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Navigating the Galaxy of CVE Security Issues

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Blog

It’s evident that CVEs represent critical entry points for cyberattacks, posing substantial risks to organizational integrity. Organizations are lacking in this war against cyber-attacks. Our internal industry expert, Trevor Thompson, recently met with a relevant Chief Security Officer to better understand this war and how to combat it head on before it becomes a detrimental issue to your organization.

Before sharing his thoughts, it’s important to clarify what we’re referring to, when we mention CVE’s and their importance for organizations as a whole.

What is a CVE?

A CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) is a unique identifier for a specific security vulnerability. It provides a standardized format for tracking and managing vulnerabilities across systems and organizations, aiding in vulnerability assessment, patch management, and risk prioritization.

CVEs are essential for effective communication, collaboration, and mitigation efforts in cybersecurity, helping security professionals identify, prioritize, and address security threats efficiently.

How does the CVE system work?

The CVE system ensures standardized vulnerability management practices, facilitating efficient coordination and response to security threats.

The CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) system operates through a coordinated process managed by authorized organizations called CVE Numbering Authorities (CNAs). When a security vulnerability is discovered, a CNA assigns it a unique CVE identifier, which is then publicly disclosed in the CVE List along with relevant details about the vulnerability. This identifier serves as a common reference point for communication, collaboration, and tracking of vulnerabilities across the cybersecurity community.

Why should I care?

Organizations need to be prepared against potential security threats and vulnerabilities. Professionals across the security industry are alert to hear of the newest updates. Due to their ever-evolving nature, many professionals still struggle with protective measures. We’ve interviewed a CSO to understand more of these struggles, with suggestions on where organizations can turn for help.

Dinner Discourse with a Chief Security Officer: The Constant Struggle to Stay Ahead of CVE’s

~Trevor Thompson

I recently had dinner with a good friend – we’ll call him Malachi to obscure his identity. Malachi has been in the security professionals industry for over a decade, most recently as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of a large industrial products company. He’s worked hard to get to where he is in his career. I work for a security software company that provides 3rd party patching solutions. We were both recently sharing stories over dinner about work and got immersed in a conversation that focused on a critical aspect of modern cybersecurity: Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures, also known as CVEs. As a seasoned professional in the realm of digital defense, Malachi spoke candidly about the immense pressures he’s been under lately, how Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures were consuming his professional life, and the challenges his security teams were facing in addressing them promptly. Being in IT for decades and having a background in Telecomm I’ve learned to remember a few acronyms, but this was one I’d not heard in a long time so Malichi helped me understand a little better. 

Sitting up in his seat, Malachi stated “To grasp the significance of CVEs you have to understand what they entail.” He continued to tell me that a CVE is essentially any publicly known cybersecurity vulnerabilities or particularly vulnerable security flaws, each assigned a unique CVE identifier number or CVE Record. These critical vulnerabilities serve as potential entry points for cyberattacks, posing significant risks to organizations’ digital infrastructure and data integrity. They represent vulnerabilities that, if left unaddressed, could lead to catastrophic consequences.”

Confirming that I understood him, I responded with a pop culture reference analogy: “CVEs are like the exhaust ports on the Death Star in Star Wars!” In the iconic film, the exhaust port presented a critical vulnerability that, when exploited by Luke Skywalker’s precise torpedo strike, resulted in the destruction of the Emperor’s formidable space station. Similarly, in the realm of sophisticated cyber attacks, organizations often face particular vulnerabilities within their systems and networks that, if exploited by malicious actors, can lead to data breaches, system compromises, and other devastating outcomes.

Malachi smiled. He liked my Exhaust Port/CVE analogy, and he’d heard his company referred to as the ‘Evil Empire’ before. This time, though, he likened his company’s digital infrastructure to the Death Star, emphasizing the need for proactive identification and mitigation of vulnerabilities and cyber attacks before they can be exploited by “Rebel Scum.” He expressed concerns about the timeliness of his security experts’ awareness of and response to CVEs, highlighting the need for a solution that provides prompt notification of emerging vulnerabilities and tracks the status of patching efforts to mitigate the CVE.

In the midst of our conversation about Software Patching, CVEs, and Star Wars Malachi articulated his desire for tools that could effectively address his company’s CVE-related challenges. Such a tool would ideally provide comprehensive insights into the CVE landscape, including which vulnerabilities directly impact the organization, their severity levels, and the current status of patching efforts. By having this information readily available he and his security team could prioritize their efforts, allocate resources efficiently, and mitigate potential risks effectively.

