SCA, or Software Composition Analysis, is a broad term that incorporates various facets of Application Security Testing. It includes all functions and tasks related to managing open-source code, such as identifying the open-source elements in the code, cataloging these elements, checking for vulnerabilities or license compliances.
With 70-80% of the proprietary codebase already consisting of open-source code, and this number set to only increase, the importance of managing open-source code, and hence SCA, is just increasing. Today, we’ll discuss some of the best tools that you can use for Software Composition Analysis.
Why Do You Need an SCA Tool?
The popularity of open-source coding has been surging in recent years. It’s because open-source codes reduce hardware as they can be easily compressed and require less computing power. And since they are community-managed, they offer more stability and are also more cost-efficient.
However, there are certain downsides of open-source code too. From licensing disputes to fines and security breaches to licensing obligations, it has its problems. Thankfully, Software Composition Analysis tools can help here. SCA tools can identify, catalog, check for vulnerabilities, and manage each and every aspect of open-source codes, saving not only cost but also valuable time.
Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting an SCA Tool
SCA method has been around for quite a while, with their popularity increasing every passing day. As of now, there are numerous SCA tools in various price ranges and with a different set of characteristics that you can use.
While selecting the one for your organization, here’s what you should look for in an SCA tool:
- Compatibility with multiple languages
- A robust mechanism for scanning and discovering the open-source code
- Diverse dataset to match your requirements
- Efficient license compliance program
- Ability to work with other tools involved in the software development life cycle
The Best SCA Tools You Can Use Today
Here are some of the best tools that you can use for SCA.
GitLab is a popular and well-integrated tool for SCA. An industry favorite and recommended by many professionals, GitLab gets the job done in an easy and quick manner and is the go-to SCA tool for many small-to-medium enterprises.
GitLab has strong authorization and authentication controls. It contains a broad database and detailed version logs. Moreover, an intuitive and easy-to-use interface makes it extremely user-friendly. GitLab also has a strong and active open-source community.
When it comes to GitLab’s downsides, there can be a steep learning curve for beginners. Also, there is some ambiguity surrounding its controls and permissions.
With five different ways of performing SCA, Veracode is unmatched in flexibility and range of options. The tool also prides itself on its multiple languages and framework support.
Veracode offers easy integration with automated pipelines. It also provides very detailed and thorough reports. It has a proactive threat detection mechanism, and a user-friendly UI makes it very easy to run.
Veracode can falter when handling applications with multiple frameworks. It covers a limited type of vulnerabilities compared to other tools, and its licensing mechanism is relatively more cumbersome.
3. Black Duck
Black Duck has been in the SCA game for quite some time now. Over the years, it has developed a reputation for being a stable and reliable tool.
Black Duck has competent security checks and vulnerability detection mechanisms. It is excellent at license scanning and has a highly responsive customer support system.
Black Duck might be less cost-efficient compared to the competition. Moreover, its documentation and reports are relatively more complex.
WhiteSource is another familiar name in the SCA landscape. Many developers trust it for its ease of use and stability. It also checks all our mentioned benchmarks.
WhiteSource has a great documentation mechanism. It has multiple security and scanning features with quick detection time, and can be easily integrated with other tools for better performance.
WhiteSource’s UI needs to be more user-friendly.
There is hardly anything that can go wrong when you use Snyk. Well reputed for its vulnerability detection system and seamless integration options, Snyk is one of the most reliable SCA options available on the market today. The tool is almost perfect for small-to-medium enterprises.
Snyk is very user-friendly and simple to set up. It covers an extensive database and supports a large number of programming languages. Moreover, its reports are extremely easy to comprehend.
As for the downsides, there can be some hiccups when you integrate Snyk with other SCA tools.
Checkmarx offers a complete software security suite with a dedicated user base. With unique security features – such as their notable Software Security Platform – it stands shoulder to shoulder with other leading tools.
Checkmarx has a very active threat detection mechanism. It supports a broad range of programming languages and offers very easy-to-implement recommendations for fixing bugs.
Checkmarx isn’t so good when it comes to integration with other tools. Moreover, its scanning period takes relatively more time as compared to other options on this list.
7. Micro Focus Fortify
Micro Focus Fortify is another great tool that you can use with peace of mind. Offering multitudes of services at a market-competitive price is not easy – but this tool does just that.
Micro Focus Fortify offers equally good SAST and DAST functionality. Moreover, it’s great at automation and can be easily integrated with other SCA tools.
The most notable downside of using this tool is that its cross-module compliance relatively lags behind the other options on this list.
With the ever-increasing use of open-source code in software development, SCA tools take center stage to address the problems that come with open-source. However, selecting the right SCA tool is paramount. We have tried to cover all the aspects that are involved in selecting the right SCA tool, besides also discussing the top options available on the market, to make this choice easier for you.
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