Last updated at Wed, 27 Sep 2023 15:42:21 GMT

Cyber risk is increasing both in volume and velocity. Given the landscape of threats, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and misconfigurations, organizations, teams and vulnerability analysts alike need of better prioritization mechanisms. That's why we developed a new risk scoring methodology: Active Risk.

Rapid7 has offered five risk strategies for many years, each strategy with its own specific approach to surfacing that which matters most. Our sixth risk strategy, Active Risk, is designed to focus security and remediation efforts on the vulnerabilities that are actively exploited in the wild or most likely to be exploited.

Active Risk uses CVSS scores along with intelligence from threat feeds like AttackerKB, Metasploit, ExploitDB, Project Heisenberg, CISA KEV list, and other third-party dark web sources to provide security teams with threat-aware vulnerability risk scores on scale of 0-1000.

Active Risk is available via InsightVM, InsightCloudSec, Nexpose, and our recently released Executive Risk View.

Enter Active Risk

Exploitability has become one of those terms that the security community has maligned, not out of spite, but simply because it’s been applied to too many use cases. Exploitability refers to the ease with which a vulnerability in a computer system, software application, or network can be exploited.

This new risk strategy is focused on delivering unambiguous near-time intelligence, by systematically including a number of threat intelligence sources to enhance vulnerability risk score(s).

There are a number of vulnerability intelligence sources that fuel prioritization in Active Risk, including:

  1. AttackerKB: Launched in 2020, a forum for the security community at large to share insights and views that help cut through all the hype and chaos, with a primary purpose to inform infosec professionals on vulnerabilities and security threats
  2. Project Heisenberg: A network of low interaction honeypots with a singular purpose, to understand what attackers, researchers, and organizations are doing in, across, and against cloud environments. This global network established in 2014, by Rapid7, it records telemetry about connections and incoming attacks to better understand the tactics, techniques, and procedures used by bots and human attackers
  3. Metasploit: Arguably the most widely used, community supported, ethical hacking framework on the planet, used by whitehats, security researchers and generalists in pentesting, <pick-your-color> teaming, CTF drills, education as well as broad or very specialized security assessment exercises
  4. Exploit Database ( Widely used online repository and reference for security researchers, pentesters, and ethical hackers; it’s become a go-to resource offering an extensive archive of exploits and vulnerabilities, allowing users to track the evolution of security threats over time across software, hardware, and operating systems
  5. CISA Key Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) Catalog: Established in 2021 to “provide an authoritative source of vulnerabilities that have been exploited ‘in the wild,’” by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency; witnessing fairly broad and hasty adoption across industries as a method to focus and improve remediation throughput
  6. OSINT and Commercial Feeds: Dependent on the nature of the vulnerability or threat the sources above are combined and validated with additional intelligence and context to enhance prioritization results and ultimately customer outcomes

The immediate value in threat intel data ingestion and normalization alone, that Active Risk delivers, will incentivize and amplify the interest for potential adoption. Active Risk is also CVSS 3.1 compliant across all new CVEs and makes ready future adoption of revised scoring systems (CVSS v4.0 is targeting October 31, 2023 publication). There is strong market demand and intensifying use and application of ‘exploitability’ intelligence as seen in CVSS v4.0 and in CISA KEV as previously mentioned.

Normalize vulnerability risk scoring across cloud and on-prem environments

Active Risk normalizes risk scores across cloud and on-premises environments to effectively assess and collaborate with teams across an organization.

Security teams can leverage Active Risk dashboard cards in InsightVM and Executive Risk View in our Cloud Risk Complete solution to support cross-functional conversations.

Active Risk is a step change along the path of risk prioritization improvement, and the much longer and windier road we travel together towards improved risk management outcomes.