The average time to exploit bugs has gone down from 42 days in 2020 to 21 days in 2021.

According to Rapid7’s new 2021 Vulnerability Intelligence Report, this signifies a 71% decrease in ‘time to known exploitation.”

Rapid7’s report highlights several startling trends including the fact that 52% of widespread threats started with a zero-day exploit. Unlike the past few years, 85% of zero-day exploits in 2021 targeted many organizations rather than just a few.

The increase in zero-day attacks is fuelled by the proliferation of affiliates supporting the ransomware industry, which is now dominated by the ransomware-as-a-service model.

In 2021, Rapid7 tracked 33 flaws considered to be “widespread,” 10 flaws “exploited in the wild,” 7 “impending” flaws.

The “widespread” flaws include enterprise software from SAP, Zyxel, SonicWall, Accession, VMware, Microsoft Exchange (the ProxyLogon bugs), F5, GitLan, Pulse Connect, QNAP, Forgerock, Microsoft Windows, Kaseya, SolarWinds, Atlassian, Zoho, Apache HTTP Server, and Apache Log4j.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s constant update of flaws and patch warnings have however been significant in bringing these flaws into the limelight.