Open Source Software (OSS) – Do you know what you are vulnerable to?

Do you know what percent of software that runs in your application is Open Source libraries?

Do you know if your application is vulnerable because you are using a version of OSS library that is old and has known vulnerabilities?

Are you still writing custom software for your plumbing code instead of using OSS libraries?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have some work to do, my friend !

If you answered “yes” to the last question, you must be either working for Microsoft or wasting your organizations resources on something that you could get for free, and probably better software than what you could write yourself.

In any case, a large number of organizations: (a) use OSS libraries in their custom software development;  (b) have OSS libraries in their environment from commercial products they use

You can take the time to query CVE Database for the OSS libraries that are in your environment. This is obviously tedious with 1000’s of libraries and various versions that you need to keep track.

There are commercial vendors out there who offer products that solve this problem for a fee. Some of the well known vendors in this space are:

  1. Nexus Lifecycle from Sonatype
  2. Blackduck

OWASP has a free version “OWASP Dependency Track Project

Although the free version has limited capabilities, it is a pretty good start if you are constrained by resources. However, the commercial products provide extensive coverage of the OSS components you use in your organization across Licence management, Vulnerabilities and Architecture.

The capabilities provided by commercial tools and make case for your dollars are listed below:

  1. Scan for OSS components with know vulnerabilities during development or build pipeline with IDE Plugins and CI/CD integration plugins
  2. Set policies to fail builds in CI/CD if OSS components fail compliance against enterprise policies
  3. The products provide coverage for Licence compliance, Vulnerability checks, and compliance with Architecture policies
  4. The products allow automation of your OSS procurement process by blocking download of OSS components with know vulnerabilities and fail compliance against set policies
  5. Dashboard of your OSS vulnerability posture
  6. Integration with Bug tracking tools for resolution
  7. Real time updates if your apps are using OSS components that have zero day vulnerabilities

If your organization is using Sonatype products such as SonarQube, Nexus Pro, etc., OSS Scanning products from Sonatype: Nexus Lifecycle and Nexus Firewall provide efficiency of integration in to the echo system. The Developers can have better user experience with tool set and that is more than half the battle getting developers to consume findings from Security products.

Please share if your organization is using any of these products or others to keep a health check on the OSS libraries that you have exposure to in your organization.

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Author: appsecfordevs

I am an Application Security professional helping organizations secure their Applications, and Data from internal and external threats. I have expertise in Application Architecture & Development, providing me the insights in to developing controls to defend applications against security vulnerabilities.

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