Top 10 Vulnerability Management Statistics to Know in 2023

Organizations continue to invest in preventing, detecting, and remediating vulnerabilities year over year. While vulnerability management will remain a top priority for security leaders in 2023, innovative teams are starting to look at implementing a continuous threat exposure management (CTEM) program to address the needs of today’s complex digital environments.

Top 10 Proof Points for Continuous Threat Exposure Management

Despite the dozens of tools and complex processes organizations have already implemented to inventory and organize vulnerabilities, little improvement has made in truly reducing risk. Inherently, organizations remain in reactive mode, not able to get ahead of the ever-growing vulnerability workload. However, that’s not for lack of trying.

  • Teams spend an average of over 130 hours per week monitoring systems for threats and vulnerabilities.
  • While the typical enterprise network contains millions of vulnerabilities, most teams can patch only 10% of those vulnerabilities per month.
  • It takes 20+ minutes to manually detect, prioritize and remediate each exploitable vulnerability.  

There’s only so much that can be offloaded to asset inventory or vulnerability management tools. Instead of continuing to fuel the fire that’s burning out the industry, organizations must encourage acting in order of business impact.

Effective resource management requires a universal quality > quantity approach that’s enforced throughout the entire asset management lifecycle. However, that’s much easier said than done.

  • Despite the average backlog consisting of over 100,000 vulnerabilities, only 15% can realistically be exploited.  
  • Forty-seven percent of DevSecOps professionals agree the inability to prioritize what needs to be fixed is the primary reason for their vulnerability backlog.
  • Sixty percent of data breaches are successful due to the inability to apply a known, available patch before the vulnerability was exploited.

The challenge of understanding exploitability and criticality has limited the ability to prioritize vulnerabilities at scale—widening the gap between effort and effectiveness in many organizations’ cybersecurity programs. Measuring vulnerabilities based on CVSS lists alone lacks the information or context necessary to keep organizations protected.  

  • Over half of DevSecOps professionals agree the primary challenge to implementing a ‘shift left’ strategy is the lack of integrated security tools.
  • 45% of professionals agree the lack of a common view of applications and assets across security and IT teams causes a major delay in the vulnerability patching process. 
  • Another 45% agree silo and turf issues cause additional delays.

Regardless of what team you belong to, everyone shares a common goal: Keep the organization secure. Yet, separate performance metrics require unique tools that generate their own dashboards. This causes teams to work against—rather than with—one another.

  • Organizations prioritizing security investments based on a continuous exposure management program will be 3x less likely to suffer a breach.

There isn’t a single tool, team, or process that enables CTEM. Rather, it’s a cohesive program that enables organizations to acknowledge the upwards trajectory of the attack surface and its associated threat landscape. Those that fail to mature beyond the siloed, tool-centric approach to vulnerability management will fail to keep up.

To learn more about establishing a framework for CTEM, check out our Ultimate Guide to Vulnerability Management.