Vulnerabilities on the decline, but risk assessment is often flawed, study says says

Based on data gathered over the first six months of 2014, security researchers from IBM X-Force predict that the number of publicly reported vulnerabilities will drop to under 8,000 this year, a first since 2011.

While the majority of flaws disclosed so far fall into the medium-risk category, the IBM researchers said that the widely used system to rate their severity often fails to reflect the real risk they pose to users.

Over the first half of the year, the IBM X-Force team collected reports about 3,900 security vulnerabilities from advisories published by software vendors, security industry mailing lists and other sources. If vulnerability disclosures continue at the same rate, the number of flaws reported in 2014 will fall under 8,000, several hundred less than in each of the previous two years, the team said in a report released this week.

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