Ready to Grow Up? It’s Time to Go From Vulnerability Management to Exposure Management

Posted by: Batya Steinherz
June 22, 2023
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Vulnerability management is definitely up there on every organization’s radar. 

In fact, it’s frequently a cornerstone of security efforts. Organizations today put a lot of energy into trying to perfect their “identify-classify-prioritize-remediate-mitigate” model, with the aim of protecting vital assets from both known and unknown threats.

Seems to make sense, right?

The Problem with Vulnerability Management

The problem is that both organizations and the threat landscape have become far more complex over the last few years, with the usual suspects to blame: a shift to working from home (thanks, COVID!), digital transformation, and more connected devices than ever. And what we are left with is a massive attack surface, comprising loads of easily exploitable entry points – and traditional vulnerability management simply isn’t keeping up. According to Gartner, “Vulnerability management programs rarely keep up with the aggregate volume of their own organization…”. Gartner, Implement a Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) Program, 21 July 2022) This leaves organizations with endless, unmanageable lists of vulnerabilities – and no way to determine which matters most.

At XM Cyber, we call this the remediation deficit – the situation that results when exposures emerge faster than the ability to remediate. In today’s shifting cyber landscape, overcoming the remediation deficit requires a change in mindset, toolset and processes. Yet it’s often unclear which steps to take, especially because teams and solutions are not one-size-fits-all.

The Exposure Management Maturity Model Self-Assessment + Guide

To help dispel at least some of the confusion, and ultimately address the remediation deficit, we created The Exposure Management Maturity Model Self-Assessment and Guide. The model portion is an actionable methodology to help you move away from siloed, ad-hoc, and reactive Vulnerability Management activities to start focusing instead on building sustainable, scalable, and proactive Exposure Reduction programs – thus reducing the gap between the volume of issues you have on your plate and your ability to address them.

The self-assessment portion is designed to help you QUICKLY determine your current maturity and create a personalized roadmap to level up across stages for people, processes, and technology. Then, your exposure management posture is ranked per category on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a relatively early stage of maturity, 5 representing the optimal level of maturity. (Don’t worry, no one else is seeing your results so don’t be bashful – and choose honestly!)

Why the ranking?

Because once you know where you stand today, it’s far easier to decide where you need to go tomorrow – taking into account budget, resources, and goals.

More than that, it will help you:

  • Understand your current posture when it comes to how security exposure risk is addressed 
  • Get the info you need to continually move up to the next level
  • Learn practical tips for building sustainable, scalable, and proactive Exposure Management programs
  • And so much more!

Now here is a question we’ve been getting a lot: What do we mean by “maturity”?

Maturity (when it comes to your exposure management approach is, anyway) describes both how formalized and how optimized organizational cyber exposure reduction programs and processes are. By quantifying today’s maturity level, you can better plot tomorrow’s path forward to more holistic, more integrated exposure management. It’s also important to note that reaching a more advanced stage, let’s say stage 5 in the people category, may sound flashy, but it may not be on your radar as of now – and depending on the circumstances, that may be perfectly fine.

The Bottom Line

Fixing every vulnerability has never really been feasible. Even Gartner says so. And the chances have grown slimmer as digital transformation and other trends have expanded the attack surface massively. This is why more and more organizations are choosing to rethink exposure management. The Exposure Management Self-Assessment + Maturity Model Guide is a great way to get started on your way to a more optimal state of exposure management maturity.

Grab your copy today!

Batya Steinherz

Find and fix the exposures that put your critical assets at risk with ultra-efficient remediation.

See what attackers see, so you can stop them from doing what attackers do.