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Mean time to patch

(also MTTP)

Mean time to patch definition

Mean time to patch is a metric that tracks the average time an organization applies patches to vulnerabilities, software bugs, or other security issues. Timely patching is critical in cybersecurity — if vulnerabilities remain unpatched for extended periods, it increases the risk of exploitation by malicious actors.

MTTP gives the organization an idea how quickly they are addressing and fixing security issues.

See also: vulnerability, patch, Patch Tuesday

Where is MTTP applied?

  • Software development and maintenance:
    • Developers and software vendors use MTTP to measure the speed with which they can address and fix known product vulnerabilities.
    • Enterprises track MTTP to ensure that in-house applications maintain high-security standards.
  • IT infrastructure and operations:
    • IT departments track MTTP to ensure that software running on corporate networks — from operating systems to third-party applications — is patched promptly.
    • Cloud service providers like Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) monitor MTTP to keep their platforms secure and maintain customer trust.
  • Industrial and critical infrastructure:
    • Organizations responsible for critical infrastructure (e.g., power grids, water treatment facilities) track MTTP to make sure any vulnerabilities in their control systems are addressed swiftly.
  • Consumer electronics and IoT:
    • Manufacturers of connected devices, from smart fridges to security cameras, track MTTP when patching their firmware and software.