Why Do SBOMs Matter for Cybersecurity and Compliance

Why Do SBOMs Matter for Cybersecurity and Compliance


SBOM is the acronym for software bill of materials. Pronounced “S-Bomb,” it’s a list of all the components in a particular piece of software. It’s also a term you’ll no doubt hear when dealing with any cybersecurity or compliance issue. This is because understanding exactly what goes into a piece of software, from open-source code to proprietary add-ons, helps security experts plan for every eventuality. Missing even a single component from the SBOM could mean overlooking the weak link in a piece of software that could allow a malicious actor to hack into your systems. SBOMs provide transparency by allowing any stakeholder to gain a surface understanding of what goes into each program or system. But why do SBOMs matter so much, and do they make a significant difference when it comes to software security?


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Read more: 5 Aspects of SBOMs You Need to Know


Why Do SBOMs Matter – Ask the Government

Companies often already have many contingencies in place for dealing with cyberattacks, so why do SBOMS matter so much? One of the largest organizations in the country can answer that question: the federal government. On May 12, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order for improving cybersecurity across the nation. As well as the government promising to take more action and carefully investigate cyberattacks, the order focuses on partnering with the private sector to “foster a more secure cyberspace.” A key part of this is understanding the components of the digital infrastructure we all work in, and the software within that infrastructure. That’s why organizations that provide any type of software now have to provide an SBOM listing all the components of the app or software.


It's no wonder the United States government has taken action to promote transparency in this way. The FBI reports that an unprecedented increase in cybercrime took place in 2021, with potential losses in excess of $6.9 billion. Investigators have been working hard to understand attacks like the Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident and learn exactly where the weak links are in security systems. It’s clear that SBOMs can make this process so much easier by helping prevent attacks, and also by providing investigators with a better understanding of affected systems.


SBOMs Help All Companies with Vulnerability Assessment

All companies, regardless of industry, have someone who assesses software and connected systems for cybersecurity risks. But why do SBOMs matter in this context? Simply put, SBOMs make this job a lot easier by providing a comprehensive list of every aspect of a particular program or app. Cybersecurity professionals can quickly look up details on both proprietary and open-source components to understand better which fits in with their existing security policies and which are compliant.


For software developers, the detail included within SBOMs allows them to ensure that the components they use are up-to-date, fit for purpose, and match the compliance requirements of their users or clients.

To sum up, SBOMs reduce risks for companies by

  1. Empowering software development teams to create the most compliant pieces of software possible and
  2. Providing complete transparency to the users of that software for the purpose of vulnerability assessment

This makes SBOMs an absolutely invaluable tool in the fight for a more secure digital landscape.


Sign up for a Packagecloud free trial to take advantage of the first package distribution platform specifically designed to support SBOM compliance.

How Packagecloud Helps with SBOM Compliance

If you’re still wondering why SBOMs do matter for software compliance, there’s a good chance you need to consider services that enhance the security of your software and support you with compliance requirements. Packagecloud is a cloud-based platform that empowers you to distribute any software package to every machine or environment within your IT ecosystem. Packagecloud manages your distribution and packages in a way that makes it much easier to keep an accurate inventory of all your system components, making it the ideal platform for SBOM compliance.


For additional cybersecurity compliance, Packagecloud scans all your packages for vulnerabilities, including supply chain issues and trojan-horse attacks. This increases your team’s compliance with a range of security protocols, at both the federal and corporate levels. Packagecloud intelligently compares new packages with those vulnerable to known cybersecurity threats, alerting you to instances where weak links could occur. This allows you to keep your own in-house security as robust as possible but also empowers you to create the most secure and compliant apps for your users and clients. And, because Packagecloud uses its own hosted code repositories, you avoid any potential security concerns associated with public repositories.


Find out more about the package distribution platform designed for SBOM compliance and better cybersecurity. Sign up for the Packagecloud free trial and start taking the security of your software supply chain to the next level.

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