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Application Security

7/1/2019
10:30 AM
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The Truth About Your Software Supply Chain

Open source components help developers innovate faster, but they sometimes come at a high price.
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Image Source: Adobe Stock

Image Source: Adobe Stock

Developers in enterprise environments — and at commercial software companies, for that matter — have learned that to deliver features swiftly, it's much more expedient not to reinvent the wheel with certain chunks of code. And so they increasingly build their software by mixing and matching open source software components within their code base to minimize their development time to coding the components that truly add value and differentiation to their applications.

This reliance on open source components greatly speeds up innovation but often comes at a high price: Many of these components available for download contain dangerous vulnerabilities. Some companies are better than others in establishing policies about how and when developers can use them, as well as at actively managing the components to track for flaws. The latest research shows that those that do it well can minimize the risks introduced by these components into their software while maximizing the gains.

"For organizations who tame their software supply chains through better supplier choices, component selection, and use of automation, the rewards are impressive," says Wayne Jackson, CEO of Sonatype, which last week released its "2019 State of the Software Supply Chain Report." This study, along with two others released in the past two months, paint a good picture of open source component risks and how organizations are mitigating them.

 

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

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