Our Current Approach to Vulnerability Management Isn’t Working

A person inserts a wooden piece into a puzzle

Anyone who thinks the status quo for vulnerability management is fine is not paying attention. Organizations are getting hit with significant breaches, hacks, ransomware and other attacks. And in many cases, software vulnerabilities are to blame for these incidents.

Meanwhile, security teams are overwhelmed with the effort of patching software bugs, and the backlog for patching continues to grow longer.

Does this sound like the current approach to vulnerability management is working as well as it should be?

The problem is, security teams at many organizations are getting way too much information about vulnerabilities from the scanning tools they are using. You can’t blame them from using multiple scanners; after all, both the threat surface and the reliance on software to support business processes have increased significantly in the past few years.

There’s a lot of pressure on security teams to find and fix vulnerabilities. But teams need to understand that not all vulnerabilities represent a significant threat—or a threat at all for that matter. The scan results can be overwhelming, especially for organizations with limited resources. Oftentimes the result is a long and increasing backlog of software code that needs to be patched.

This backlog in turn can lead to delays in the software development process, which can result in a significant competitive disadvantage, lost sales and decreased productivity.

Vulnerability Management Needs to Be Modernized

The vulnerability practices many teams rely on today are outmoded and not necessarily effective in enhancing software security. One of the biggest problems with traditional vulnerability management is that software scanning often lacks the context needed to put vulnerabilities into proper perspective.

In reality, based on research by Rezilion, on average only a small percentage (about 15%) of discovered vulnerabilities are actually loaded into memory and therefore exploitable. In other words, only 15% or so of security bugs actually need to be a high priority for patching. Many of the vulnerabilities found don’t need to be patched at all.

If a security team were to patch the thousands of vulnerabilities in the Rezilion study, it would be an extremely time-consuming task and virtually impossible to remediate all of the bugs at the same time. Fortunately, they don’t need to. They just need an effective way to validate and priorities the vulnerabilities so they can address the ones that really pose a risk.

By applying risk context, security teams can determine exactly which software flaws really do need to be fixed as soon as possible before they can be exploited and used by cyber criminals to launch attacks. If vulnerabilities can be prioritized based on their likely severity, teams can address the biggest risks and ignore the lesser risks and non-risks.

Clearly it is time for a new approach to vulnerability management, one that leverages tools and processes to help identify the software vulnerabilities that can be exploited. This will ultimately save organizations time and resources, something they desperately need today. In addition, it will help organizations get secure software products to market more quickly.

The Future of Vulnerability Management Starts Today

At Rezilion, we believe the future of vulnerability is about solving vulnerabilities, not just uncovering them.  We are excited to announce a truly holistic approach to vulnerability management. A complete answer to the complexities of security in the software stack. Rezilion’s full platform is available now, free for 30 days, with a dynamic Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) in CI. Get started today at www.rezilion.com/get-started.


Reduce your patching efforts by
85% or more in less than 10 minutes