Electronics 2022, 11(18), 2820
Kalouptsoglou I, Tsoukalas D, Siavvas M, Kehagias D, Chatzigeorgiou A, Ampatzoglou A.
Software security is a critical aspect of modern software products. The vulnerabilities that reside in their source code could become a major weakness for enterprises that build or utilize these products, as their exploitation could lead to devastating financial consequences. Therefore, the development of mechanisms capable of identifying and discovering software vulnerabilities
has recently attracted the interest of the research community. Besides the studies that examine software attributes in order to predict the existence of vulnerabilities in software components, there are also studies that attempt to predict the future number of vulnerabilities based on the already reported vulnerabilities of a project. In this paper, the evolution of vulnerabilities in a horizon of up to 24 months ahead is predicted using a univariate time series forecasting approach. Both statistical and deep learning models are developed and compared based on security data coming from five popular software projects. In contrast to related literature, the results indicate that the capacity of Deep Learning and statistical models in forecasting the evolution of software vulnerabilities, as well as the selection of the best-performing model, depends on the respective software project. In some cases, statistical models provided better accuracy, whereas in other cases, Deep Learning models demonstrated better predictive power. However, the difference in their performance was not found to be statistically significant. In general, the two model categories produced similar forecasts for the number of vulnerabilities expected in the future, without significant diversities.