Vulnerability Management Benchmarking: Metrics and Practices of Highly Effective Organizations

About The Presenters

  • Scott Kuffer: Co-founder and COO at Nucleus Security
  • Ryan Cribelar: R&D Engineer, Nucleus Security


In this webinar, Ryan and Scott delved into the intricacies of vulnerability management metrics and benchmarks. The discussion emphasized the complexity involved in managing vulnerabilities, especially in cloud and ephemeral assets, and highlighted the importance of data democratization in effective cybersecurity measures.

The discussion also covered the varying applications and impact of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) across different organizations. Ryan and Scott explained how a precision-based SLA strategy in high-performing organizations differs markedly from the more generic, policy-driven approaches seen in lower-ranked organizations.

They also provided insights drawn from Nucleus Security’s extensive data collection, providing listeners with a comprehensive understanding of how strategic, data-driven approaches can significantly enhance VM efforts.

Key Takeaways

Mean Time to Remediate (MTTR)

One of the core metrics discussed was the Mean Time to Remediate (MTTR), which measures the average days an organization takes to address vulnerabilities. Interestingly, top-tier organizations (the best-performing 10%) have an MTTR of approximately a month for all vulnerabilities, with critical ones being resolved in about five days. This starkly contrasts with lower-tier organizations, where even less critical vulnerabilities linger much longer, likely due to prioritization challenges and resource constraints.

Vulnerability Age and Management

The average age of vulnerabilities in the bottom 50% of organizations is significantly higher than in the top echelon. This discrepancy underpins the struggle of many organizations in managing vulnerability effectively, compounded by issues like false positives and the complexity of cloud and ephemeral assets.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

The discussion underscored the vital role of SLAs in gauging the health of vulnerability management processes. SLAs differ widely across organizations, with higher performance being notched by entities deploying precision-based SLAs, tailored to their specific operations, unlike the generic, policy-based SLAs which are common in lower-performing settings.

Impact of Patching and Compliance

The webinar highlighted how vendor patching capabilities and compliance requirements profoundly impact vulnerability management. Organizations adhering to strict compliance frameworks often exhibit faster remediation times, driven by the urgency compliance enforces.

The Role of Automation

Emphasizing the importance of technology, Scott and Ryan discussed how Nucleus’s data aggregation system assists in streamlining vulnerability management by enhancing visibility, triage, prioritization, and reporting. This system, which has compiled data on over 13 billion vulnerabilities, aims to provide a robust foundation for decision-making.

Nucleus Security Demo