Despite lower number of vulnerability disclosures, security teams have their work cut out for them

The number of vulnerabilities disclosed in Q1 2020 has decreased by 19.8% compared to Q1 2019, making this likely the only true dip observed within the last 10 years, Risk Based Security reveals.

vulnerabilities disclosed Q1 2020

Vulnerabilities of interest disclosed in Q1 2020

Vulnerabilities disclosed in Q1 2020: What happened?

Many factors have been identified as potential contributors to this decline, including the COVID-19 pandemic, though its precise impact may not be known for another year.

“Although the pandemic has already brought unprecedented changes to all walks of life, it is difficult to predict precisely how it will impact vulnerability disclosures this year,” commented Brian Martin, Vice President of Vulnerability Intelligence at Risk Based Security.

“It is possible, as we’ve seen with data breaches, that some researchers and companies may be slower to disclose vulnerabilities. Between drastic changes in work environments and a global pandemic, vulnerability disclosure totals may be directly impacted.”

Many vulnerabilities lacking detail in CVE

Despite the lower total number of vulnerability disclosures in Q1, security teams have their work cut out for them. 561 vulnerabilities have been identified that have a public exploit, yet do not have any detail in CVE.

Worse, 60.2% of those vulnerabilities are remotely exploitable. This is problematic for many organizations that rely on security tools that are based on CVE data and have little in the way of detection and mitigation.

vulnerabilities disclosed Q1 2020

Top ten products by vulnerability disclosures in Q1 2020, as compared to 2019

“Those vulnerabilities include issues such as remote authentication bypass, stored XSS, SQL injection, information disclosure, denial of service, and more,” Mr. Martin concluded.

“Some of these vulnerabilities are present in software from Symantec, Apple, Atlassian, ManageEngine, Nextcloud, Jetbrains, and IBM to name a few. That should give pause to anyone who has to come up with a mitigation strategy where patching ‘in the right order’ becomes a key strategy.”

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