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Mitigation Summary Dashboard

by Ryan Seguin
March 23, 2018

Understanding both the current vulnerabilities and the vulnerabilities that have been mitigated is necessary for IT managers to get an accurate picture of the health of their organization's network. IT managers need a simple and easy to understand way to track the mitigation of risks. Tenable.io uses the “Vulnerability State” attribute to identify vulnerabilities at various stages, such as new vulnerabilities and vulnerabilities that have been fixed.

The process works like this. The “Vulnerability State” attribute has four settings: New, Active, Fixed and Resurfaced. When a vulnerability is first discovered on a system, the vulnerability's state is set to New. After 14 days, the state is changed to Active. The Fixed state is key to understanding and reporting on risk mitigations. For a vulnerability to be marked as Fixed, the vulnerability must have been once present on an asset, but now no longer found. If a vulnerability ever comes back after being marked as Fixed, the state is changed to Resurfaced.

Managers can use the content in this dashboard to monitor fixed vulnerabilities in several different contexts. First, the vulnerability data can be viewed by severity, which is a common viewpoint. The manager can easily see based on severity which vulnerabilities have been fixed, and thereby risk mitigated. Mitigated vulnerabilities can also be viewed using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base score. Note that the severity of a vulnerability can be changed within an organization through recasting; however, the CVSS score of the vulnerability will remain unchanged. If any vulnerabilities are recast, then the numbers between CVSS and Severity may not be the same. Managers can also view mitigated and outstanding vulnerabilities by operating system and by Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) identifier.  

This dashboard serves as an easy to understand view of the current risks found on the network, including data on mitigated vulnerabilities. A manager overseeing a large area of the network can make copies of the dashboard and then assign targets or target groups as the focus, to bring attention to troublesome segments of the network.  

Tenable.io helps organizations close the cyber exposure gap by capturing and consolidating data from different sources. Summarizing vulnerability data in multiple ways helps the organization to better understand and assess risk. As new risks are identified, having the power to report on the mitigation processes can help managers communicate to executives the hard work performed by the IT operations and support teams.  

Widgets on this dashboard:

Vulnerabilities Overview: This widget assists in tracking vulnerability mitigations. The matrix presents vulnerability summary information by severity. In the matrix, the row with red is critical severity vulnerability information, the orange row is high severity, the yellow row is medium severity, and the green row is low severity. The Mitigated column displays the total number of mitigated vulnerabilities. The Unmitigated column displays the total number of vulnerabilities that have not yet been mitigated. The Exploitable column displays the percentage of those unmitigated vulnerabilities that are known to be exploitable. The Patch Available column displays the percentage of the unmitigated, exploitable vulnerabilities that have had a patch available for more than 30 days. The Exploitable Assets column displays the number of assets on the network that have unmitigated, exploitable vulnerabilities. 

Vulnerability Overview by CVSS: This widget assists in tracking vulnerability mitigations. The matrix presents vulnerability summary information by CVSS score. The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is an open industry standard for assessing the severity of computer system security vulnerabilities. The CVSS base score attempts to establish a measure of how much concern a vulnerability warrants, compared to other vulnerabilities. A CVSS base score of 10.0 is the most critical. Each row displays vulnerabilities within various CVSS score ranges. The Mitigated column displays the total number of mitigated vulnerabilities. The Unmitigated column displays the total number of vulnerabilities that have not yet been mitigated. The Exploitable column displays the percentage of those unmitigated vulnerabilities that are known to be exploitable. The Patch Available column displays the percentage of the unmitigated, exploitable vulnerabilities that have had a patch available for more than 30 days. The Exploitable Assets column displays the number of assets on the network that have unmitigated, exploitable vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability Overview by CVE: This widget assists in tracking vulnerability mitigations. The matrix presents vulnerability summary information by CVE. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) is a list of common identifiers for publicly known cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Each row covers CVEs within five year periods, beginning in 2002. The Mitigated column displays the total number of mitigated vulnerabilities. The Unmitigated column displays the total number of vulnerabilities that have not yet been mitigated. The Exploitable column displays the percentage of those unmitigated vulnerabilities that are known to be exploitable. The Patch Available column displays the percentage of the unmitigated, exploitable vulnerabilities that have had a patch available for more than 30 days. The Exploitable Assets column displays the number of assets on the network that have unmitigated, exploitable vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability Overview by Operating System: This widget assists in tracking vulnerability mitigations. The matrix presents vulnerability summary information by operating system. The Tenable.io vulnerability plugins are grouped together into plugin families. Many of the plugin families reflect different operating systems. By filtering on these plugin families, the organization can view all the vulnerability data grouped by Windows, Linux, or other operating system or type of device. The Mitigated column displays the total number of mitigated vulnerabilities. The Unmitigated column displays the total number of vulnerabilities that have not yet been mitigated. The Exploitable column displays the percentage of those unmitigated vulnerabilities that are known to be exploitable. The Patch Available column displays the percentage of the unmitigated, exploitable vulnerabilities that have had a patch available for more than 30 days. The Exploitable Assets column displays the number of assets on the network that have unmitigated, exploitable vulnerabilities.

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