5 steps to make open source apps safe

finger, structure, internetThe applications created by the open source model is getting more popular. Nowadays, the market is dominated by open source applications, according to research done by Forrester. It states that closed code applications make 20% of the market at its maximum.

Open source is now widely used almost everywhere it is possible. Organizations of different statuses use it, as it creates enormous possibilities for development, learning, and saving costs and time on new applications, which leads to the advance in the whole industry.

Most cyber–attacks, 80%, are oriented on applications. Cyber–attacks on apps are more complicated to repress than those of the network. This makes open source applications quite a risky enterprise, as the basis–code of lots of different application is the same and can be exposed to cyber–attacks, and it is the primary security issue, nowadays.

However, open source applications are as exposed to cyber-attacks as closed code ones, and the security issue is rather common for both parties. But some characteristics draw attention of the cyber attackers, especially if the application is popular. Open source has more applications, hence more customers, so usual testing instruments cannot identify the open source, and not so many companies really know how many open source codes were used to create this or that app, meaning, if the company doesn’t know the potentially weak components in their app, they automatically become a target for cyber–attacks.

1. Keep a track of your open source

You cannot make sure your app is safe until you know the foundation codes from open source used. That’s why it is logical to inventory all open source components. The ‘track-list’ should comprise all open source features, used versions, and keep track of all the locations. Don’t forget about the dependencies and libraries, which should also be reflected in your inventory.

2. Keep in touch with relevant vulnerability information

Stay informed about the possible vulnerabilities by being in contact with the National Vulnerability Database, for example. NVD can give you information about known vulnerabilities in open source software. However, NVD is only one among many sources, and it is not always synchronized and gives relevant information when you need it. Sometimes, the way they record the information is hard to understand and find out which type of open-source component is compromised. So, it is in your best interest to find other sources of information similar to NVD.

3. Prevent other open source issues

Inability to follow all the open source licenses can become a real problem of the organizations that may cause violation of an intellectual property. If the components are the old version or of bad quality, it can reflect on the quality of your application. Always check for updates of the components, choose the most stable versions, or those that are chosen by your influential peers in this sphere.

4. Follow and document your usage of the open source

Lots of organizations make the same mistake: they have no clue how to use open source policies and have no documents, and it is a tricky situation. Make sure you have one department of responsible agents, who watch the policies, utilization, and control developers in using this open source component. Also, everything should be documented.

5. Instantly control fresh open source vulnerabilities

As long as your open source based application operates, you need to control new threats, as open source and the vulnerabilities are evolving. According to estimates, every day, 10 new vulnerabilities are discovered, and you need to check it, even if your application has already been developed.

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