vulnerability scanning, endpoint tooling, and web scanning. Right away, the security specialist could see the difference.

“We’d been swimming in vulnerabilities, with our different tools finding the same issue over and over. The Avalor system immediately deduplicated those findings down to 1 for every 1000 original tickets. That saved us countless hours of manual work.”

As the company has evolved its deployment, the teams have realized several additional benefits.

“The Avalor platform gives us a much more accurate priority list, combining the vulnerability information with details about our environment to adjust our risk score. Where we have a protected endpoint or an asset behind a firewall, the Avalor system automatically lowers the risk score for us, and we have all the control over how the platform calculates our risk.”

This security specialist and his team consider Avalor a key partner in shifting the company’s approach to security. They have gained a more structured perspective, allowing for efficient prioritization of vulnerabilities based on real-world exploitability and the company’s other risk factors and mitigating controls.

The other major win for this company is how Avalor has automated workflows for remediation. “The platform automatically creates tickets for the fixes we need, and we’ve been able to create workflows that match how our teams are set up without paying ServiceNow.”

The team is also using Avalor for the last pillar of its VM program — verification. “With Avalor, we have an always up-to-date view into ticket status. If a vulnerability has been addressed, and the IT side forgot to close the ticket, Avalor does it for them. And similarly, if a vulnerability pops up and someone had closed the ticket, Avalor will reopen it. This automation saves us hours and hours each week that we used to spend just synching on status between teams.”

The adjusted prioritization means the right items get worked on, and the automation and efficiency mean the company is succeeding in improving its security posture.

“For the first time, we really have the VM program we’ve always wanted but didn’t think was possible. It’s changed our whole game.”

If your company could benefit from upleveling your VM program, we’d love to chat and share a no-pressure demo.

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