KPI Examples for Vulnerability and Patch Management

, , , ,
If you have implemented a Vulnerability and Patch Management Process (see: How to Implement a Vulnerability and Patch Management Process) you should also define Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Key Risk Indicators (KRI) to monitor the effectivness of your Vulnerability and Patch Management controls and measures.


1. What are KPIs and KRIs or Metrics related to Vulnerability and Patch Management?

KPIs and KRIs help you to understand, measure and improve your vulnerability management process and patch management process. They are also essential to create reports and for building a baseline in case you want to implement a SIEM or any kind of security monitoring.

As Vulnerability Management is also a part of a technical risk assessment the right KRIs could support your security strategy by letting you know where your IT infrastrucutre is vulnerable, about failed measures or controls and what assets (values) should be protected.

2. What are common indicators for vulnerability management and patch management?

2.1 Quantitative Indicators

Quantitative indicators are the most common and important types of KPI. They are easy to understand because they just represented by numbers.

  • Number of assets (e.g., windows, linux servers, workstations, applications, etc.)
  • Number of vulnerabilities per type (low, high, critical, exploitable)
  • Number of scanned IP addresses / networks
  • Number of internet facing assets, applications
  • Number of internal and external servers, applications
  • Number of scanned URLs

2.2 Lagging Indicators

  • Results at the beginning of a time frame (found vulnerabilities at the beginning of scan)
  • Results at the end of a time period (e.g. remediated vulnerabilities at the end of week/month)
  • Historical data

2.3 Input Indicators

  • Time to resolve or remediate a vulnerability
  • Number of stuff needed to resolve the vulnerability or patch systems

2.4 Output Indicators

  • Number of vulnerabilities remediated (also by criticality, sytem type, etc.)

2.5 Leading Indicators

  • Trends such as increasing or decreasing number of found vulnerabilities
  • Trends in in the criticality of a vulnerability

2.6 Financial Indicators

  • Costs for specific measures to resolve a vulnerability or when a vulnerability caused an incident

2.7 Practical Indicators

You can also define practical indicators that are individual or specific to the organization.

Here are some examples of practical KPIs and KRIs.

Detection capability indicators:

  • Asset coverage: Scanned assets in comparison with the amount of assets in the scope
  • Number undocumented assets found: assets that are scanned but not yet documented in the asset inventory (also useful to find rogue devices)


Key Risk Indicators:

  • Number of open vulnerabilities: total number of applicable vulnerabilities that are not yet analyzed or have work in progress
  • Percentage of numbers of open vulernabilities related to closed issues in a month
  • Status and the number of vulnerabilities per asset: status of the remediation progress
  • Overview of the remediation solution type: indicate the number of the remediation solution types (patch, config change, etc.)
  • Number of open vulnerabilities per business application
  • Number of open vulnerabilities per server or system (including middleware and software)


Operational indicators:

  • Time from detection to remediation per vulnerability
  • Remediation done in set timeframe
  • Number and reason of failed remediations
  • Time to deploy the remediation solution
  • Type of remediation solution


Process efficiency indicators:

  • Number of deployments within and outside of scheduled maintenance windows

This might be also interesting:

Important Controls and Measures for Vulnerability and Patch Management

, , ,
When you define and implement your vulnerability and patch management process (see: How to Implement a Vulnerability and Patch Management Process) it is always best practice to think about and define possible requirements, controls and measures. These are going to help you to protect against current threats and protect your organization.   Here you can find a list of examples and best practices for different measures and controls in case of vulnerabilty management and patch management: 1. Vulnerability Classification measures…
Read More

How to Implement a Vulnerability Management Process

, , , , ,
Vulnerability and Patch Management are major and essential tasks of the Information- and IT-Security. A good vulnerability and patch management process helps you to identify, evaluate, prioritize and reduce the technical security risks of your company or organization. Even if you are not planning to implement security frameworks like ISO 27001 or NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) you should consider to implement a basic vulnerability management process or technical measures and controls to be prepared for critical cybersecurity attacks or threats.…
Read More

ISO 27001 How to Define your Scope Statement

, , , ,
Defining your ISO 27001 scope statement is one of the first steps for building your ISMS. Although it is just a short separate document or small paragraph in your security policy it is one of the most important point. This is because every next step is related to your scope or area of application. In this article you can find out why the definition of your scope is so important, how to write your statement, what it does have to…
Read More

ISO 27001 Required Documents, Policies and Procedures

, , ,
Besides the question what controls you need to cover for ISO 27001 the other most important question is what documents, policies and procedures are required and have to be delivered for a successful certification. The biggest goal of ISO 27001 is to build an Information Security Management System (ISMS). That is a framework of all your documents including your policies, processes and procedures and others that I will cover here in this article. What is the problem? The biggest challenge…
Read More

ISO 27001 Controls you need to cover

, , ,
If you are about to start a project for implementing the ISO 27001 security framework you want to know which controls you need to cover. This is one of the first questions you always get as a consultant. And it is one of the most important because you want to know about the size and therefor the time and budget you need to successfully implement this security standard. Here I want to give a quick overview about the controls for…
Read More

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed