Mitigating the Risks of Open Source Software in DevOps

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Speed matters when it comes to developing and releasing a new software title—nearly two-thirds of software companies report a development backlog. So, it should come as no surprise to hear that developers have been increasingly relying on open-source software (OSS) components. A given application today might be built from as much as 90% open-source code. OSS libraries and frameworks offer a significant competitive advantage by reducing DevOps costs and accelerating time to market. But the benefits of OSS also bring some risks.
First, OSS components are the favorite targets of cybercriminals. Open-source code is no more or less secure than custom code—but, as with any software, it can include vulnerabilities. Hackers understand that organizations often are unaware of the open-source components (and accompanying vulnerabilities) used within their applications. Rather than spending months trying to hack custom code, criminals can use publicly available exploits to automatically hunt for systems with OSS vulnerabilities. These attacks can be just as effective as other approaches—and with far less effort.

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