Software composition analysis (SCA) can be incredibly valuable to developers as it boosts their productivity and reduces the chances of security risks.
This post covers more about how organizations use SCA and why it’s the way forward for major companies when it comes to their software development.
We’ve also included a list of some of the best free SCA tools that are available. Some of them have a free trial and there are some limitations, however, you can use them to get a better idea about what they have to offer.
Software Composition Analysis Explained
Software composition analysis is a system that helps organizations evaluate open source elements to ensure that they’re up to date with current compliance regulations. Developers have an easier time keeping track of which open-source elements need updating by using SCA tools.
Failing to keep open-source systems up to date can lead to increased security vulnerabilities.
SCA tools are excellent for enabling software developers to spend more time developing and being productive, rather than having to keep track of so many moving parts within open-source systems. This is due to how SCA tools have automated features that simply notify you when something requires your attention.
Some of these tools include dynamic application security testing software and vulnerability scanners. Organizations implement SCA as a preventative security measure by ensuring that they fix problems before they become too big.
Teams Who Benefit From Software Composition Analysis
SCA tools enable DevOps members to secure open-source and third-party elements so that they can avoid having to spend time fixing vulnerabilities at a later stage when they’ve done more damage.
DevOps teams that work within medium-size companies or enterprises utilize SCA tools effectively to reduce security risks within open-source elements. It’s becoming the standard for DevOps teams to incorporate SCA tools as a security measure by default.
As a result, there’s less strain on IT teams and software developers as they’re able to be more productive within their own fields and receive alerts whenever something needs fixing. The automated nature of SCA tools is what makes this possible.
Development teams that are working within smaller companies may find that they lack the resources to implement a cybersecurity specialist full-time. Using SCA tools allows small development teams to keep tabs on security risks without having to dedicate time trawling through vulnerabilities manually.
Developers who are working solo benefit from SCA tools for the same reason as small development teams. They may not have the resources to fill the role of a cybersecurity expert. Therefore, using SCA tools to automatically scan and notify them of vulnerabilities can make a big difference to their workflow and security.
Best Free Software Composition Analysis Tools
Below, you can learn a little more about what some of the top free SCA tools have to offer.
Snyk’s software composition analysis tool allows you to find security risks within your open source code while also being able to prioritize the vulnerabilities by severity. As a result, security teams and developers can easily deal with the highest-risk problems first and work their way down.
You’re also able to locate and fix these issues in real-time which helps developers work more productively.
Snyk also includes its own vulnerability database which includes information being put forward by other developers, public resources, and machine learning. There’s an entire team whose focus is to research the latest when it comes to vulnerabilities.
WhiteSource Software is one of the best systems to use when it comes to making sure that your open-source licenses are compliant. It works well with development elements and has a feature that notifies you of compliance or security risks in real-time.
Moreover, WhiteSource provides you with tips on how to quickly and easily resolve any issues that pop up. It also includes policy enforcements that are automated to make the process of fixing licenses even quicker.
Developers also like how this tool includes more than 200 programming languages that track a wide range of open-source vulnerabilities that come from the National Vulnerability Database.
GitLab is a popular option among DevOps teams due to how it helps teams focus on developing software, rather than spending time and energy on remediation.
Different teams are also able to have an easier time working together when using the GitLab software as you can track and review code with a simplified process. Therefore, the productivity with collaborations between teams can be vastly improved.
FlexNet Code Insight
FlexNet Code Insight is an SCA tool that organizations use to automatically scan open-source environments to check for security vulnerabilities and license compliances.
One of the biggest benefits of using this tool is that it provides you with a Software Bill of Materials insight which enables you to receive information about the latest remediation methods. Developers can also receive more details about vulnerability notifications while being able to monitor assets continuously.
Threatwatch is a system used by developers to secure source code, servers, and cloud containers from harmful vulnerabilities and malware. If you’re interested in an SCA tool to primarily use for managing vulnerabilities, Threatwatch would be a good choice to consider.
Many large organizations around the world use Black Duck’s SCA system to manage open-source elements and keep them secured. This takes a lot of strain off a large organization as they don’t need to manually scan for compliance issues or vulnerabilities.
Instead, the system is automated and development teams can be notified of any issues to make quick fixes and keep their open-source software safe.
The interface is easy to use and you’re provided with in-depth details about compliance issues and vulnerabilities.
With so many third-party elements and open-source code being used in building software, ensuring that it’s all secure and up to date with current compliance regulations is a must.
SCA tools help to make this process quicker and easier. You can be provided with notifications about when licenses need updating or when there are security risks.
This frees up the time of a developer so that they can put their energy and time into developing, rather than having to manually go through licenses and vulnerabilities.
SCA tools are always evaluating your open-source environments so that developers can continue making progress without having to go back and check through components individually. Instead, you’re given an alert and remediation advice to make a quick fix and continue working.
Now that you have a better idea about why organizations use SCA tools, you’ll be able to make a more informed choice about why it may be a good idea for you to implement them into your development teams.