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Vulnerability management is a security practice specifically designed to proactively mitigate or prevent the exploitation of IT vulnerabilities which exist in a system or organization.
The process involves the identification, classification, remedy, and mitigation of various vulnerabilities within a system. It is an integral part of computer and network security and is practiced together with risk management as well as other security practices.
Vulnerability management in the IT field is the process of identifying vulnerabilities in IT and their subsequent risks evaluated so that possible patches and solutions can be formulated. This evaluation is a precursor to correcting the vulnerabilities as well as possibly removing the risk. However, if the risk cannot be entirely removed, there must be a formal risk acceptance by the management of the organization and then solutions for mitigation, remediation and recovery would then be put in place for those risks.
Vulnerability scanning, the process of using specialized computer software to analyze a given computer system of possible vulnerabilities like insecure configurations or out-of-date firewalls, is sometimes confused as being synonymous to vulnerability management. However, vulnerability scanning is simply a process under vulnerability management together with aspects like risk acceptance and remediation of risk.