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Study finds only half of cloud vulnerabilities pose actual security threats

Rezilion, the autonomous cloud workload protection platform has announced the results of a comprehensive vulnerability analysis, concluding that only half of the vulnerabilities in cloud containers ever posed a threat.

Rezilion analysed the top 20 most popular container images on DockerHub and discovered that 50% of vulnerabilities were never loaded into memory and therefore did not pose a threat, regardless of Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) scores and despite vast resources in budget and manpower spent on patching or mitigation.

By triaging vulnerabilities using a continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment (CARTA) approach and then prioritizing treatment of those that are commonly targeted, companies can significantly reduce their security budgets or free up manpower to focus on other critical issues.

According to IDC, enterprises are spending 7-10% of their security budget on vulnerability management as daily operations become increasingly more dependent on cloud services.

Vulnerability scanners overload and confuse security teams with mountainous results that would be impossible to patch all at once. The existing prioritization practices such as CVSS provide no notable reduction of breaches in organizations with mature vulnerability management programs. Firms with good security posture are equally breached by known vulnerabilities as those with poor security posture.

Gartner recommends in their Implement a Risk-Based Approach to Vulnerability Management report that “security and risk management leaders should rate vulnerabilities on the basis of risk in order to improve vulnerability management program effectiveness”.

Gartner also predicts that “by 2022, approximately 30% of enterprises will adopt a risk-based approach to vulnerability management” and “by 2022, organizations that use the risk-based vulnerability management method will suffer 80% fewer breaches.”

“A vulnerability is only as dangerous as the threat exploiting it and in some instances during our research, we found the figure dropped to as low as 2%. By focusing on actual vs. perceived risk, we found the security industry has been unnecessarily exaggerating the number of vulnerabilities security teams must address, which has dangerous ramifications to the cloud security landscape,” said Shlomi Boutnaru, CTO and co-founder, Rezilion.

 “A continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment-based approach reduces friction and overhead by identifying vulnerabilities running in memory and then prioritizing treatment to those vulnerabilities commonly targeted by hackers as well as any that don’t have mitigations.”

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