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ML) in Software Vulnerability Management: automations in the Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) and the Vulnerability-Exploitability eXchange (VEX)
  • Petar Radanliev
Petar Radanliev
University of Oxford

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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One of the most burning topics in cybersecurity in 2023 will undoubtedly be the compliance with the Software Bill of Materials. Since the US president issued the Executive Order 14028 on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, software developers have prepared and bills are transmitted to vendors, customers, and users, but they don’t know what to do with the reports they are getting. In addition, since software developers have identified the values of the Software Bill of Materials, they have been using the reports extensively. This article presents an estimate of 270 million requests per month, just from form one popular tool to one vulnerability index. This number is expected to double every year and a half. This simple estimate explains the urgency for automating the process. We propose solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and we base our tools on the existing FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). This methodology is supported with a case study research and Grounded theory, for categorising data into axis, and for verifying the values of the tools with experts in the field. We showcase how to create, and share Vulnerability Exploitability eXchange data, and automate the Software Bill of Materials compliance process with AI models and a unified computational framework combining solutions for the following problems: (1) the data utilisation problem, (2) the automation and scaling problem, (3) the naming problem, (4) the alignment problem, (5) the pedigree, and provenance problem, and many other problems that are on the top of mind for many security engineers at present. The uptake of these findings will depend on collaborations with government and industry, and on the availability and the ease of use of automated tools.