The Evolution of Vulnerability Remediation: From RBVM to Security Remediation Platforms

Meny Har, Co-Founder & CEO
December 21, 2023

Over the past couple of decades,  Vulnerability Management has seen remarkable growth. The unprecedented speed of technological evolution and the corresponding growth in the role and responsibilities of security have resulted in a growing and urgent need to redefine and re-imagine the way remediation is conducted across organizations. 

From Vulnerability Management to RBVM 

Vulnerability Management was initially introduced as a means to merely identify vulnerable machines across a network. At the time,  vulnerability numbers were relatively low and patching “everything” was a realistic approach, so this strategy proved to be effective.  

As the number of vulnerabilities identified began to significantly increase, Risk-Based Vulnerability Management tools introduced a pivotal transformation in the handling of vulnerabilities. Departing from a blanket approach of addressing all vulnerabilities, RBVM suggested a refined strategy of prioritization based on the potential impact of vulnerabilities on an organization's security posture. By contextualizing vulnerabilities using factors like business-criticality and threat intelligence, RBVM empowered IT and security teams to distinguish critical vulnerabilities from the rest of the findings. For bigger organizations, this shift in focus optimized resource allocation, enabling a more strategic and risk-oriented approach to remediation, relevant only for centralized IT or security teams.  

Security Postures - One Too Many

With the introduction of new technology tenants such as SaaS and cloud-native architectures,  organizations were faced with a growing number of new attack surfaces. These new surfaces added more complex tenants (and tools) into what was once a “simple” organizational security posture. Examples include Cloud Security, Application Security, attack surface management and more. Suddenly, the organizational security posture had a much larger footprint, from numerous and sometimes overlapping tools, to multiple security teams now leading remediation across their respective areas and with widespread engineering teams often becoming a major part of day-to-day remediation efforts.  

Cultural and Operational Implications

This transition from one attack surface to many not only represents a new technological reality but also a tremendous cultural shift. This evolution denotes a necessary transition in the fabric of security teams, often going from a central,  one-size-fits-all, control-oriented mindset to that of a Risk Orchestrator, shaping a broader security culture across organizations. This evolution created a real need for effective, cross-organizational collaboration between security, IT and engineering teams for organizations of all sizes, ensuring clearer visibility and actionable risk reduction while reducing the time spent on remediation for all concerned.

The Emergence of Security Remediation Platforms

This new reality included a multi-faceted attack surface and a new cross-organizational focus on remediation, but it necessitated a full transformation into a specialized Security Remediation Platform to effectively drive risk reduction efforts across this new, dynamic security landscape. These platforms transcend the conventional boundaries of IT vulnerability identification and prioritization. Embracing a fusion of people, processes, and technology, they act as centralized hubs orchestrating remediation efforts across entire organizations. Offering prioritization across diverse attack surfaces, Security Remediation platforms provide consolidation, prioritization and orchestration, while also focusing on bridging the gap between security findings and the teams tasked with addressing them.

Traditional RBVM vs Security Remediation Platform

From Identification to Remediation

With remediation now being a  main part of the organization’s vulnerability management effort,  the operational reality of driving remediation has become a key tenant of security remediation platforms.  These platforms go beyond visibility and prioritization. They are also responsible for operationalizing remediation itself, by automatically tracking down remediation owners, introducing an efficient remediation lifecycle with corresponding operational workflows and ensuring consistency across any attack surface, while  providing in-depth reporting to stakeholders at any organizational level

Looking Ahead

The evolution of Vulnerability Management to RBVM and the advent of Security Remediation Platforms signifies a redefinition of the organizational security posture and the risk reduction process. Organizations now need a full suite of remediation services - a platform approach that not only identifies vulnerabilities but also enables their efficient and strategic remediation. These platforms foster effective collaboration that unifies people, processes, and technology, ushering in a new era of operational security.