Prioritizing Exposures vs. Prioritizing Actions 

by | Jun 26, 2024

Organizations face an overwhelming number of vulnerabilities and threats. The traditional approach has been to prioritize exposures—identifying and addressing the most critical vulnerabilities first. However, this method, while logical on the surface, has significant limitations. At Veriti, we advocate for a different strategy: prioritizing actions. By focusing on remediations rather than merely cataloging exposures, we believe organizations can achieve a more robust and proactive security posture. Here’s why.

The Problem with Prioritizing Exposures

Prioritizing exposures is inherently reactive. It involves identifying vulnerabilities and then deciding which ones to address first based on their perceived severity. This method does not directly solve security problems; it merely organizes them. The critical issue here is that addressing top vulnerabilities does not necessarily translate to better protection against threats.

Statistics show that only 10% of vulnerabilities are remediated each month. This leaves a significant number of exposures unaddressed, providing ample opportunities for attackers. Moreover, focusing on exposures does not consider the dynamic nature of the threat landscape. New vulnerabilities are discovered daily, and attackers are constantly developing new methods to exploit them.

The Case for Prioritizing Actions

In contrast, prioritizing actions involves identifying and implementing the necessary steps to mitigate threats proactively. This approach is not just about knowing which vulnerabilities exist but about taking decisive steps to remediate them efficiently. Here’s why this method is superior:

  1. Proactive Security Posture: Prioritizing actions means that organizations are not just reacting to threats but are actively working to prevent them. By focusing on remediation, organizations can address vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
  1. Effective Use of Resources: With limited tools and resources, it is crucial to ensure that every action taken has a significant impact. By prioritizing actions, organizations can maximize the effectiveness of their existing security stack. 
  1. Enhanced Security Posture: Taking action directly impacts an organization’s security posture. Misconfigurations account for 60% of security incidents. By prioritizing actions that correct these misconfigurations, organizations can significantly reduce their risk. Furthermore, proper security control configurations can mitigate many high-risk vulnerabilities.

Veriti clients, for instance, have seen a significant increase in their security defenses. By blocking over 56% of attacks, Veriti effectively doubles the effectiveness of its clients’ existing security measures. If previously the clients could block a certain number of attacks, with Veriti, they are now able to block twice as many, thereby increasing their security by 100%[MG1] . This doesn’t mean that without Veriti their defenses are zero, but rather that Veriti’s contribution is so significant, it effectively doubles their ability to block attacks.

Veriti’s Impact

Veriti’s approach to prioritizing actions has yielded impressive results:

  • Efficiency in Remediation: Veriti users perform an average of 440 non-disruptive remediations per month. This proactive approach ensures that vulnerabilities are addressed promptly and effectively.
  • Speed of Response: With Veriti, it takes less than 20 seconds from identifying an insight to implementing a remediation. This rapid response capability is crucial in today’s fast-paced threat environment.
  • Regular Maintenance: On average, users perform 27 remediations per session every time they access the Veriti platform. This regular maintenance ensures that security measures are always up-to-date and effective.
IDENTIFY AND SAFELY REMEDIATE EXPOSURES IN SECONDS
 

Why the Industry Sticks to Exposures

The industry has traditionally prioritized exposures due to a reluctance to take actions that might be disruptive or resource intensive. However, this fear is unfounded. Properly implemented actions can be non-disruptive and highly effective. By prioritizing actions, organizations can overcome the inertia that has held back their security efforts and significantly improve their defenses.

Actions Speak Louder Than Exposures

While prioritizing exposures has been the industry standard, it is clear that this approach has significant limitations. By shifting the focus to prioritizing actions, organizations can adopt a proactive security posture, make better use of their resources, and enhance their overall security defenses. Veriti’s success with its clients underscores the effectiveness of this approach. By blocking over 56% of attacks and significantly enhancing the security of its clients, Veriti demonstrates that actions, not just awareness, are key to proactive security.

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