Cybersecurity in 2023 is not just about fortifying your front door. It's about securing every entry point, from the back door to the windows. And the more third-party software components you integrate with, the stronger your locks should be.
According to a Capterra report, 61% of businesses have been affected by a supply chain threat in the last year. If you’re one of the lucky 39%, Capterra suggests it really came down to luck - as nearly all companies use at least one third-party vendor.
Software Composition Analysis (SCA) tools have been around since 2002, and they are now more critical than ever for identifying vulnerabilities in your codebase's libraries, frameworks, and third-party components. This article explores the best SCA security tools to protect your code. But before you make the investment, let’s understand what SCA is and what features to look for in these tools.
So, you're coding away, building something extraordinary, and then you realize you're standing on the shoulders of giants—using other people's open-source libraries and frameworks. Have you ever wondered how safe all that borrowed code is?
Enter Software Composition Analysis, or SCA for short. Think of it as a more specialized form of Static Application Security Testing (SAST) but with a focus on your project's package.json, Gemfile.lock, or similar dependency files. The tool cross-references your project's dependencies against various vulnerability databases like the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) and other proprietary databases. It then flags these issues in your CI/CD pipeline or even directly within your IDE, offering recommendations for mitigation.
Immediate notifications on vulnerabilities are vital for quick action. Practical SCA tools alert you through their dashboard and via platforms like Slack or email, a key feature for distributed DevOps teams.
Beyond flagging issues, a high-quality SCA tool should provide remediation suggestions to expedite fixing and minimize communication lag.
Continuous monitoring is a vital part of Agile and DevOps practices for a reason. It ensures your codebase stays compliant and flags new threats as they arise in your CI/CD environment, helping you improve threat detection.
Comprehensive reporting features support data-driven decisions, offering insights into recurring issues and overall security trends. These reports also prove invaluable during compliance audits and when justifying security investments.
The best SCA tools easily integrate with existing CI/CD pipelines, version control systems, and other security tools like SAST and DAST. Jit enables you to integrate with various powerful security tools (SCA, DAST, and SAST included) and manage them all under the same platform.
Previously WhiteSource, Mend.io offers a versatile Application Security Testing suite featuring SCA, SAST, and extras like Mend Renovate and Supply Chain Defender. Notable for real-time alerts, swift remediation, and CI/CD integration, it automates and scales security with an 80% MTTR reduction and high developer adoption. It also supports multiple dev environments like Github and Azure DevOps.
It targets mid to large enterprises prioritizing automated, scalable security and MTTR reduction. It is also ideal for those with complex tech stacks needing a unified protection and compliance solution.
Price starts at $16,000 per year for 20 developers.
"A Game-Changer in Open Source Software Security and Compliance Management…Mend integrates seamlessly into any build process, regardless of programming languages, tools, or development environments. This flexibility allows developers to incorporate Mend into their existing workflows without disruptions.”
Jit. is a one-stop DevSecOps platform for Applications, CI/CD, and Cloud Security. It is vendor-agnostic and allows toolchain customization by easing integrations with various powerful open-source security tools that protect your entire SSDLC.
The remediation suggestions and enriched insights you get on a single, centralized platform help you stay on track with your security vulnerabilities, understand them, and solve them faster. You can also create your Modern Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) through Jit and increase security as you go along.
Well-suited for organizations aiming for broad security coverage and swift adoption of DevSecOps practices.
Start for free.
“I love the notion of Jit providing as-code security plans, which are minimal and viable. The fact that Jit also automates the selection of relevant security tools and unifies the experience around them is super valuable.”
Spectral uses AI to detect exposed API keys, credentials, and security flaws in real time. It supports various languages and tech stacks and integrates smoothly with major CI/CD pipelines. It scans code, configurations, and public repositories for vulnerabilities. Spectral also provides customizable policies and actionable reports to ensure Dev teams stay on top of their security posture.
It is geared for dev teams of all sizes that prioritize fast-paced, secure development. Best suited for those focusing on data loss prevention and immediate security insights.
Free trial available, with detailed pricing available in the dev console.
"Spectral is a reliable gatekeeper for our secrets…Spectral is easy to set up and use and provides valuable insights into sensitive issues.”
Wiz provides comprehensive multi-cloud security with immediate visibility and risk prioritization. It offers vulnerability, identity management, and container security features and supports 35+ compliance frameworks. You can connect Wiz to the most popular cloud vendors and technologies, such as AWS, Azure, GCP, OCI, Alibaba Cloud, VMware vSphere, Red Hat OpenShift, and Kubernetes.
