Overhaul is only part of the way there - Wigan Athletic chief
Latics have taken four points from Maloney's first two games in charge - a draw at Blackburn followed by Saturday's home win over Huddersfield.
Latics’ first victory in three months was enough to lift them two places in the Championship table to 22nd.
Maloney has started with back-to-back clean sheets - no mean feat considering he inherited statistically the worst defence in the division, which was leaking almost two goals per game.
However, the Scot also has his work cut out at the other end, with only Cardiff (22) having scored fewer goals this term.
"When I came in, I said I wanted to prioritise improvement in both boxes," acknowledged Maloney.
"We've definitely taken a step in the right direction defensively.
"And I think now we need to look at how we can make the same steps forward with the attack.
"We had a lot of possession against Huddersfield and we didn't really do a lot with it.
"That's on me, I have to improve that with the team and I will.
"But two clean sheets is obviously a huge positive, because we hadn't had one in four months.
"To get two in a week is pleasing, especially with the changes we had to make.
"So it's a huge step forward, but it's still only a second step."
The defensive solidity has been even more impressive given Martin Kelly and Omar Rekik were unable to play at the weekend after getting injured at Blackburn.
"I think the players all know how it works, I give them every single session to earn a spot in the team," explained Maloney.
"All the players do exactly the same to prepare for the game, and that means they're all ready to play if selected.
"That obviously helps when we lost two central defenders as we did, we had others waiting to come in who knew what they were doing.
"Even when we changed it in the second half, when Tendayi (Darikwa) came off and Ryan (Nyambe) switched flanks, we kept our shape, and all the credit has to go to the players.
"I thought Charlie Hughes, at 19, was outstanding, even on the ball.
"He was probably our best player in terms of passing through Huddersfield."