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Study: Software security vulnerabilities persist for months

Photo: Wulf Voss / EyeEm via Getty Images

According to a new report by CA Veracode, a company that automatically scans for security flaws, 50% of the vulnerabilities they discover remain un-patched after 121 days.

Why it matters: Think of it as the computer security equivalent of the inspirational poster, "It's not how hard you fall, it's how fast you get back up.” Flaws in computer code are inevitable, but companies need to have processes in place to fix them.

By the numbers: By Veracode’s stats, around 75% of known security vulnerabilities persist after 21 days. 25% persist after 472 days.

  • It gets a little better for higher severity bugs, which are fixed within roughly 95 days. That’s still 3 months.

Interestingly, the most “mission critical” apps appear to take longer to fix than many less critical ones.

  • It takes 108 days for half of “medium critical" applications to be fixed, 9 days longer for half of “highly critical" apps to be fixed, and 24 days longer for the most critical apps to be fixed.
  • That could be in part because it’s hazardous to tamper with the most critical software without the risk of disrupting business.
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