Fixing all vulnerabilities is unrealistic, you need to zero in on what matters

As technology constantly advances, software development teams are bombarded with security alerts at an increasing rate. This has made it nearly impossible to remediate every vulnerability, rendering the ability to properly prioritize remediation all the more critical, according to WhiteSource and CYR3CON.

remediate every vulnerability

This research examines the most common methods software development teams use to prioritize software vulnerabilities for remediation, and compares those practices to data gathered from the discussions of hacker communities, including the dark web and deep web.

Key research findings

  • Software development teams tend to prioritize based on available data such as vulnerability severity score (CVSS), ease of remediation, and publication date, but hackers don’t target vulnerabilities based on these parameters.
  • Hackers are drawn to specific vulnerability types (CWEs), including CWE-20 (Input Validation), CWE-125 (Out-of-bound Read), CWE-79 (XSS), and CWE-200 (Information Leak/Disclosure).
  • Organizations tend to prioritize “fresh” vulnerabilities, while hackers often discuss vulnerabilities for over 6 months following exploitation, with even older vulnerabilities re-emerging in hacker community discussions as they reappear in new exploits or malware.

remediate every vulnerability

You can’t fix everything

“As development teams face an ever-rising number of disclosed vulnerabilities, it becomes impossible to fix everything and it’s imperative that teams focus on addressing the most urgent issues first,” said Rami Sass, CEO, WhiteSource.

“All too often companies unknowingly accept risk by using out-dated methods of vulnerability prioritization – and this report sheds light on the shortcomings of those approaches. Combining threat intelligence and machine learning overcomes those shortcomings, highlighting previously unidentified risks in the process,” said CYR3CON CEO Paulo Shakarian.

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Fixing all vulnerabilities is unrealistic, you need to zero in on what matters