Great for organizations in multi-cloud settings that need actionable security insights and are compliance-focused.
"Excellent oversight, easy to install and maintain…Wiz shows you everything you need to know about your cloud environment.”
SOOS integrates SCA and DAST into a single platform, providing end-to-end security for your supply chain and applications. It maintains a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM), continuously scans for vulnerabilities, and offers a unified dashboard for cross-project security management. It also provides unlimited scans.
SOOS fits development teams seeking a comprehensive, easy-to-implement security solution that meshes well with existing CI/CD and issue-tracking systems.
Free trial available. Pricing starts at $100 per month for five contributing developers.
"Simple tool for all your SCA and DAST needs. The support team is amazing. Simple integration with all our Azure DevOps Pipelines. Easy to find the issues and gives suggestions on fixes, making remediation very simple.”
Snyk offers a multi-faceted, developer-friendly security platform covering SAST, SCA, and container/IaC security. Leveraging DeepCode AI technology, it identifies vulnerabilities and offers in-tool fix recommendations and auto-pull requests for rapid remediation. Despite being a trendy tool among devs, users report common issues such as complex setups and higher-than-usual false positives. There are Snyk alternatives that may be worth exploring.
Snyk is optimal for developers and organizations wanting a comprehensive, easily integrated security solution to identify and fix vulnerabilities throughout the development lifecycle.
Free and paid enterprise available.
“It's a good tool to check Vulnerabilities in a project, and it also shows category-wise vulnerabilities like critical, high, medium, and low by which we can decide which to fix first and important.”
Npm-audit scans your Node.js project dependencies for vulnerabilities, offering automatic fixes and configurable options. It uses Bulk Advisory and Quick Audit endpoints for thorough vulnerability reporting. It even identifies "meta-vulnerabilities," which are vulnerabilities in a package due to its dependence on another vulnerable package. Jit integrates npm-audit, so you can easily automate it to run for every PR.
Suited for Node.js developers and DevOps teams, it's commonly integrated into CI pipelines to ensure code is vulnerability-free.
Part of the npm CLI toolchain, npm-audit is open-source and free.
Timesys offers Vigiles, which specializes in monitoring and remediating vulnerabilities for major Linux build systems. It features an enhanced CVE database and Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) management and integrates with tools like Jira. Continuous security feeds and immediate CVE reports are standard.
Targeted at organizations developing secure embedded Linux systems, it aims to streamline vulnerability management for developers, architects, and security teams.
Pricing is available on request.
"Reliable Security Solution…Vigiles is user-friendly and easy-to-understand software. It was straightforward to set up and customize as per my security preference, whether it was adjusting camera angles, scheduling alarms, or managing access control.”
OSV-Scanner provides a constantly updated Vulnerability Database, CLI tools, and a flexible API covering various open-source ecosystems. Data is in OpenSSF OSV format and can be accessed via direct search, API queries, or automated CLI checks. It aggregates data from multiple reliable sources.
Best suited for developers, security pros, and organizations invested in open-source software, OSV offers adaptable, well-documented tools for seamless vulnerability management.
OSV is open-source and free to use, making it a cost-effective option for enhancing open-source project security.
CAST Highlight delivers quick, analytics-based insights on software health, cloud readiness, IP risks, and security vulnerabilities. Operational in less than a week, it provides actionable recommendations and supports data-driven decisions. Industry giants like AT&T and Microsoft trust it.
Optimal for large enterprises and IT leaders focused on application modernization. It offers factual, data-driven insights for cloud migration, risk management, and software optimization.
Prices are based on the size of the application portfolio and start at $10,000 per year.
"Cloud Readiness, Software Resilience and Business Impact Assessment of your on-Premise applications…The portfolio analysis showing the cloud-ready score versus cloud effort is quite insightful. Also, the business impact versus effort is helpful for CIOs/Tech executives thinking of adopting long versus short-term approach to cloud migration to gain maximum effect.”
When supply chain attacks are surging, having a fortified defense strategy is the minimum you can do to protect your code and, eventually, your app’s users. Software Composition Analysis (SCA) tools are indispensable allies in this battle, providing you with the critical capabilities to scrutinize every element that interacts with your codebase.
Whether you aim for streamlined compliance, instant vulnerability alerts, or continuous monitoring, the right SCA tool is out there to meet your specific needs. Jit kicks things off with a unified DevSecOps platform that seamlessly integrates SCA and many other security tools into your CI/CD pipeline- helping you achieve Minimum Viable Security with no operational overhead.