Open Source software is open to more vulnerabilities more than ever. Open Source has been undoubtedly the foundation of the modern digital economy. As it is said, any modern software now constitutes of 70-80% of the Open Source.
It certainly provides us with countless benefits: being cost-effective, constantly evolving, and it being collaborative. However, it struggles with the security vulnerabilities that are discovered and also the ones which aren’t known yet. With the adoption we have witnessed of it, there’s a higher risk for the organizations that are on this boat.
Waiting for a lifetime
The emerging issues includes of the traditional vulnerabilities and waiting for longer time periods for a fix to be released is a matter of urgency that we need to address. Keeping in view the fact that open source code is freely available for any individual to modify, share and distribute.
As mentioned in the report by Linux Foundation, “Software components need to be named in a standardized fashion for security strategies to be effective”. It was actively observed that the naming convention used across different repositories was inconsistent, resulting in longer delays for any security measure to be effectively implemented.
Similar reasons contributed towards a report by ZDNet mentioning that a security vulnerability existed for over four years, before it was detected. The impact of this on the software security is unimaginable, we agree. Github reported 94% of the projects relying on open-source components surprisingly. They do believe that the vulnerability detection should be improved.
Without a doubt, Open source community does play a vital role in the modern software development industry. The vulnerabilities are going to exist, but Github has recommendations. They recommend the project developers and maintainers to check their dependencies for vulnerabilities, regularly. Moreover they should implement an automated alert for their potential security issues in a more efficient manner.
Major security concerns
The major concerns with the code’s security is that it is rapidly growing and is usually only checked against the known vulnerabilities. This means that the code is not analyzed hence missing out on potential security vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities that stay contained in the code provides malicious individuals as an opportunity to attack the software making it more impactful.
The malicious malwares, backdoors, crypto-miners and other malicious piece of codes being contained in the open source software makes the code analysis a matter of urgency. For it’s security to be ensured, all of the applications must be analyzed for open source and third party libraries against the known vulnerabilities.
Education is necessary
Only few software developers know how to develop a secure software and securing their existing applications. This might be due to them not having sufficient education, which clearly isn’t just the problem with the open source community.
Developers are limited with their options to get done with the development in a secure manner. This is due to them lacking fundamental knowledge resulting them being ineffective. The various practices they learn and the tools they used, often fail in context but they’re unable to realize.
There will always be a need to discover vulnerabilities in an existing software, it can never be eliminated. The problem remains with the time it is taken till a fix is released. The need of the time is to reduce the difference between vulnerability detection and fixes.
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