Today a "Role Comparison Report" from Security Innovation was published which has a headline that we fix security issues less than half as fast as Microsoft.
Red Hat was not given an opportunity to examine the "Role Comparison Report" or it's data in advance of publication and we believe there to be inaccuracies in the published "days of risk" metrics. These metrics are significantly different from our own findings based on data sets made publicly available by our Security Response Team.
Despite the report's claim to incorporate a qualitative assessment of vendor reactions to serious vulnerabilities, the headline metrics treats all vulnerabilities as equal, regardless of their risk to users. The Red Hat Security Response Team publishes complete data sets allowing calculations to be made taking into account the severity of each flaw. Red Hat prioritises all vulnerabilities and fixes first those that matter the most.
For example out of the dataset examined by the report there were only 8 flaws in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 that would be classed as "critical" by either the Microsoft or Red Hat severity scales. Of those, three quarters were fixed within a day, and the average was 8 days. A critical vulnerability is one that could be exploited to allow remote compromise of a machine without interaction, for example by a worm.
With the current threat landscape it is no longer sufficient for operating system vendors to just respond to security issues. As part of our overall security strategy Red Hat is continually innovating to create new technologies that proactively help reduce the risk of unpatched or as yet undiscovered vulnerabilities.