Don’t Let Third-Party Vulnerabilities Run Wild

Don't Let Third-Party Vulnerabilities Run Wild

You’re leaving up to 90% of what you run exposed to threats. Today’s software and applications are predominantly built with third-party components. Don’t let third-party vulnerabilities run wild! It isn’t enough to analyze your own code–your Software Composition Analysis (SCA) tools need to also consider any third-party components used by your offering and services. 

Learn what you can do to not let third-party vulnerabilities happen


The Growing Influence of Open Source Components:

Over the past 15 years, the development of software has seen a significant shift towards utilizing open source components and libraries. These elements now constitute a substantial portion of the global software supply chain. This trend continues to gain momentum as more frameworks and libraries emerge from open source repositories. However, this increased reliance on open source also raises concerns regarding the security of software systems.

Understanding the Software Supply Chain:

Imagine a software system as a complex structure comprising proprietary software and various libraries. The proprietary software, represented by light blue in the diagram, relies on these libraries to build and enhance functionality. The challenge lies in the fact that some of these libraries may contain known vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit to breach the system.

Open source software, while beneficial in many ways, has inadvertently made software more vulnerable. Attackers can exploit automated systems to continuously probe websites and web applications for vulnerabilities. Once they discover an exploit, they can effortlessly apply it to thousands of targets. Disturbingly, victims may remain unaware of the breach until it’s too late. The repeatable nature of these attacks poses a significant threat to organizations of all sizes.

Understanding Open Source Vulnerabilities:

The quality of open source libraries is not necessarily inferior. In fact, open source code often benefits from increased scrutiny, better documentation, extensive testing, and robust architecture. However, the sheer number of eyes on open source software can inadvertently work against security efforts.

Among the multitude of individuals scrutinizing the code, a few may identify vulnerabilities and exploit them to breach systems. Furthermore, timely patching presents a significant challenge. While patches are released to address discovered vulnerabilities, not all organizations can promptly update their software, leaving them susceptible to attacks.

Real-world Examples

Several notable breaches in recent years have highlighted the severity of software supply chain vulnerabilities. One standout incident is the SolarWinds breach, which serves as a cautionary tale. The attack targeted the build system, leveraging weaknesses in open source components. This breach exposed the potential risks associated with the software supply chain and underscored the need for heightened security measures.


Software supply chain security is an issue that affects organizations of all sizes and industries. The reliance on open source components and libraries, while advantageous, comes with inherent risks. Breaches in one part of the supply chain can have devastating consequences for entire systems. To mitigate these risks, organizations must prioritize proactive security measures, including regular vulnerability assessments, timely patching, and robust incident response protocols.

One effective solution to mitigate the risks associated with third-party vulnerabilities in the software supply chain is to leverage SCA tools like MergeBase. MergeBase SCA is a powerful tool that helps organizations stay on top of their dependencies and manage the security of their software more effectively.

By using MergeBase, organizations can gain better visibility into their software supply chain, identify vulnerable components, and track the status of security patches and updates.

Julius Musseau

About the Author

Julius Musseau

Co-founder & Advisor. Senior architect and developer with strong academic background and roots in the open source community. Contributor to a number of important open source projects.