Nowadays, the majority of applications use at least some open-source code. This is thanks to the code’s collaborative and public nature, making it incredibly convenient for developers. However, this convenience is a double-edged sword, as the code becomes incredibly convenient to exploit for malicious actors as well.
Namely, once a malicious actor finds a vulnerability in an open-source project, they can attack any application that uses code from the project. To combat this, many organizations have started looking into ensuring open-source security – i.e. ensuring that the code is secure when using third-party integrations from open-source projects. One of the best ways to ensure open-source security is with the use of Software Composition Analysis, also known as SCA.
So, what is SCA and how is it different than other open-source security solutions? Read to learn more about it.
What Is Software Composition Analysis (SCA)?
Simply put, Software Composition Analysis is a process by which organizations can identify and evaluate the open-source components being used in their applications. It involves thoroughly scanning the code and comparing it against known vulnerabilities, allowing organizations to quickly identify any potential code issues. This allows developers to make sure that their applications are secure before they deploy them.
In addition to being used for code-scanning, SCA can also be used to identify potential license issues. Oftentimes, organizations will use open-source code without realizing that it is bound to certain licensing terms and conditions. SCA makes this process easier by scanning the project’s open-source license too, allowing organizations to easily make sure their applications are fully compliant.
How Is SCA Different From Other Security Solutions?
There are many open-source security solutions on the market in addition to SCAs, but none offer such a comprehensive solution when it comes to open-source code. This is because SCA’s approach offers more features than a traditional open-source code scanner, with the following features included:
As an open-source security solution, SCA is incredibly fast and efficient compared to other security tools. This is because it can quickly scan the code for any vulnerabilities, potential license issues, or discrepancies in a matter of minutes. Having these features makes it an incredibly useful tool for organizations that need to quickly identify any potential problems with their application’s code, which is especially beneficial in the case of large applications.
Detection of Vulnerability
SCA is capable of detecting any known vulnerabilities in the code, allowing organizations to take action before they deploy their application. Having to fix a vulnerability or a bug in production is a lot harder than fixing it in development, which is why the use of SCA is popularized. All in all, this helps ensure that applications are secure and free from any malicious actors before they’re in the hands of the user – i.e. in the early stages of the SDLC.
It’s worth mentioning that SCA can also be used to quickly identify any potential licensing issues with the code. Although this isn’t necessarily used for security purposes, it’s still important for organizations to make sure they comply with open-source licenses. This makes sure organizations don’t violate any of the licensing terms and conditions associated with their open-source code, allowing them to remain fully compliant.
One large benefit of SCA is that it can automatically update the code to patch any security vulnerabilities. Using SCA will ensure that the code is always up-to-date and secure, as any known vulnerabilities are quickly patched as soon as they’re discovered. This helps organizations remain one step ahead when it comes to open-source security, as they don’t have to manually update the code every time a new vulnerability is discovered.
SCA is incredibly reliable, as it only uses trusted and secure sources for its scans. This ensures that organizations can trust the results of their scans and take appropriate action if any vulnerabilities or license issues are discovered.
Software Composition Analysis can be a quite beneficial tool for organizations that use open-source code. It allows them to quickly scan for any potential vulnerabilities and licensing issues, ensuring their applications are fully secure and compliant with the terms of their licenses. Moreover, SCA can also be used to automatically update the code with any new security patches, allowing organizations to stay one step ahead of any malicious actors.