Microsoft embraces CVRF format for its security bulletins

A year has passed since the Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI) introduced the first version of the Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework, an XML-based framework that enables stakeholders across different organizations to share critical vulnerability-related information in an open and common machine-readable format.

The framework has also recently received an update but, most important of all, has also received a very prominent backer: Microsoft.

“Even though many vendors have followed Microsoft’s lead in providing comprehensive security updates to customers, the formats vendors use vary. CVRF provides the entire industry with a way to share and present data in a coordinated and structured manner,” stated Mike Reavey, Senior Director with Microsoft Security Response Center, and announced that Microsoft has presented the latest monthly security updates (released on May 8) in the CVRF format.

Extolling the virtues of the format, Reavey pointed out that even though home-computer users or small businesses haven’t got much use for it, big businesses could do without continually “copying and pasting” Microsoft’s security bulletin content into their risk management systems, spreadsheets and corporate notification emails manually as part of their IT security compliance and remediation task list.

“For these customers, this machine-readable format may enable more efficiency and automation. Faster and more efficient guidance for these customers means they can more quickly ensure protection, which is always our goal,” he wrote, and added that Microsoft’s bulletins will continue to be issued also in the current format for those who don’t require automation.