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The massive popularity of open source is due not only to its cost-effectiveness but also to its many other advantages. Open source offers accessibility, customization, decentralization, and rapid development cycles. However, the explosive adoption of open source isn’t without growing pains. Failure to adequately recognize and attend to open source security vulnerabilities puts organizations at great risk, often without them even knowing it.

Though you shouldn’t overlook the advantages of open source, you must be able to identify, mitigate, and manage risks quickly to use it effectively. Armed with knowledge and the right tools, you’ll find that open source poses no more risk than commercial software.

Open source is pervasive

Each year, Synopsys publishes the Open Source Security and Risk Analysis (OSSRA) report, a thorough inquiry into the current state of open source security, compliance, and code quality risk in commercial software. The 2020 OSSRA report findings indicate that open source use has surged, making it ever more vital to manage open source security.

The Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center (CyRC) analyzed audit findings from over 1,250 commercial codebases in this year’s report. CyRC found that 99% of the codebases contained open source code; on average, open source comprised 70% of applications. Their discoveries confirm what we already know: Open source is everywhere.

99% of the codebases audited contained open source code

Open source security vulnerabilities

Each day that goes by without proper open source security management is a day full of potential risks for your organization.

While open source itself is not inherently risky, failing to manage and audit open source is. Unlike commercial software, whose vendors “push” patches (or fixes) to users automatically, open source has no governing party responsible for this type of “push.” Instead, using open source demands proactive management; organizations are responsible for developing and maintaining individualized testing and patching strategies. Failure to “pull” and apply the patches provided for open source components exposes an organization to substantial risk.

The OSSRA reported that 75% of the audited codebases contained vulnerabilities (with an average of 82 vulnerabilities per codebase) and that 49% contained high-risk vulnerabilities. This finding underscores the fact that organizations are failing to sufficiently manage, plan for, and mitigate open source security vulnerabilities. As organizations embrace open source and its rewards, they must also adopt a security strategy. Open source use demands action and planning.

As organizations embrace open source and its rewards, they must also adopt a security strategy.

Now consider your own organization’s code:

  • Do you know what code is in your applications?
  • Do you have an accurate bill of materials (BOM)?
  • Can you quickly find and fix open source vulnerabilities in your applications?

For most, the answer is no.

As the OSSRA report states, “If you don’t have policies in place for identifying and patching known issues with the open source components you’re using, you’re not doing your job.”

Realities of today’s development environment

Now more than ever, you need the reliability and certainty of a trusted solution.

The use of a third-party audit service can guarantee you receive the knowledge and security you need now.

Today’s working environment is uncertain and ever changing. But that does not release your organization from the responsibility to maintain authority over your code. Remote work can affect the implementation of tools, and processes and changes that were easy before take more time and planning to achieve now. However, the use of a third-party audit service can bridge the gap, guaranteeing you receive the knowledge and security you need now. Time is of the utmost importance when tackling open source security. You cannot afford to wait.

Black Duck Audits

For over 15 years, Black Duck Audits have been the industry’s most trusted open source due diligence solution for M&A and internal compliance. Black Duck Audits provide you with a comprehensive picture of your open source risks, as well as your application security and code quality risks, ensuring you have the most complete and accurate understanding of your organization’s risk profile.

Black Duck Audits provide you with a comprehensive picture of your open source risks, as well as your application security and code quality risks

After a Black Duck Audit, you will have a complete picture of what is in your code and the vulnerabilities and license compliance issues you need to remediate. Most importantly, our experts extract this information rapidly and skillfully, meaning you can achieve security and compliance quickly. The Black Duck Audit Services team delivers on-demand expertise that provides a snapshot of risk now, when you don’t have time to wait.

Identifying open source vulnerabilities

A Black Duck Audit will give you the answers to these important questions:

  • What open source vulnerabilities are in my application?
  • How bad are they?
  • How do I fix them?

Black Duck Audits identify open source vulnerabilities in your applications and provide the information you need to remediate them quickly. An audit gives you deeper insight into the open source security risks affecting your applications, with enhanced vulnerability data (Black Duck Security Advisories) and access to Black Duck–exclusive vulnerability data sourced and curated by Synopsys CyRC.

BDSAs provide comprehensive technical details and vulnerability profiles, including exploitation information (age, manifestation, available fixes), along with upgrade, patch, and remediation guidance. You’ll receive information on workarounds, vendor upgrade information, and vulnerability classifications, including CWE and Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC). BDSAs also provide you with a custom vulnerability risk calculation, so you can assign a risk score that best aligns with your company risk profile.

In short, BDSAs provide a comprehensive and expansive analysis of your open source vulnerabilities, calculate their risks so that you can prioritize them properly, and provide you with the guidance on how to remediate them.

BDSAs also provide you with a custom vulnerability risk calculation

Going beyond open source

Though we’re best known for delivering in-depth open source assessments, Black Duck Audits now go beyond open source. Incorporating this powerful service into your organization’s security approach offers you a well-rounded assessment of your application across these additional areas:

Application Security Audits use penetration testing to assess the software in its running state, static analysis to find critical security vulnerabilities in your proprietary code, and an assessment of key security controls to uncover potential issues in the design of your application.

Software Quality Audits assess the way the software was built to understand important factors around maintainability and extensibility. An analysis of proprietary code quality, process quality, and architecture helps to point out key areas of improvement to decrease cost and increase productivity in software maintenance and development.

What to expect from an audit

Now that you understand the necessity of analyzing the code in your applications and taking security seriously, you should consider what to look for in an audit vendor. Black Duck’s promise is multifaceted:

Speed. We deliver your audits quickly, ensuring you can get answers to your key software security questions and a set of recommendations in days, not months.

Accuracy. We provide a complete picture of what’s in your code. Our expert auditors draw on extensive experience to provide accurate results and recommendations.

Expertise. The Black Duck Audit Services experts have decades of experience analyzing software using well-defined processes and tools, including our own proprietary tools.

Insight. Black Duck Audit reports are detailed, easy to consume, and easy to share and include the conclusions and insight of our team of experts.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Software Integrity Blog authored by Shandra Gemmiti. Read the original post at: