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Domain separation and Vulnerability Response

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Domain separation and Vulnerability Response

This is an overview of domain separation and Vulnerability Response. Domain separation enables you to separate data, processes, and administrative tasks into logical groupings called domains. You can then control several aspects of this separation, including which users can see and access data.


Support: Level 2

Domain separation is supported in this application. Not all ServiceNow applications support domain separation; some include limitations on the data and administrative settings that can be domain separated. To learn more, see Application support for domain separation.

How domain separation works in Vulnerability Response

With domain separation you can standardize VR (Vulnerability Response) procedures, across the customer base you serve, with lowered operational costs and a higher quality of service.

Separate customer work spaces for workflows, dashboards, reports, and so on, ensures that customer data is separated and never exposed to other clients.

Table 1. Domain separation support in Vulnerability Response by version releases
Release Support level Notes
Geneva, Helsinki No support
Istanbul Data only Initiation of data-level domain separation
Jakarta Level 2 (Data, Requestor, Fulfiller) New features: 3rd-party Integrations support with Level 2 domain separation under single instance of integration.
Kingston Level 2 (Data, Requestor, Fulfiller) New features: 3rd-party scanner integration can be enabled with multiple instances of Qualys, for example, but all instances still live under a single domain.
Madrid Level 2 (Data, Requestor, Fulfiller)

Domain separation for the Vulnerability Response application covers the following product functionality:

  • Ingests the vulnerable items from third-party scanners (Qualys, Rapid 7 or Tenable) in the correct domain
    • The data ingests in the same domain as that of the integration user, whose credentials are used for integration.
  • Re-scans specific assets from Vulnerability Response in the domain from which it was requested.
  • Uses the CMDB CI lookup process to ensure that the CI information from the scanners matches the CIs in CMDB of the integration user’s domain.
  • Calculates risk scores at the vulnerable item level as per the risk score calculator defined in the same domain as that of the integration user.
  • Remediation target rules are executed on vulnerable items as per the remediation target rules defined in the same domain as that of the integration user.
  • Vulnerability group rule(s) can be defined, and stay in, the same domain as the domain of the integration user.
  • Vulnerability groups created using the vulnerability group rules stay in the same domain as where the group rules are created.
  • Deferral workflow goes through the approval process in the same domain for which the deferral is requested.
  • Reports and dashboards display the vulnerable item-states such as age of vulnerable item, open vulnerable items by CI, vulnerabilities by impact, and remediation target date status in the domain to which it belongs.
  • Knowledge from third-party scanners or the National Vulnerability database (NVD) can be ingested in the global domain and data can be shared across multiple clients.
Note: In all the above cases the overarching principles of visibility in separated domains separation in the NOW Platform apply.

How domain separation works in Vulnerability Response

The Vulnerability Response application manages the life cycle of a vulnerability item end to end. The following use cases are domain-separation aware:

  • Ingest vulnerable items (vulnerabilities on asset) from either Qualys, Rapid 7 or Tenable
    • Ingest data from multiple instances
    • De-duplicate the vulnerable item
    • Match up with CMDB CI
  • Enrichment of vulnerable item with risk scores and remediation target dates
    • Asset enrichment (CMDB)
    • Risk score and remediation target date enrichment
  • Group vulnerable items and assign the vulnerability group
    • Automatically group the vulnerable items
    • Automatically assign the vulnerability group
  • Remediate
    • Vulnerability group assigned as a remediation task
    • Comprehensive remediation life cycle
    • Deferral workflow
  • Measure the security posture of the organization and vulnerability management program
    • Vulnerability trend, most vulnerable asset, vulnerability by age
    • Remediation status by the remediation target date


Setting up domain separation for Vulnerability Response does not require any additional steps. All Vulnerability Response tables acquire the Domain column after the instance is domain separated. You can direct vulnerability integration import data to specific domains. See Create domain-separated imports for the Qualys Host Detection Integration for more information.

Domain-separated data

Data can be domain separated, which means:
  • Vulnerable item ingested from third-party scanners stays in the same domain as the domain of the integration user, and is not accessible from any other domain.
  • Vulnerabilities, vulnerable items (instances) or assets in one domain cannot be viewed from other domains.
  • The risk scoring algorithm, the vulnerability group rules and the remediation target rules cannot be viewed by anyone outside the domain.
  • Vulnerability information from the NVD can exist in the global domain and be shared with all customers.
  • Remediation tasks in one domain cannot be viewed from another domain.
  • Deferral workflows created in one domain are not visible in another domain.
  • All email notifications are contained within the domain they belong to.

How vulnerability analysts manage their own application data

  • Analysts create their own application installation, multi-source application management, and CI lookup rules.
  • Analysts can configure specific integrations exclusively for use within the domain.
  • Analysts can create their own deferral and change management workflows.
  • Analysts can create their own vulnerability group rules, risk-scoring logic to accurately prioritize vulnerabilities, auto-assign vulnerability groups and assign to the correct assignment group.
  • Domain users create a manual vulnerability item and then close the item.

Business logic and processes that can be domain-separated by instance owner

  • Vulnerability Response users and groups
  • Vulnerability Response integrations (starting with the Madrid release)
  • Complete setup configuration (user and group management, application installation, multi-source application management, CI lookup rules, vulnerability group rules, risk calculators, remediation target rules etc.)
  • Complete remediation life cycle including deferral
  • Vulnerability Response Remediation Target Rules