The Role of CVE in Patch Management


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CVE provides a standard way of identifying, cataloging, and referencing publicly known cybersecurity vulnerabilities. It’s used by countless cybersecurity products and services worldwide, including NVD.

In the past, creating a vulnerability management report meant creating a spreadsheet that was filtered, sorted, and copied before being distributed to remediation teams. Using projects makes this process far easier and faster.

Automated Vulnerability Remediation

A company’s infrastructure vulnerabilities must be remedied to reduce the risk of a security breach. It can take the form of deploying a patch, updating third-party applications, or even identifying and monitoring vulnerabilities.

While resolving every vulnerability may not be feasible, companies should aim to mitigate any weaknesses. This complex process can involve various steps, including analyzing, classifying, prioritizing, fixing, and monitoring.

The CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) catalog standardizes how vulnerabilities are identified. It includes a standard identifier, status indicator, brief description, and related references. Additional technical information about a vulnerability can be added to the CVE by authorized data publishers.

The CVE is maintained by a corporation, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Almost all major software products are supported by the CVE system, and the information is available to anyone with an Internet connection.

Automated Patching

With attacks mounting staggeringly, IT teams must find effective ways to keep their organizations and clients safe. It includes regularly applying patches to systems to reduce the attack surface.

Automated patch management makes this task more manageable by scanning endpoints and identifying missing patches. It also enables IT staff to schedule patch deployments for servers, workstations, and third-party applications like Java, providing easy rollback options for unexpected issues.

In addition, automated patching enables IT to prioritize updates based on their impact and criticality. It helps them close the window of opportunity for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities and ensure compliance with regulatory standards and IT insurance policies. It also saves IT time by reducing the time it takes to apply patches, which allows them to focus on more strategic projects. It also helps them avoid potential downtime by minimizing the number of patch deployments and testing patches on a testbed to ensure compatibility with existing software and hardware.

Automated Reporting

The CVE system is a centralized repository of information on known cybersecurity vulnerabilities. It provides a standardized way to reference flaws across software and hardware systems, allowing vendors, end-users, researchers, and security experts to communicate about these vulnerabilities efficiently. Each entry contains a standard identifier number, a brief description, and at least one public reference. Authorized data publishers can enrich CVE listings with additional information like risk scores and lists of affected products. CVE entries are assigned by CVE Numbering Authorities—organizations that allow people to request CVE IDs for flaws they discover. A new entry can only be added to the list after a reporter proves it is a vulnerability that harms systems.
Unpatched vulnerabilities leave an organization at a higher risk of attack, leading to theft of sensitive information, malware infections, and compliance violations. CVE enables organizations to reduce security risks by quickly and accurately patching vulnerabilities.

Automated Monitoring

Identifying, classifying, prioritizing, mitigating, and patching vulnerabilities is ongoing. As the number of cyber threats grows, it becomes more challenging to maintain a comprehensive vulnerability management program.

CVE eliminates the need for individual vendors to maintain their vulnerability databases and tools by providing a common identification system for all vulnerabilities. It allows different tools to exchange information and provides a framework for rating the severity of vulnerabilities using the CVSS scoring system.

Once a submission is accepted, the vulnerability is assigned a CVE identifier (CVE-ID) formatted as a string of letters followed by a year and a unique number. A CVE entry also briefly describes the vulnerability and references other resources, such as vendor advisories, to provide additional details.

Adding CVE scanning to your CI/CD pipeline can help your organization detect these vulnerabilities before deploying them in your production environment. These reports should be compared against your inventory to prioritize and remediate the most critical vulnerabilities.


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