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Managing Open-Source Vulnerabilities Like A Pro!

Managing Open-Source Vulnerabilities Like A Pro!

Today, I will show you how to manage open-Source vulnerabilities like a pro!

Writing code today requires at least some amount of open source components. A single “import package” adds hundreds of lines of code to your software. 

While you cannot control how these open-source components were written, you need to understand that any vulnerability in the open-source code could compromise your software. 

Sonatype, in its “State of Software Supply Chain”, reports that one in sixteen open-source components have security defects. It estimates that an enterprise with 2000 applications would require $7.4 million to remediate even 10 percent of the defects introduced by these components. This is why it is important to identify the risks and take action to manage open-source vulnerabilities

Detecting Open-Source Vulnerabilities

Detecting Open-Source Vulnerabilities

The best way to identify open-source security vulnerabilities is by using a verified Software Composition Analysis software, called SCA. SCAs act as tools that scan any software for its open-source components. Once this inventory list is made, SCAs scan public and private databases to find known vulnerabilities that are associated with your software or application. It then reports the list back to you. While SCAs can detect known vulnerabilities, they are not designed to discover vulnerabilities that are not a part of any database. 

This, however, means that they identify the loopholes that hackers are most likely to exploit. The key here is to avoid false positives. This can be done by combining the concept of reachable vulnerabilities and reachability. This helps to identify which of the vulnerabilities can actually be triggered by your application. Considering the context of potential vulnerability, therefore, is important to identify and manage your software’s open-source vulnerabilities. 

This involves tracking the flow of data from external input locations to the open-source vulnerabilities, and finding out which ones are most likely to be attacked.

Manage Vulnerabilities

Manage Vulnerabilities

JetPatch has pointed out that “According to Fortinet’s “H1 2020 Global Threat Landscape Report,” 74% of organizations in the manufacturing, energy and utilities, healthcare, and transportation industries have had a malware intrusion over just the past year.” Old vulnerabilities should therefore be weeded out.

Here are some ways to stay ahead and avoid open-source vulnerabilities

  • Make sure to use SCAs
    • This is the easiest and most obvious way to ensure that your open source vulnerabilities do not affect the application or compromise your security.
  • Enforce Policies for Open-Source Use
    • Every organization should follow some guidelines when it comes to open-source use. Maintain a committee or entity that can oversee the usage, documentation, and developer responsibility for open-source use.
  • Identify Risks
    • Scour the National Vulnerability Database and other data sources to identify disclosed vulnerabilities. Make sure to comply with open-source licenses and use up-to-date high-quality components. 

There are more than 3600 open-source vulnerabilities discovered annually. This is why it is important to always keep an eye out for new vulnerabilities and monitor the possibility of any new threat. JetPatch’s platform can help you out there. This tool can help in security detention, orchestration, and remediation all in one place. It ensures patches for even old or low priority vulnerabilities and controls your risk profile. 


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Daniel Segun
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