Threat and vulnerability management

Applies to:

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Effectively identifying, assessing, and remediating endpoint weaknesses is pivotal in running a healthy security program and reducing organizational risk. Threat and vulnerability management serves as an infrastructure for reducing organizational exposure, hardening endpoint surface area, and increasing organizational resilience.

It helps organizations discover vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in real-time, based on sensors, without the need of agents or periodic scans. It prioritizes vulnerabilities based on the threat landscape, detections in your organization, sensitive information on vulnerable devices, and business context.

Watch this video for a quick overview of threat and vulnerability management.

Next-generation capabilities

Threat and vulnerability management is built-in, real-time, cloud-powered, fully integrated with Microsoft endpoint security stack, the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, and the application analytics knowledge base.

It is the first solution in the industry to bridge the gap between security administration and IT administration during remediation process. It does so by creating a security task or ticket through integration with Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.

It provides the following solutions to frequently-cited gaps across security operations, security administration, and IT administration workflows and communication.

  • Real-time endpoint detection and response (EDR) insights correlated with endpoint vulnerabilities
  • Linked device vulnerability and security configuration assessment data in the context of exposure discovery
  • Built-in remediation processes through Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager

Real-time discovery

To discover endpoint vulnerabilities and misconfiguration, threat and vulnerability management uses the same agentless built-in Microsoft Defender ATP sensors to reduce cumbersome network scans and IT overhead, and provides:

  • Real-time device inventory. Devices onboarded to Microsoft Defender ATP automatically report and push vulnerability and security configuration data to the dashboard.
  • Visibility into software and vulnerabilities. Optics into the organization's software inventory, and software changes like installations, uninstalls, and patches. Newly discovered vulnerabilities are reported with actionable mitigation recommendations for 1st and 3rd party applications.
  • Application runtime context. Visibility on application usage patterns for better prioritization and decision-making.
  • Configuration posture. Visibility into organizational security configuration or misconfigurations. Issues are reported in the dashboard with actionable security recommendations.

Intelligence-driven prioritization

Threat and vulnerability management helps customers prioritize and focus on those weaknesses that pose the most urgent and the highest risk to the organization. Rather than using static prioritization by severity scores, threat and vulnerability management in Microsoft Defender ATP highlights the most critical weaknesses that need attention by fusing its security recommendations with dynamic threat and business context:

  • Exposing emerging attacks in the wild. Through its advanced cyber data and threat analytics platform, threat and vulnerability management dynamically aligns the prioritization of its security recommendations to focus on vulnerabilities that are currently being exploited in the wild and emerging threats that pose the highest risk.
  • Pinpointing active breaches. Microsoft Defender ATP correlates threat and vulnerability management and EDR insights to provide the unique ability to prioritize vulnerabilities that are currently being exploited in an active breach within the organization.
  • Protecting high-value assets. Microsoft Defender ATP's integration with Azure Information Protection allows threat and vulnerability management to identify the exposed devices with business-critical applications, confidential data, or high-value users.

Seamless remediation

Microsoft Defender ATP's threat and vulnerability management capability allows security administrators and IT administrators to collaborate seamlessly to remediate issues.

  • Remediation requests to IT. Through Microsoft Defender ATP's integration with Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, security administrators can create a remediation task in Microsoft Intune from the Security recommendation pages. We plan to expand this capability to other IT security management platforms.
  • Alternate mitigations. Threat and vulnerability management provides insights on additional mitigations, such as configuration changes that can reduce risk associated with software vulnerabilities.
  • Real-time remediation status. Microsoft Defender ATP provides real-time monitoring of the status and progress of remediation activities across the organization.

Reduce organizational risk with threat and vulnerability management

Watch this video for a comprehensive walk-through of threat and vulnerability management.

Before you begin

Ensure that your devices:

  • Are onboarded to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection
  • Run with Windows 10 1709 (Fall Creators Update) or later

Note

Threat and vulnerability management can also scan devices that run on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2019 operating systems and detects vulnerabilities addressed in patch Tuesday.

  • Have the following mandatory updates installed and deployed in your network to boost your vulnerability assessment detection rates:
Release Security update KB number and link
Windows 10 Version 1709 KB4493441 and KB 4516071
Windows 10 Version 1803 KB4493464 and KB 4516045
Windows 10 Version 1809 KB 4516077
Windows 10 Version 1903 KB 4512941
  • Are onboarded to Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. If you are using Configuration Manager, update your console to the latest version.
  • Have at least one security recommendation that can be viewed in the device page
  • Are tagged or marked as co-managed

APIs

Run threat and vulnerability management-related API calls such as get your organization's threat exposure score or device secure score, software and device vulnerability inventory, software version distribution, device vulnerability information, security recommendation information. Learn more from this Microsoft Tech Community blog post. See the following topics for related APIs: