Why You Need Real-Time Vulnerability Alerts As Your First Line of Defence in Data Protection

Giulio Saggin
Giulio Saggin
Tuesday 28 November 2023
Why You Need Real-Time Vulnerability Alerts As Your First Line of Defence in Data Protection
Secalerts stock image

Real-time vulnerability alerts are your ultimate shield against cyber attacks, acting as a vital tool in the early detection of security weaknesses and giving organisations a chance to address them before an attack occurs.

Organisations can save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars - millions, even - when dealing with the consequences of a cyberattack. Financial loss aside, real-time vulnerability alerts are crucial to saving an organisation's reputation and public perception. Investing in vulnerability management is money well spent. As the saying goes, "you have to spend money to make money" or, in this case, "you have to spend money in order not to lose money".

Don't wait until it's too late! Prompt action on alerts means organisations reduce the risk of breaches and other security incidents. Real-time vulnerability alerts are the fastest way to protect sensitive information, such as customers' personal data.

Customers are becoming less tolerant and more angry with the way some organisations handle their private information and anger is soon followed by litigation. This was the case in April this year, when 100,000 Optus customers had had enough and filed a class action against the Australian telco, after a cyber-attack in Sept. 2022 saw the details of around 10 million customers stolen.


Is your organisation like many others and has to follow and maintain strict cybersecurity requirements, including data protection, set out by regulatory bodies?

In 2006, the credit card industry looked into its crystal ball and saw that the future involved data security. As a result, six of its biggest companies, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express, formed the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSS). The PCI SSS - one of the most widely adhered to regulatory bodies - maintains the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which is followed by organisations around the world as a means of keeping credit and debit card consumer data safe. The PCI DSS Quick Reference Guide makes it obvious where the new threat lies:

The twentieth century U.S. criminal Willie Sutton was said to rob banks because "that’s where the money is." The same motivation in our digital age makes merchants the new target for financial fraud. Occasionally lax security by some merchants enables criminals to easily steal and use personal consumer financial information from payment card transactions and processing systems.


Vulnerability and potential attack vectors are crucial information. They are often included in vulnerability alerts and assist organisations to understand evolving threat landscapes and adapt security strategies to match. Real time vulnerability alerts give organisations a head start and vastly improve their security hygiene, ensuring software and systems are kept secure and up to date. This isn't always the case, as one multinational technology corporation found out ...

Four zero-days - the worst kind of vulnerability - known collectively as ProxyLogon (CVSS scores of 7.8 - 9.8) were used to breach Microsoft Exchange servers in tens of thousands of organisations globally in 2021. More than 7,000 servers came under attack in February this year and on March 1 Microsoft wrote that there were a staggering 400,000 vulnerable Exchange servers yet to be patched. Thankfully, many of those affected took heed, and that number dropped to 80,000 by mid-March.

Perhaps your idea of a nightmare is a critical vulnerability with a CVSS score of 10.0 staying hidden for years. This is what happened with Log4Shell, which is found in Log4j, a popular Java logging framework, and existed unnoticed from 2013 to 2021. Even though a patch has been published, it's expected that hackers will be using Log4Shell to haunt users well into the future, with an estimated hundreds of millions of affected devices having not been updated.


Organisations need to be robust. In a cyber security sense, anyway. Real-time vulnerability alerts are the cornerstone of a secure vulnerability management program, which should also include regular vulnerability scanning, risk assessment, prioritisation of remediation efforts, and a clear process for applying patches and updates.

The availability of vulnerability information is improving but delays remain a failing of the current method of delivery. Not always, but time is of the essence when securing software. The consequences can be catastrophic.

Advanced products, like SecAlerts, take vulnerability alerts - matched to an organisation's software - to a new level and deliver them in real-time. Purpose-built bespoke crawlers obtain vulnerability information directly from the source, circumventing the possibility of delays.

In the same year the PCI SSS was established, British mathematician Clive Humby wrote that "Data is the new oil" and with each passing day this statement rings true. Organisations are fast coming to realise that no-one is safe from attack and the future of their security, including data protection, lies not only in vulnerability alerts, but real-time vulnerability alerts.

Never miss a vulnerability like this again

Sign up to SecAlerts for real-time vulnerability data matched to your software, aggregated from hundreds of sources.


SecAlerts Pty Ltd.
132 Wickham Terrace
Fortitude Valley,
QLD 4006, Australia
By using SecAlerts services, you agree to our services end-user license agreement. This website is safeguarded by reCAPTCHA and governed by the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. All names, logos, and brands of products are owned by their respective owners, and any usage of these names, logos, and brands for identification purposes only does not imply endorsement. If you possess any content that requires removal, please get in touch with us.
© 2024 SecAlerts Pty Ltd.
ABN: 70 645 966 203, ACN: 645 966 203