Software Composition Analysis

Software composition analysis (SCA) is a critical step in the digitization of business due to its effectiveness in identifying software components with security vulnerabilities and license infringements. With increasing pressure on businesses to deliver seamless digital experience throughout all aspects of customer interaction, enterprises are racing to deliver the best software while ensuring the safety and privacy of users.

Most business software today uses open source software (OSS) components. OSS components allow software teams to efficiently implement the latest technologies by using libraries with the latest tested functionalities in the industry. While the proliferation of OSS components has significantly accelerated the digitization of business around the world, carelessness on the part of some companies have called into question the wisdom in giving development teams free reign to choose OSS components on their own.

In today’s world, any open source software components that have vulnerabilities are quickly publicized, thereby affording hackers from all over the globe to immediately take advantage of these vulnerabilities.

As developers work to build and maintain applications, our solution helps to keep everything on track when scaling, building, and updating using open source components.

Software composition analysis (SCA) initiatives are now commonplace at enterprises who take digitization, security, license compliance, and user experience seriously. Software composition analysis identifies and quantifies all of the third-party and open source software that is used within an application portfolio.

CAST’s software composition analysis (SCA) solution helps security teams, IT leaders, CIOs, and developers take on this continually growing problem. Our software composition analysis definition includes identifying and tracking all of the open source components in the code, finding any vulnerabilities as they emerge, and helping to fix them quickly.

For more information on our software composition analysis (SCA) solutions, schedule a free demo.

What Is Software Composition Analysis: Continuous Vulnerability Scans For Open Source Software (OSS)

On average, a single business application has 200 open source components, if not more. While not all of these components will expose software to security vulnerabilities or have licenses that prevent an enterprise from generating revenue from its use, it only takes one component to result in serious damage for the software, the users, and the enterprise.

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Software composition analysis (SCA) is the cataloging of software components that contain security and license risks. Often, the components that pose the most risk are OSS components, because they are not coded by the enterprises developers and are not proprietary to the enterprise. For example, Struts is a common open source framework used for developing web applications. Recently, a version of this framework was found to have a serious security vulnerability and this resulted in a major credit network being hacked impacting millions of consumers. With a SCA tool, this organization could have identified this vulnerability and avoided this catastrophe.

The typical objectives of a Software Composition Analysis (SCA) program are:

  • Inventory all of the open source (OSS) and proprietary components used within the enterprise
  • Identify components with security vulnerabilities known as Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE)
  • Identify components with licenses not congruent with the company’s intended usage of the software
  • Uncover obsolete components that are no longer supported so they can be replaced with current versions
  • Disseminate identified risks effectively and quickly to team members who can take action on them
  • Track the mitigation of identified security and licensing risks
  • Provide a mechanism to continuously perform SCA

The shortcuts provided by open source help developers to build applications faster and then to update them into the future, but they also leave more room for bugs and security vulnerabilities. Software composition analysis looks at the code and identifies, measures, and quantifies the third party components.

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With CAST’s software composition analysis, developers and security professionals are able to get a list of the third party security vulnerabilities that impact a business’ applications. In this way, software composition analysis identifies the opportunities that hackers could take advantage of before they are able to do so. In order to continue to provide the most protection, this identification process should not be performed just once. Instead, it should be incorporated into the development and monitoring process as an automated and necessary step.

Software composition analysis identifies whether the third-party components used in building an application portfolio contain security vulnerabilities (CVEs) on a continual basis, even when the specific application is not in use.

For more information on software composition analysis (SCA), schedule a free demo.

License Policies Pose Huge Risks With Open Source Usage: Eliminate Those Risks With Software Composition Analysis

With software composition analysis, a business can ensure that all of its applications and use of code comply with the license policies of the applications and code. This compliance insurance is critical, as there are many different types of licenses that exist in the software industry, and each has a different set of legalities and operational agreements. If a company’s software usage does not comply with these licenses, it can result in legal and financial implications. For example, GNU General Public Licenses (GPL) commonly include "copyleft" language. If a software company is using a component within its products that has a copyleft license, it may require that the entire product becomes free and open source. If not, the business will face a licensing violation which can cost millions of dollars and negate the work done by the company on said product.

Though developers have technical experience in working with open source components, they do not always have the legal experience to understand the languages and implications of all license agreements.

A software composition analysis solution helps to highlight the licenses agreed to and then track whether there are any usages that may run afoul of the license agreement and thus risk legal action.

For more information on software composition analysis and eliminating license risks, schedule a free demo of CAST’s SCA solution today.

SCA Software Composition Analysis Solutions Provide Valuable Data

SCA or software composition analysis solutions help to identify software vulnerabilities and expose licenses for open source components. This information can be used by security teams, legal professionals, app developers, and more to help eliminate risks in application development. SCA solutions like the one from CAST combine open source scanning and traditional security assessment offerings to help assess code and find vulnerabilities and issues.

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CAST’s SCA solution helps to:

Identify & Rectify Third-Party Vulnerabilities: Use our solution to detect any and all security vulnerabilities in your third-party software. Then, find the best plan to secure your applications against any current or future hacks.

Control Open Source License Compliance: Our solution gives your team the ability to track compliance of your applications to your OSS license policy across your entire portfolio.

Reduce Technology Obsolescence: Easily identify frameworks and libraries that you should upgrade to reduce risks and stay current.


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