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Know Your Asset Vulnerability Risk

William GroveAug 11, 2020

What is asset vulnerability risk? It may be a new phrase to some security teams, but the concept has been around since the first cyberattack. It’s a way to understand the likelihood of a critical asset being compromised in an attack. Features in Skybox® Vulnerability Control make it easier than ever to assess and mitigate asset vulnerability risk.

  • Scoring Asset Vulnerability Risk with Skybox

Skybox is focused on helping CISOs and their teams cut through complexity and make the best decisions to protect their organization. Our risk scoring feature aims to do exactly that. Skybox risk scores provide straightforward, objective scores to gauge and track risks on vulnerabilities, assets and asset groups.


A dashboard in Vulnerability Control highlighting assets with a critical risk score and are directly exposed

This feature, in our vulnerability management module Skybox® Vulnerability Control, lets users customize a variety of factors, so risk scores are relevant to their unique organization and prioritize the protection of mission-critical assets.

Our risk scoring method recognizes each organization has unique needs, assets and priorities. With this feature, each organization can determine which factors (including asset importance, exposure, exploitability, etc.) will be included and weighted in the flexible risk formula.

Learn more about risk scoring in our tech brief.

  • Why our Risk Scoring Approach is Different

Most risk scoring systems assign severity ratings which are designed to help organizations decide which vulnerabilities should be fixed first. In theory, this system sounds great: if a vulnerability is listed as “severe,” it makes sense (at least at a surface level) to remediate it quickly. In practice, this one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work as well as it should.

Generally, severity scoring systems like CVSS only consider a limited number of factors — they don’t take the unique attributes of an organization’s security environment into account. They understand neither the importance of each vulnerable asset nor its exposure within the infrastructure, meaning that a lot of critical data is left overlooked. This isn’t good enough.

This long-held approach means that vulnerable exposed assets may be exploited long before they’re patched, particularly if they are listed as having “medium” or lower levels of severity. Organizations are wading through an ocean of vulnerabilities every day — the latest  Vulnerability and Threat Trends report shows that more than 20,000 vulnerabilities will likely be reported in 2020 (a new record), and security teams can have backlogs in the thousands or even millions of vulnerability occurrences. To focus action in the right place, they need to have context-rich insight that helps them to effectively prioritize remediation based on asset vulnerability risk.

  • Know Your Asset Vulnerability Risk

The insight provided by Skybox risk scoring enables organizations to quickly determine asset vulnerability risk to a singular asset or a group of assets — be they business units, networks, geographic locations or any other grouping that makes sense in your organization. Our insight to the network infrastructure also allows you to see whether an existing security control can be used to protect against an attack, even if a patch has yet to be published. Skybox quantifies and qualifies exposure and exploitability, making it possible for security teams to accurately prioritize mitigation strategies based on the actual risk that each vulnerability poses to their environment.

With Skybox, you stop working within vague and ineffective parameters. The solution encourages users to focus, instead, on the typically less than one percent of vulnerabilities which are exposed and exploitable within an organization. It not only increases efficiency by automating asset vulnerability analysis, but also improves the impact security teams have on risk reduction.

William Grove is Skybox's Senior Content Marketing Manager. William has over 8 years of experience, primarily focused on enterprise-level B2B tech communication.

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2020 Vulnerability and Threat Trends Mid-Year Update
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Skybox Vulnerability Control
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Risk Scoring
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