SBOM and security

How SBOM and Security Can Protect Your Organization

Introduction

Whether you have an in-house development team build your software or you purchase products from vendors, you need to know what components the software contains. The need became very clear in 2020 when cybersecurity experts discovered that hackers had poisoned the software supply chain of products used by the U.S. federal government and several global corporations.

             

The SolarWinds hack caused so much trouble that President Joe Biden signed an executive order forcing all software vendors to provide an SBOM (“software bill of materials”) before they can work with the federal government. Additionally, the U.S. government leveled sanctions against Russia, where authorities believe the hackers were based. SBOM and security have become increasingly important over the last few years as more organizations realize the danger of software supply chain attacks. 

        

Packagecloud makes it easier than ever for you to maintain an accurate software bill of materials. Start your free trial now to see how Packagecloud can improve your cybersecurity and package distribution.  

        

What can SBOMs tell you?

An SBOM and security go hand in hand. An SBOM (Software Bill of Materials) lists all of the components used to build a piece of software. The list often contains open-source software components and proprietary code written by the developer. Understanding the components and knowing what to look for can help you build better security measures.

           

As you update your software, you can add or subtract components from its SBOM. Many teams choose to store components on two repositories. One repository lists all of the software components used throughout the organization. Other repositories list the components found in a specific piece of software. The software-specific list helps developers adapt to the changing needs of users. The centralized repository gives security experts an overview of potential threats within the IT ecosystem.

        

Finding security threats quickly

Why do security teams need to know every component used by their organizations? Because it helps them secure your software supply chainWhen someone discovers that a piece of code contains a vulnerability that hackers could exploit, you can review your SBOM and security protocols to determine whether any of your products contain that code. If you find it, you know to either patch the vulnerability or remove the software from your network as soon as possible.

        

This applies even when your development teams build software for internal use. Pieces of open-source software frequently get added to products because it saves time and resources. Why build a feature when you can tweak existing code that does what you want? If that open-source software contains problematic code, your product also contains a vulnerability.

           

Packagecloud automatically scans your packages to detect known vulnerabilities within your code. By relying on it, you gain another layer of security that helps protect private information that belongs to your business and clients. Start your free trial with Packagecloud now so you can start scanning code before pushing it to the machines in your IT ecosystem.

      

Cybersecurity is a group effort

Hackers frequently share tools and tips with each other so they can intensify their attacks. They often work together as a community. One person probably couldn’t execute a sophisticated software supply chain attack like the SolarWinds hack. That took a team of experts coordinating their efforts.

         

Cybersecurity professionals need to take a similar approach to protect networks from attacks. SBOMs are a significant step toward the collaboration organizations need to prevent ongoing cyberattacks. Maintaining a list of software components helps your team develop safe software, but it works best when companies, even competitors, share vulnerabilities with each other. That way, teams know what pieces of code to look for in SBOMs. Without a community effort, everyone works in a vacuum. It’s like a small group of people trying to fight off an army of aggressors. 

        

As more developers commit to providing accurate SBOMs that list every component of their software, legitimate businesses will become safer. Attacks will still happen, but security specialists can respond sooner to prevent large-scale damage. Additionally, maintaining SBOMs make it easier for your development teams to track the evolution of their products, lower costs by choosing safer software components, and build products that other organizations want to use. Now that the federal government has set a requirement for SBOMs and security to prevent software supply chain attacks, expect many businesses to follow its lead. Without an accurate list of components, you might soon find that clients don’t want to use your products anymore.

               

How Packagecloud can help

Packagecloud makes it easier for you to maintain an accurate repository that lists all of your software components. The platform also comes with several security features that can protect your IT ecosystem from attack. Some of the most helpful security features scan for known software vulnerabilities, supply chain poisonings, and trojan-horse attacks. Before you commit a package update to your code repository, Packagecloud will compare your code with known cybersecurity threats and alert you to potential vulnerabilities.

           

Developers and cybersecurity specialists like Packagecloud because it holds all of your organization's packages in one location, making it easier for them to control precisely which packages get distributed to machines on the network. You also get affordable hosting repositories that cost less than owning the required infrastructure and avoid the security concerns that come with using public repositories.

            

Keep your packages and software supply chain as secure as possible by using Packagecloud. Sign up today to start your free trial and see how well Packagecloud works for your organization.

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