Open Source Components Fail to Receive Suitable Security Attention
Less than 25 percent of developers test components for vulnerabilities at every release
April 12, 2018

Pete Chestna
CA Veracode

Only 52 percent of developers using commercial or open source components in their applications update those components when a new security vulnerability is announced, according to new research conducted by Vanson Bourne for CA Veracode, part of CA Technologies. This highlights organizations' lack of security awareness and puts organizations at risk of a breach.


Software development processes like DevSecOps have helped improve the security of the code developers write. However, these same development processes value speed and efficiency to keep up with the demands of the application economy. As a result, developers rely on components that borrow features and functionality from existing projects and libraries. The research shows that 83 percent of respondents use either or both commercial and open source components, with an average of 73 components being used per application.

While components boost developers’ efficiency, and their use is considered a best practice, these components come with inherent security risks. Despite finding an average of 71 vulnerabilities per application introduced through the use of third-party components, only 23 percent of respondents reported testing for vulnerabilities in components at every release. This may be a result of only 71 percent of organizations reporting to having a formal application security (AppSec) program in place.

What’s more, only 53 percent of organizations keep an inventory of all components in their applications. According to The State of Software Security Report 2017 (SOSS), fewer than 28 percent of companies conduct regular composition analysis to understand which components are built into their applications.

This report shows that development (44 percent) or security (31 percent) teams are most likely to be responsible for the maintenance of third-party commercial and open source components, which suggests a move towards responsibility for the development team. As awareness around open source risk continues to grow, providing developers with the solutions, education and visibility to mitigate risk becomes a critical component to the Modern Software Factory approach to development that helps to build better, more secure, apps faster.

We know that developers care about creating great code, and that means creating secure code. In order to be successful, developers need to have clarity on the security policy and the tools to measure against it. When the goal is clear and we give developers access to those tools, they are able to integrate scanning earlier into the SDLC and make informed decisions that take security into consideration. Through this, we see a marked improvement in secure software development and the resulting outcomes.

Methodology: CA Veracode commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 400 application developers from the U.S. (200 respondents), UK (100 respondents), and Germany (100 respondents) to understand the maturity of organizations’ component security. Polling was conducted online in February of 2018.

Pete Chestna is Director of Developer Engagement at CA Veracode
Share this

Industry News

August 06, 2020

Push Technology announced the launch of a new Kafka Adapter for their Diffusion Intelligent Data Mesh.

August 06, 2020

Appvia announced the launch of its Cost Prediction and Visibility tool, integrated within the latest version of its Kore platform.

August 06, 2020

LogiGear announced the newest addition to the TestArchitect™ family, TestArchitect Gondola.

August 05, 2020

Logz.io announced a partnership with HashiCorp, a provider in multi-cloud infrastructure automation software.

August 05, 2020

Digitate, a software venture of Tata Consultancy Services, announced the release of ignio™ AI.Assurance, an autonomous assurance product that enables enterprises to deliver better software faster, enhancing their business performance.

August 05, 2020

Harness acquired self-service Continuous Integration firm Drone.io, the creator of the open-source project Drone.

August 04, 2020

Aqua Security announced that its Cloud Native Security Platform is available through Red Hat® Marketplace, an open cloud marketplace that makes it easier to discover and access certified software for container-based environments across the hybrid cloud.

August 04, 2020

Threat Stack announced the availability of Threat Stack Container Security Monitoring for AWS Fargate.

August 04, 2020

OpenLogic by Perforce now provides an enterprise-class alternative to Oracle Java by offering OpenJDK distributions backed by OpenLogic support.

August 03, 2020

MuseDev launched on Github Marketplace the Early Access version of its code analysis platform, Muse, to help developers find and fix critical security, performance, and reliability bugs, efficiently, before they reach QA or production.

August 03, 2020

Styra announced Rego Policy Builder for the Styra Declarative Authorization Service (DAS).

August 03, 2020

Felicis Ventures has invested an additional $5M in Sourcegraph, bringing the total raised to over $46M, including a $23M Series B in March 2020 led by Craft Ventures.

July 30, 2020

New Relic delivered strategic updates to New Relic One.

July 30, 2020

IT Revolution announced the DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas 2020 will be going virtual.

July 30, 2020

Adaptavist announced the acquisition of Go2Group, a US technology firm specializing in Agile and DevOps services and cloud solutions for the enterprise.