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28 Sep
2023
8
min read

Solving the Vulnerability Backlog Puzzle

Dealing with insurmountable static analysis warnings and vulnerability debt? 

Rashi P

It's time to tackle these backlogs.

Vulnerability Operation is not a new concept. However, its importance has only recently been recognised. With cyber threats on the rise, it's crucial to swiftly identify and remediate vulnerabilities, which can be the difference between resilience and catastrophe.

Threat actors, both domestic and global, are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. According to Verizon's 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report[1], exploited vulnerabilities accounted for up to 7% of breaches in that year, double the previous year's figure.

So, what happens when you are unprepared to tackle this growing problem? Disaster looms on the horizon. Without the adoption of an effective Vulnerability Operations Platform, your project is a red-hot target.

What is a Vulnerability Operations Platform?

Think about how you currently receive your vulnerability scan results. Often, the data is presented in an inconsistent, PDF format, making it challenging to decipher and act upon. This is where a Vulnerability Operations Platform comes into play.

A Vulnerability Operations Platform streamlines and enhances the way organizations handle vulnerability data. It takes the chaotic jumble of information generated by scans and transforms it into a clear, actionable roadmap. With this platform, you can proactively manage vulnerabilities and reduce your exposure to cyber threats.

Clearing the Backlogs: A Daunting Task

Backlogs in vulnerability management are a common predicament for organizations. According to the Ponemon Institute[2], 47% of security leaders report having a backlog of vulnerable applications. Shockingly, 66% of these backlogs consist of more than 100,000 vulnerabilities, and 54% have patched less than half of them. High-risk vulnerabilities often take longer than three weeks to patch, with some taking more than five weeks.

Several factors contribute to the challenge of clearing these backlogs. Prioritization remains a significant hurdle, with 47% citing an inability to prioritize effectively. Lack of efficient tools and resources and insufficient information about risks further complicate the process. Remediation is often seen as a time-consuming endeavour, with 28% noting that it takes way too long.

The State of Vulnerability Management: A Case Study

In a joint study by Rezilion and the Ponemon Institute, titled "The State of Vulnerability Management in DevSecOps,"[3] alarming statistics emerged. Organizations are losing thousands of hours in time and productivity dealing with massive vulnerability backlogs. Here are some key findings from the study:

  • 47% of security leaders report having a backlog of vulnerable applications.
  • 66% of backlogs consist of more than 100,000 vulnerabilities.
  • 54% have patched less than 50% of the vulnerabilities in the backlog.
  • 78% of respondents say high-risk vulnerabilities take longer than 3 weeks to patch, with 29% noting it takes longer than 5 weeks.
  • Among the factors hindering remediation efforts are an inability to prioritize effectively (47%), a lack of effective tools (43%), a lack of resources (38%), and insufficient information about risks (45%). Additionally, 28% find remediation to be excessively time-consuming.

The time and resources lost in managing these backlogs are staggering. For instance, 77% of respondents say it takes longer than 21 minutes to detect, prioritize, and remediate just one vulnerability in production, representing over an hour spent on a single vulnerability. On the development side, over 80% of organizations spend longer than 16 minutes to detect one vulnerability in development. Prioritization and remediation times are also extended, with 82% saying it takes longer than 21 minutes to remediate one vulnerability in development and 85% noting it takes longer than 16 minutes to prioritize one vulnerability in development.

Even if you figure out efficient vulnerability management, there could still be something missing. That missing piece is where vulnerability operations come in. For efficient management, you'll first need effective vulnerability operations.

How We Can Help

We can bridge the gap between your Security Testing and Vulnerability Management. We understand the challenges of managing vulnerability operations, and we offer a solution that goes beyond traditional vulnerability management. With Cytix as your partner, you gain access to a comprehensive Vulnerability Operations Platform. Our platform simplifies your vulnerability data, provides you with unlimited access to our testers, and helps you resolve these vulnerabilities. And as soon as the vulnerability is fixed, we’ll be right here to retest it! 

Ready to detect and patch vulnerabilities as fast as you develop new features?

Data Breach Investigations Report

The State of Vulnerability Managementin DevSecOps

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