Traditionally, organizations have used Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) scores to prioritize their vulnerabilities. CVSS scoring was created almost two decades ago with the intent of providing “open and universally standard severity ratings of software vulnerabilities.” They do a good job looking for opportunistic vulnerabilities (i.e. can they be exploited remotely?), but they lack the ability to effectively prioritize for an organization’s unique circumstance.
A CVSS scoring prioritization methodology might have your teams patching all critical CVSS scores. But the reality is, some of the most widespread and devastating attacks have exploited vulnerabilities with high, medium, and even low CVSS scores.
Fortunately, there is a better way.
Risk-based prioritization is a method of prioritizing potential vulnerabilities and risks based on their potential impact on a business. This approach considers the specific context of a business, including its industry, size, and the sensitive information it holds, in order to determine which vulnerabilities and risks are most important to address. In contrast, CVSS prioritization is a method of prioritizing vulnerabilities and risks based on their technical severity, as determined by a standardized scoring system.
Here are four reasons why risk-based vulnerability management for prioritization better aligns with business objectives:
Overall, risk-based prioritization is a more effective approach for businesses because it takes into account the specific context of a company and aligns their cybersecurity efforts with their business objectives. By using risk-based prioritization, businesses can better understand the potential impact of vulnerabilities and risks on their operations and make more informed decisions about how to prioritize their response. CVSS prioritization can be less effective because it is based on a standardized scoring system that does not consider a business’s specific circumstances.