Feeds

Application Vulnerability Description Language coined

Verily security scanners shall talk unto remediation tools

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Security vendors joined together today to back a standard for describing application security vulnerabilities.

The new Application Vulnerability Description Language (AVDL), to be managed through the OASIS consortium, provides a "XML standard to define, categorize and classify application vulnerabilities in a standardized fashion".

The language provides a way for vulnerability scanners, for example, to exchange data with application security software. OASIS has established a Technical Committee to develop the standard.

The laudable aim of the standard is to reduce security management headaches, but we have our doubts if will it work?

First, the security industry is notoriously fragmented. Unlike other market segments, there are scores of vendors selling competitive and incompatible products. Standards are very much the exception rather than the norm.

Take the incompatibilities that plagued the public-key infrastructure market, the stateful inspection versus packet filtering approaches to firewalls or the more current intrusion protection versus intrusion detection debate. On the other hand we're starting to see some sort of consensus (based on 802.1X) on an approach to wireless LAN security, but not comes from equipment vendors more than security firms.

Secondly the list of names (Citadel Security Software, GuardedNet, NetContinuum, SPI Dynamics and Teros) so far signed up for AVDL lacks the real heavy hitters. Cisco, Network Associates, ISS and Symantec don't feature.

IBM, Computer Associates and HP, which make good money selling tools that enable enterprises to manage their security infrastructure, aren't signed up either. AVDL may make it easier to manage and deploy best in breed products. But are security suite evangelists, like IBM and HP, going to be keen on this approach?

Lastly we need to consider the anti-virus tools market, where vendors can't even agree names for viruses much less anything else. For years end users have looked to consistency in naming, vendors always say that's a good idea - then do nothing.

The first meeting of the full OASIS Technical Committee for AVDL has been scheduled for May 15. The first candidate AVDL specification will be posted for comment during Q3'03, with final spec due before the end of the year. Additional information on AVDL is available here. ®

Related stories

Oasis ratifies SAML 1.0
RSA removes patent block to SAML uptake
Liberty Alliance proposes Web security standards

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.