The way we develop software has transformed dramatically in the last few years. The increasing usage of Open Source in conventional enterprises with critical security needs is one such change. However, the question that remains is how evolved and mature we are to manage such paradigm shifts in the way we develop applications.
The emergence of opensource clearly has brought in some competitive advantages for the organizations. Organization no more need to focus their limited resources on development of the entire software. Instead, they can use open source libraries for most of their generic requirements and focus their resources on the development of their core business USP that differentiates them from the competitors. Enterprises indeed save significant amounts when using opensource as opposed to building an application from scratch.
While all this is good, the increasing use of opensource libraries brings along, its own set of challenges and risks. The foremost challenge to be addressed being security. Many organizations have rigid coding protocols for their inhouse development teams to help minimize security violations. However, even the enterprises with the most mature of the IT departments are struggling to find a seamless way to manage and monitor their open source components for security adherence.
Enterprise challenges in managing security implications of using opensource
This is where Software Composition Analysis can come to the rescue. What can Software Component Analysis do?
Several app security solutions offer SCA (Software Composition Analysis) as part of the core offering. Such an SCA tool, can minimize to a great extent the woes of an enterprise with concerns on the use of opensource components. Once you decide to use an SCA tool, the next obvious question is how to fit SCA into the new age agile model. It is true that SCA was envisioned at a time when water fall SDLC was the norm but several tools now in the market such as CastHighlight have evolved over the years to adapt their SCA capabilities to the agile and devops model. The SCA tool can be integrated to the CI Build and results from the tool can be used to fail or pass the build. Since the SCA tool syncs itself constantly with the latest CVE list, there will be limited to no manual intervention, staying true to the spirit of devops and CI/CD.
SCA by itself is efficient but combined with software intelligence can be much more effective. For instance, an open source framework may have 1000’s of lines of code. An SCA tool used in isolation may find vulnerabilities in the whole code irrespective of whether it is being used or not. However, when used alongside Software Intelligence, it can identify the libraries that are not being used and ignore the respective violations.