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Buyer Information Safety and Vulnerability Administration


We imagine that Grammarly’s customers ought to have transparency into how their information is protected. One of many primary ways in which we defend customers is by catching and resolving vulnerabilities in our techniques earlier than attackers can exploit them. On this submit, we’ll share how our vulnerability administration program at Grammarly retains our growth pipeline and consumer information safe.

Assembly the vulnerability administration problem at Grammarly

Lately, we’ve invested significantly in our vulnerability administration program. Beforehand, like many different corporations, we relied on a number of vulnerability platforms to automate our safety assessments. Every device had a unique consumer interface and console, and the outcomes of those separate instruments offered a fragmented view that we would have liked to consolidate manually. At instances, after detecting a vulnerability, we encountered delays in addressing it as a result of challenges in figuring out the proper contacts for remediation and assessing its potential impression.

Prioritizing which vulnerabilities to deal with first additionally posed challenges. The Frequent Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) offers a standardized means of scoring vulnerabilities and provides mitigation elements, like Temporal and Environmental scores, that contextualize them additional. Nevertheless, it’s vital to interpret these scores within the context of your group’s distinctive setting, property, and threat urge for food, as the seller can’t transcend the bottom rating and doesn’t have sufficient information or capabilities to automate setting the Temporal or Environmental rating. As an illustration, a vulnerability like CVE-2021-4428 – Log4j, which has the best base rating of 10, would typically require a excessive precedence for remediation, however the precedence could also be decrease for a back-end system with minimal entry. To know the true precedence of every case, we have to use the CVSS rating as an preliminary indication of the vulnerability’s severity, which may then be mixed with different contextual and environmental elements to find out its precise threat and prioritization.

We created a customized vulnerability information ingestion and prioritization workflow to acquire a consolidated view of vulnerabilities and higher prioritize our remediation efforts. In consequence, safety engineers at Grammarly can now get hold of essential context on our asset publicity, enterprise roles, and the kinds of information being affected. Utilizing this info, we will prioritize our efforts extra successfully and quickly cut back threat.

The following part will present how we achieved this in additional element.

How we assess, prioritize, and remediate vulnerabilities

We’re constantly conducting rolling assessments of our growth infrastructure and pipeline. That is essential as a result of new vulnerabilities in cloud techniques, open-source techniques, working techniques, and growth instruments come up every day.

“Work on what issues” is one in every of our most necessary tenets as a safety group. Once we detect a vulnerability, we don’t simply take a look at the instant publicity and severity rating—we perceive the complete context to verify we’re prioritizing successfully. This implies modeling the next:

  • Assault paths: An assault path is a series of factors that attain an asset of worth, akin to buyer information. We take a look at what units or techniques can work together with the affected service to find out if there are high-risk assault paths uncovered by this vulnerability.
  • Information criticality: Information regulated by trade, authorities, or our inside coverage mandates is of the utmost significance to guard.
  • Safety intelligence: We constantly establish adversaries, research their assault methods, and replay these methods inside the environment. This lets us study their techniques, methods, and procedures (TTPs). We correlate TTPs with our vulnerability stories to know which vulnerabilities reside in techniques that attackers are most definitely to attempt to exploit.

Relating to remediation, we work on updating and patching our techniques and automating duties every time possible. As an illustration, if a vulnerability is introduced in one of many developer libraries our groups use, we’ll immediately improve our groups’ libraries to the identical model for everybody. If a weak library or different element seems in a container, we’ll replace the bottom container picture and eradicate the difficulty systemwide at scale.

As well as, we preserve an correct and up-to-date stock of inside property and their house owners. This helps us have interaction with the proper folks to make fixes in minutes or seconds.

Metrics, dashboards, and the way Grammarly constantly improves our vulnerability administration program

Measurement is vital to enchancment, and we’ve centered our vulnerability administration program round a core set of metrics:

  • Imply time to find: Time from detecting the place a vulnerability is in our system to publicly documenting it
  • Protection: The portion of our growth setting that we’re overlaying
  • Scan failures: How typically do our scans fail (error, crash, time-out, damaged configuration, unsupported know-how, and so forth.)?
  • Unhealthy Tickets: Variety of tickets not assembly our high quality requirements, that are (1) will need to have an proprietor, (2) will need to have a severity, (3) will need to have a due date
  • False Positives: We monitor false optimistic charges and preserve them under 30%. Why not zero? We fear about false negatives.
  • Imply time to repair: Time from discovering a vulnerability to completely resolving it (together with rolling out the repair)
  • Out of SLA: We monitor for points that exceed our imply time to repair for Important (14 days) and Excessive (30 days).

It’s one factor to trace these metrics, however one in every of our tenets is that we’re by no means accomplished bettering. This is the reason we take a look at our key metrics each week, analyze what has modified for higher or worse, and brainstorm methods we may be higher. We actively study our information to study from previous conditions and enhance our instruments and processes.

Lastly, in order that the suitable stakeholders at all times have entry to the proper vulnerability administration info, we offer dashboards tailor-made to totally different roles:

  • Safety management: We offer safety leaders with a high-level overview of the standing of our program. This consists of the variety of vulnerabilities uncovered in our assessments, the share of these which were remediated, and tendencies over time.
  • Engineering management: We offer engineering leaders with insights on the state of safety of their area, together with an inventory of safety vulnerabilities to resolve, upcoming and current out-of-SLA points, and their group remediation velocity.
  • Engineers: We offer group members with information related to their position, akin to a prioritized manifest of vulnerabilities assigned to them and auto-remediation code adjustments they should approve.

We’re pleased with how far we’ve include our vulnerability administration program. The work is ongoing as we constantly assess our techniques for brand spanking new vulnerabilities, prioritize the ensuing updates, and validate that patches are in place. As well as, we always measure how effectively we’re doing to establish methods we will enhance.

Managing vulnerabilities is a undertaking that’s by no means accomplished, and it’s one other instance of how we try day-after-day to stay as much as our customers’ belief in Grammarly. If that mission resonates with you, try our open roles and take into account becoming a member of Grammarly at this time.

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