Stands for "Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures."

CVE is a system that provides unique identifiers for publicly known cybersecurity vulnerabilities. It operates like an extensive catalog, indexing security risks in software and assigning a distinct identifier to each, thereby facilitating standardized discussions, assessments, and management of these vulnerabilities across various platforms.

The core principle of CVE is to establish a unified understanding of software vulnerabilities. When a new vulnerability is identified, it is recorded in the CVE database with a unique identifier in the format "CVE-YYYY-NNNNN", where "YYYY" represents the year of disclosure. This system, complemented by descriptive metadata and references, enables professionals in different fields—such as software development, system administration, and cybersecurity — to accurately and consistently reference each vulnerability.

The CVE initiative is not standalone but part of a broader cybersecurity ecosystem. It is managed by the MITRE Corporation, with backing from the U.S. government. The integration of CVE identifiers into various cybersecurity tools and services aids in effective vulnerability management and remediation strategies. Additionally, the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) enhances the CVE system by providing extended metadata, including risk assessments and impact evaluations for each listed vulnerability.

CVE's role is critical in the contemporary digital landscape. It provides a common language for diverse entities, from IT departments implementing system patches to software vendors resolving product bugs. Awareness and understanding of relevant CVEs are essential for ensuring that the software and systems in use are protected against known vulnerabilities, thereby promoting a more secure digital environment for individuals and organizations alike.

Updated January 22, 2024 by Nils-Henrik G.
Reviewed by Per C.

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