From our experience of helping organizations in building their ‘Vulnerability Management’ program, we feel that one of the major challenge the security manager/management faces does not always know the reality on the grounds. Obviously the management is extremely busy and has got too many priorities. It is natural to get into managing whirlwinds. So, I wanted to define a few questions which can help you to find out how robust is your application security management program? Not just that, by asking the questions you will also be able to formulate your vulnerability management strategy better.
Vulnerability Management Program – Key Questions to assess the maturity of your application:
Goal Setting, Measurement, Team
- Do you have clearly defined and measurable application security program goals which can be understood across your team?
- Do you have a set of measures to assess if the application security program has failed or succeeded? (Lead Measures)
- Do you have a set of measures that can predict whether your program goals will be met in future? (Lag Measures)
- Does your team have a weekly/real time dashboard to know how well they are performing without being reviewed by their manager?
- Do you know the team’s capacity of testing? Is there a gap between the need and the capacity? Are you measuring the output vs capacity?
- Do you have a single owner for managing the Application Security Program?
Knowing your Key Metrics
- Do you know how many applications you have, their owners and business criticality?
- Do you know how many critical vulnerabilities are open i.e yet to fixed?
- Do you know the average fixing time?
- Do you know the cost per test? (all inclusive i.e. Salary, hardware, software, Management cost)
- Do you have enough people to test and remediate?
- Have you tested for business logic flaws? What’s the “False Negative Rate”?
- Are similar vulnerabilities being repeated again and again?
- Did you build an integrated application security program? i.e Vulnerability Management, Fixing, Training, SIEM, WAF etc are integrated in a seamless manner.