As I reflected on our discussion, it became evident that CVEs represent more than just a list of security flaws- they serve as a call to action for organizations to fortify their defenses and safeguard their digital assets. Just as Luke Skywalker’s decisive actions thwarted the Empire’s plans in Star Wars, proactive identification and mitigation of CVEs can neutralize the looming threats posed by cyber adversaries, the real villains in our galaxy.

Bad Actors

So what tools do currently (or should) exist to help CSOs like Malachi rest from the worries of unattended CVEs? 

4 CVE Security Tools Advancing Protection for Organizations

There are several cybersecurity organizations, security companies and vendors, vendor advisories, bug bounty service providers, tools, and solutions available to help organizations identify and mitigate CVEs effectively. These tools vary in their capabilities, ranging from vulnerability scanners to comprehensive vulnerability management platforms. Additionally, reporting on the proper mitigation of CVEs often involves tracking patching efforts, monitoring a particular vulnerability over time, and ensuring compliance with security standards. 

Here are some common solutions and approaches on the market for identifying CVEs and reporting on their mitigation:

1. CVE Databases and Feeds

Organizations can subscribe to CVE database and feeds such as the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or commercial feeds provided by vendors like VulnDB. These infrastructure security agency resources and security advisories have a common vulnerability scoring system and provide up-to-date information on CVEs including descriptions, the security vulnerability, severity ratings, and references to affected software and systems.

2. SOAR Platforms

Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) Platforms: SOAR platforms integrate various security tools and processes to automate incident response workflows, including CVE identification and mitigation. These platforms can streamline the remediation of CVEs by orchestrating patching processes, triggering automated responses to detected vulnerabilities, and generating reports on mitigation efforts. 

3. CVE Managed by Mitre Corporation

A prominent nonprofit organization, the Mitre Corporation plays a pivotal role in cybersecurity through its CVE program. CVE, managed by Mitre, serves as a standardized system for identifying and cataloging cybersecurity vulnerabilities across various software systems and platforms. Each CVE entry is assigned a CVE ID helping to facilitate communication and collaboration among security professionals, researchers, and vendors. Mitre collaborates with government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) to bolster national cybersecurity efforts. Mitre’s CVE program participants, including security researchers, vendors, and bug bounty service providers, contribute to the identification and resolution of security issues across various computer systems and operating systems.

4. Patch Management Systems

Reporting on the proper mitigation of CVEs involves tracking the status of identified vulnerabilities and verifying that appropriate remediation measures have been implemented. This may include documenting patching activities, verifying the installation of security updates, and conducting periodic vulnerability scans to ensure that CVEs have been effectively addressed.

Patch management systems play a critical role in cybersecurity by facilitating the deployment of software updates and patches to mitigate security vulnerabilities, including those identified through Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) identifiers. These systems, such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) or Intune, and Patch My PC, enable organizations to address known vulnerabilities efficiently.

Patch management systems utilize CVE IDs to identify which patches need to be applied to mitigate specific security flaws and ensure the security of computer systems and sensitive data. CVE identifiers (CVE IDs) are unique labels assigned to publicly known cybersecurity vulnerabilities, allowing organizations to track and prioritize remediation efforts effectively.

By integrating reporting capabilities, patch management systems enable organizations to track the status of patch deployment and demonstrate compliance with security policies and regulations. This reporting functionality assists in measuring the effectiveness of mitigation efforts over time and prioritizing remediation efforts for critical vulnerabilities.

At Patch My PC we are developing a vulnerability management solution that enhances these capabilities by offering built-in reporting features specifically tailored to track CVEs. This solution will enable organizations to monitor and manage vulnerabilities more effectively, ensuring the security of their systems against sophisticated cyber-attacks and demonstrating compliance with security standards.

In conclusion, patch management systems are essential tools for cybersecurity professionals and organizations, helping them address security vulnerabilities promptly and maintain a robust security posture in the face of evolving cyber threats.


The dinner conversation with Malachi the CSO offered valuable insights into the intricate world of CVEs and their impact on organizational security. It underscored the importance of proactive vulnerability management and the need for innovative solutions to address the evolving threat landscape of cyber-attack complexity effectively. As organizations navigate the galaxy of cybersecurity, staying vigilant against CVEs remains paramount in safeguarding against potential breaches, arbitrary code, and attackers, therefore ensuring digital resilience in an ever-changing landscape.