Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

There May Be a Ceiling on Vulnerability Remediation

Most organizations are doing all they can to keep up with the release of vulnerabilities, new research shows.

Security has no shortage of metrics — everything from the number of vulnerabilities and attacks to the number of bytes per second in a denial-of-service attack. Now a new report focuses on how long it takes organizations to remediate vulnerabilities in their systems — and just how many of the vulnerabilities they face they're actually able to fix.

The report, "Prioritization to Prediction Volume 3: Winning the Remediation Race," by Kenna Security and the Cyentia Institute, contains both discouraging and surprising findings.

Among the discouraging findings are statistics that show companies have the capacity to close only about 10% all the vulnerabilities on their networks. This percentage doesn't change much by company size.

"Whether it was a small business that had, on average, 10 to 100 open vulnerabilities at any given time, they had roughly the same percentage of vulnerabilities they could remediate as the large enterprises, where they had 10 million-plus open vulnerabilities per month," says Ed Bellis, CTO and co-founder of Kenna Security, 

In other words, Bellis said, the capacity to remediate seems to increase at approximately the same rate as the need to remediate. "The size thing that tipped us off that there might be some upper threshold on what organizations were able to to fix in a given time frame," says Wade Baker, partner and co-founder of the Cyentia Institute., 

The time frame for remediating vulnerabilities differs depending on the software's publisher. Microsoft and Google tend to have software with vulnerabilities remediated most quickly by organizations both large and small, Bellis says. The software with the longest remediation time? Legacy software and code developed in-house.

There are also dramatic differences in time to remediate between companies in different industries. Investment, transportation, and oil/gas/energy led the way in the shortest time to close 75% of exploited vulnerabilities, hitting that mark in as few as 112 days. Healthcare, insurance, and retail/trade took the longest for remediation, needing as much as 447 days to hit the milestone.

Data suggests that some organizations are able to do better than the averages — in some cases, remediating more vulnerabilities than were discovered and actually getting ahead of the problem. What the researchers don't yet know is precisely what those high-performing companies are doing that is different. That, they say, is the subject of the next volume of their research.

Related Content:

 

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
AI Is Everywhere, but Don't Ignore the Basics
Howie Xu, Vice President of AI and Machine Learning at Zscaler,  9/10/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-16349
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
Bento4 1.5.1-628 has a NULL pointer dereference in AP4_ByteStream::ReadUI32 in Core/Ap4ByteStream.cpp when called from the AP4_TrunAtom class.
CVE-2019-16350
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
ffjpeg before 2019-08-18 has a NULL pointer dereference in idct2d8x8() at dct.c.
CVE-2019-16351
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
ffjpeg before 2019-08-18 has a NULL pointer dereference in huffman_decode_step() at huffman.c.
CVE-2019-16352
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
ffjpeg before 2019-08-21 has a heap-based buffer overflow in jfif_load() at jfif.c.
CVE-2016-10967
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-16
The real3d-flipbook-lite plugin 1.0 for WordPress has XSS via the wp-content/plugins/real3d-flipbook/includes/flipbooks.php bookId parameter.