Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Leveraging CVE Data for Effective Threat Intelligence and Incident Response

The CVE is a critical element that helps inform many of the vital vendor security procedures that keep the cybersecurity posture strong. Security teams should regularly review the latest vulnerability information to stay informed.

Managed IT service providers can help organizations monitor and leverage CVE data for better security practices. They can also assist with assessing and addressing vulnerabilities to reduce the window of opportunity for attackers.

Integrate CVE Data into Your Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Solution

CVEs and CVSS help organizations identify vulnerabilities and prioritize remediation efforts based on their impact. They also allow companies to assess their risk profile by analyzing the attack vector and assessing the potential impact on the confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) triad.

The CVE program is operated by MITRE Corporation, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). A CVE number is assigned to each publicly disclosed information security vulnerability. The structure of a CVE includes:

  • A four-digit year
  • The affected software and hardware system
  • The type of vulnerability
  • A description
  • References

The CVE Board oversees the program and includes cyber-security organizations such as commercial security tool vendors; members of academia and research institutions; bug bounty programs; and industry CERTS. The board provides critical input on the data sources, product coverage, operating structure, and strategic direction of the CVE program.

Leverage CVE Data for Threat Analysis

Developing a formal vulnerability management process incorporating CVE data can make it easier for security teams to monitor new vulnerabilities, prioritize remediation based on potential impact and exploitability, and implement mitigation strategies. A formal process can also help organizations better understand the scope of a vulnerability, making it easier to determine how widespread the issue may be.

A CVE identifier consists of the CVE prefix, the year, and a unique number. The prefix serves to establish consistency across CVE entries. The year represents the point in time when a CVE entry was created. The unique number helps differentiate CVE identifiers from other identifiers or codes.

For a vulnerability to be considered for a CVE, it must be a flaw that allows attackers to gain access to systems or networks in an uncontrolled manner and must be susceptible to exploitation. It must also be a public vulnerability, which should be available online.

Integrate CVE Data into Your Incident Response Platform

Vulnerabilities are weaknesses in software that can be exploited to bypass security measures and steal data. The CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure) system enables organizations to identify, track, and manage vulnerabilities in their systems and applications.

When discovered, a vulnerability must be reported to the CVE program through a CVE program partner. The vulnerability is then analyzed and assigned a unique CVE identifier.

Once a CVE is established, the CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) determines its severity. This standardized scoring method provides information that can be leveraged across the industry to prioritize vulnerabilities better.

Organizations can stay up-to-date on relevant vulnerabilities by regularly subscribing to trusted vulnerability databases like NIST’s National Vulnerability Database and MITRE’s CVE List and integrating them into their vulnerability management solutions. These efforts are key to identifying and addressing potential risks to maintain a strong security posture in an ever-evolving threat landscape. The base metrics for a vulnerability include attack vector, impact on the confidentiality, integrity, availability triad, and privileges required to exploit the vulnerability.

Integrate CVE Data into Your Threat Intelligence Platform

CVE provides standardized, unique identifiers for vulnerabilities and exposures in software and hardware, making it easier to identify and manage cybersecurity threats. The CVE program is overseen by a CVE Board that includes representatives of various cybersecurity-related organizations, including commercial security tool vendors, research and academic institutions, government departments and agencies, and end-users.

Once a candidate’s CVE ID is assigned, it becomes a CVE Record (formerly a CVE Entry) that carries detailed vulnerability information in multiple human and machine-readable formats. The CVE Record describes the affected software’s impact, root cause, solutions, and patch/fix information.

By integrating CVE into their threat intelligence platforms, SOC teams can avoid taking a “patch everything all the time” approach to analyzing and prioritizing threats based on real-world risk. Recorded Future users resolve threats 63 percent faster by leveraging threat intelligence that informs their vulnerability management processes.