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A Comprehensive and Comparative Analysis of the Patching Behavior of Open Source and Closed Source Software Vendors

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1 Author(s)
Schryen, G. ; Inst. of Bus. Inf. Syst., RWTH Aachen Univ., Aachen, Germany

While many theoretical arguments against or in favor of open source and closed source software development have been presented, the empirical basis for the assessment of arguments is still weak. Addressing this research gap, this paper presents a comprehensive empirical investigation of the patching behavior of software vendors/communities of widely deployed open source and closed source software packages, including operating systems, database systems, web browsers, email clients, and office systems. As the value of any empirical study relies on the quality of data available, this paper also discusses in detail data issues, explains to what extent the empirical analysis can be based on vulnerability data contained in the NIST National Vulnerability Database, and shows how data on vulnerability patches was collected by the author to support this study. The results of the analysis suggest that it is not the particular software development style that determines patching behavior, but rather the policy of the particular software vendor.

Published in:

IT Security Incident Management and IT Forensics, 2009. IMF '09. Fifth International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-17 Sept. 2009

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