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The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS)



Shirley M. Radack


This bulletin summarizes the guidance developed by NIST and published in NISTIR 7435 to help IT managers to make sense of data about the vulnerabilities of their information systems and to take appropriate actions that will protect their systems and information. The bulletin explains the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), which provides an open framework for scoring the characteristics and impacts of IT vulnerabilities, and enables IT managers, vendors, information providers, and researchers to exchange information about IT vulnerabilities using a common language and scoring scheme, and to take needed actions to improve the security of their systems. Topics covered in the bulletin include the three groups of metrics that comprise the CVSS, how to score for vulnerabilities, the use of the CVSS with FIPS 199, Standards for the Security Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems, and the use of the National Vulnerability Database to support the CVSS.
ITL Bulletin -


vulnerabilities, Common Vulnerability Scoring System, CVSS, information system security, information systems, National Vulnerability Database, NVD, SCAP, Security Content Automation Protocol


Radack, S. (2007), The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), ITL Bulletin, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created October 25, 2007, Updated January 27, 2020