Open source vulnerability scanners are typically used along with SCA (Software Composition Analysis) tools. Developers use them to find open source elements within projects and discover whether they include security risks that are yet to be patched.
Organizations can then fix these issues to prevent security flaws from becoming a bigger problem. Vulnerability scanners use public databases that contain information about potential risks so that you can use the best patches that are available. They also recommend ways to fix vulnerabilities if patches aren’t currently available on the database.
This post takes you through more about the details of open source vulnerability scanners. You’ll be feeling more assured about how they’re used as well as some of the best ones that are available.
Why Open Source Security Is so Important
Open-source security is incredibly important for companies to consider due to how open source software is such an impactful element of many applications. Open source environments allow developers to work more efficiently due to how they can use code that has already been created.
They’re free to take pieces of the existing code and integrate it into their projects. Whilst this is awesome for productivity, it comes with a set of additional security risks. If organizations leave these vulnerabilities unchecked, they can impact the whole project.
There are many reasons why open source environments are more prone to cyberattacks compared to patented code. One of the main reasons being that open source code is created by various developers who are located in different areas who all have different skill levels.
As a result, it can be difficult trying to manage the code as it comes from different companies that have varying policies and standards. Therefore, including security and quality checks can be a tricky task for organizations.
Furthermore, security risks within open source environments can pop up at any time. Therefore, even if you’ve carried out tests and found no security risks, they could still be found at a later stage. This can then impact the rest of the entire project.
Zero-day vulnerabilities can be an issue due to how open source code is readily available for anyone. That includes hackers who may take advantage of this openness to try and find vulnerabilities and use it as a means to gain access to your system.
Companies must create patches to deal with these specific vulnerabilities and prevent cybercriminals from exploiting them.
How Do Open Source Vulnerability Scanners Work?
Open source vulnerability scanners have a few key processes that make them work effectively. First of all, they begin by taking all of the open-source elements that are within your project and reviewing them.
Usually, it reviews the package managers, builds tools, and analyzes code repositories. Using this information, the scanner creates an Open Source Bill of Materials which includes an index of the open-source elements with licenses, origins, and versions.
Many open source vulnerability scanners can pick up on software licenses within your open source projects. It can then let you know whether the current licenses are compliant with the most up-to-date policies. This can help organizations prevent any legal issues when it comes to their open-source software.
These scanners let you know about compliance issues with alerts so that you can inspect the issue and make the necessary changes.
Companies use vulnerability scanners to find vulnerabilities within their open-source environments. These tools can use the results from scans and compare them with databases, such as the CVE (Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures) database.
You can then be alerted about vulnerabilities and provided with tips to fix the issue.
Open Source Vulnerability Scanner Tools
There’s a wide range of open-source vulnerability scanner tools available with some of the most popular ones including the following:
Snyk is a free open-source vulnerability scanner that enables developers to discover and remediate security flaws. This tool is easy to integrate into existing infrastructures and it features an automated system that makes it quick and efficient for developers to use.
Clair uses API features to analyze container security whilst also continuously monitoring containers to scan for potential security risks. It also comes with metadata based on current vulnerabilities that come from a wide range of sources.
Developers are provided with alerts when this metadata is updated so that they can always remain up to date with the latest vulnerabilities.
Trivy finds vulnerabilities using databases, such as CVE and provides you with a small risk assessment on the various components within your software project. This enables developers to make informed decisions about which components to keep in their projects and which ones need to be removed or changed.
Developers like how Trivy includes vulnerability scanning within the IDE (Integrated Development Environment). This provides an image scan of vulnerabilities when they’re still being developed.
Wapiti is a tool that scans web apps to discover security risks and determine if they’re prone to be exploited by hackers. It can identify some of the more common security flaws within software projects, such as carriage return line feeds, file disclosure issues, and XXS.
POST and GET can be used to activate Wapiti and the scanner can be used with SOCK5 and HTTP/S/.
Anchore is a tool that deals with compliance and analysis of containers whilst they’re static. It has automated features that allow it to carry out image scans and evaluate the content within your containers.
It can also create an evaluation after scanning each image which includes information about the policies and whether your applications are compliant or not.
Anchore discovers vulnerabilities that are already known and puts security measures in place as a standard to prevent them from becoming an issue again. Furthermore, it can be integrated with a range of container registries which helps developers stay up to speed with the container policies and security risks.
That concludes our post about open source vulnerability scanners and how they can benefit your organization. They have automated systems that help to pick up on security vulnerabilities, as well as license compliance issues. As a result, companies can keep their software safe from hackers and ensure that their licenses meet the standard requirements.
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