Data Security: How to protect yourself from vulnerable open-source software?
Open-source software has flourished in company systems. This delivers many advantages as it saves time and money for developers but also poses security threats. Not many companies and organizations track and maintain their OSS inventory, which leads to concealed seams and flaws in the system, which are exploited by hackers.
So, the main challenge for security teams is staying on top of the system flaws as they find them.
How to protect your data from vulnerable open-source software? Here we’ll give you a few tips that may help.
Create an open-source software inventory
The first step to protect your OSS is to make an inventory of your open source components and classifying them considering their security risk levels. Some tools allow you to track the security status of the elements, so it’s a good idea to make use of them.
There are product-building components with known vulnerabilities. Unless they are necessary, the best way to proceed is staying away from them. This means implementing vulnerability-detection automated policies that make the system fail when a developer tries to write down a vulnerable code.
Rely on automated solutions
As OSS is widely used across the industry, it’s impossible to keep track of them manually. Security teams need digital solutions that track their OSS in their inventory so they can focus on monitoring vulnerability databases to receive a heads up when they found new flaws.
The best-known automated solution for vulnerable OSS is Software Composition Analysis (SCA) programs such as WhiteSource, which were designed to help your security game being a step ahead of hackers. What’s the cost of not using an SCA to protect your OSS? Being a good candidate for turning into the next Equifax.
Monitor your risk exposure and implement automated patching
Many organizations spend tons of money on hypothetical threats, while parts of their systems are outdated and may have many flaws that increase their security risk and are easily accessible for cybercriminals.
Cybercriminals will always look for the weakest parts of your system, which are usually outdated open-source software, and exploit it. This is why automated solutions, including a sound patch management system is critical.
Prioritize your testing and protection processes based on the higher risk levels
Once you know all of your digital assets thanks to a thorough inventory and have an automated risk assessment and protection system, including a Software Composition Analysis program and automated patching, you can take the next step. It’s essential to maintain a constant safety monitoring of all of your OSS to be able to quickly identify possible new threats and vulnerabilities in the system to be one step ahead of hackers.
As open-source software is increasingly common due to the cost-efficiency it provides for organizations; developers must be aware of the security risk that comes with using it. Maintaining a complete inventory of your OSS with a classification of their security risks, and implementing automates solutions like SCA, and automated patching are vital for keeping your systems working and safe.