Quantifying The Attacker’S First-Mover Advantage

Vulnerability assessments to effectively improve the Time to Assess

Published August 2018

Quantifying_The_Attackers_First-Mover_Advantage

This report measures the difference in days between when an exploit for a vulnerability becomes publicly available (Time to Exploit Availability) and when a vulnerability is first assessed (Time to Assess).

Findings:

• 7-day Attackers have a median seven day window of opportunity to exploit a vulnerability before a defender is even aware they are vulnerable.

• 76% of analyzed vulnerabilities had a negative delta – meaning the attacker has the first-mover advantage.

• 34% For 34 percent of the analyzed vulnerabilities, an exploit was available on the same day that the vulnerability was disclosed.

• 24% A further point of concern is that 24 percent of analyzed vulnerabilities were being actively exploited by malware, ransomware or exploit kits in the wild.

• 75% While improving the Time to Assess by 75 percent would result in a positive delta for 66 percent of the analyzed vulnerabilities, the rapid Time to Exploit Availability and its weaponization mean that defenders often begin on a back footing and are challenged to gain the lead in the first move.

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