Overview

Whether you are a global corporation or a dynamic tech startup, modern software development uses open source libraries to rapidly deliver customer value. Unfortunately, open source software is routinely exploited by cybercriminals and is the single largest source of data breaches today. Only SCA can protect your enterprise fully against this risk. Only software composition analysis (SCA) can help protect organizations from open source risks. With the growing adoption of SCA, this guide identifies the differences between MergeBase and WhiteSource, so you can decide the right level of open source security needed for your business.

MergeBase

MergeBase offers open source security that meets the demands of a dynamic modern DevSecOps environment. Its solutions provide visibility into the real risk of open source with the lowest false positives in the industry.

 

WhiteSource

WhiteSource offers agile open source security and license compliance management. WhiteSource integrates with the DevOps pipeline to detect open source libraries with security or compliance issues.

5 Criteria (that matter) when Selecting an SCA

Since the most infamous breach at Equifax in 2017, adversaries routinely exploit open source vulnerabilities. Most recently (2020), the Department of Homeland Security published an alert that adversaries are continuously targeting these vulnerabilities, and the best defence is to vigorously maintain your ability to track and mitigate these emerging threats.

To protect your organization, here are the most important criteria to consider.

Visibility

With the rising use of open source at enterprises, open source security solutions must effectively detect vulnerabilities. With adversaries taking advantage of vulnerabilities within days, you need a solution that goes beyond traditional vulnerability databases for completeness and speed. Many solutions that are good at detecting vulnerabilities have an undesirable side effect of high false positives. Having high false positives, in turn, waste your valuable developer resources time triaging false positives and creates vulnerability fatigue that puts your organization at risk.

MergeBase

MergeBase accurately identifies the highest number of true vulnerabilities with the lowest false positives. MergeBase provides security analysts with an instant component inventory and “live” vulnerability reports for a given application.

Visibility: High, accurate

Whitesource

While WhiteSource found a large number of vulnerabilities, they found fewer vulnerabilities than other SCA solutions. Further investigation revealed that false negatives or vulnerabilities exist but are not detected in testing while other vulnerabilities were misclassified as “safe.” Your organization needs to determine whether accuracy matters.

Visibility: Limited, imprecise

Developer Friendly

Sophisticated cyber-security requires intense collaboration between development and security to establish a fully integrated modern DevSecOps team. In support of this high paced team, you need developer-friendly solutions and implement your enterprise controls. These robust controls enable your organization to be proactive with open source security early in the SDLC (aka “shift Left”). The earlier in the development life cycle that defects are resolved, the lower the cost and customer impact.

MergeBase

CodeGreen by MergeBase empowers developers to code securely. CodeGreen gives developer-friendly tools, guidance, integration directly into your code repositories, and enterprise controls so that they have early awareness to help your organization “shift left.”

Developer Friendly: Yes, Complete

Whitesource

WhiteSource offers a variety of developer-friendly tools, including the ability to prioritize. Unfortunately, the prioritize feature doesn’t necessarily cover all the languages your organization needs. Developers have reported that there are too many open source security alerts that do not impact their applications’ security. These organizations have reported challenges in getting continual developer co-operation.

Developer Friendly: No

Integration to your SDLC

Integration can be a significant effort with any new solution. It adds costs and time that takes away from your efforts to protect the enterprise. Some solutions give you a one-stop-shop approach but force your enterprise to adopt your vendor’s entire solution rather than your own. When did that ever work for you? Look for solutions that integrate well into your existing SDLC and your security ecosystem, and you will accelerate adoption and collaboration to your open source security program.

MergeBase

MergeBase has a set of three integrated solutions that are tailor-made for each stage of the development lifecycle, be it coding, building and deploying or production.MergeBase integrates seamlessly into your security workflow, and the onboarding process is fast and can take from hours to weeks.

SDLC Integration: Complete

WhiteSource

WhiteSource provides integration to your development lifecycle but is limited to scans earliest in the SDLC (i.e. the pre-build stage).Your organization needs to consider if limited coverage is acceptable when other solutions cover the entire SDLC.

SDLC: Limited to early in the SDLC

Triage and Remediation Options

Many mature security organizations have the means to identify vulnerabilities but often lack the ability to triage and remediate them. According to IBM research, 49% of organizations reported a breach despite having a patch available for a known vulnerability. It was just not applied. These organizations need open source security solutions that provide the means to accelerate triage, effective prioritization based on deep insights and provide multiple options for you to remediate the vulnerabilities.

MergeBase

MergeBase provides intelligent remediation options. It provides guidance to developers on what version to move to, or you can surgically block or monitor suspicious pieces in open source libraries. MergeBase offers remediation guidance so that developers are empowered with security information that helps them prioritize and automated workflows to save them time.

Triage and Remediation Options: Advanced

WhiteSource

BWhiteSource offers prioritization and triage features. Unfortunately, the prioritize feature doesn’t necessarily cover all the languages your organization needs. For example, python is not supported.  Lacks the ability to block vulnerabilities when a defined vulnerability score is met.

Triage and Remediation Options: Adequate

Total Cost of Ownership

Open source security solutions have costs that go beyond the purchase of the solution. For example, false positives can add to your total cost of ownership (TCO). It creates additional work and often a lot of back and forth between different groups in the organization. Your valuable resources are directed to triage and resolve false positives. The people, technology, and process costs need to be factored into your total cost of ownership calculator to get a sense of the true cost of your open source solution.

Do you know your true cost of securing open source? Calculate my TCO

MergeBase

MergeBase total cost of ownership is amongst the lowest compared to its industry peers. It is a SaaS solution from the ground up which automatically enables continuous upgrades streamlines the onboarding process and operations. The low false positives help reduce resource, technology, and process costs to own and operate your open source security program.

Total Cost of Ownership: Low

Whitesource

Some organizations have had trouble grasping the full capabilities of Whitesource and need to consider the additional cost of hiring the right expertise. The high level of security alerts means you will need to redeploy your precious development resources to address them early on. There is an onboarding cost, especially if developers feel the security alerts are not justified, as reported by some organizations using WhiteSource.

Total Cost of Ownership: Mid Tier

The MergeBase Advantage


Criteria MergeBase WhiteSource
Visibility High, Accurate Limited, Imprecise
Developer Friendly? Yes No, incomplete
Integration to your SDLC Complete Limited to early in the SDLC
Triage and Remediation
Options
Advanced Adequate
Total Cost of Ownership Lowest Mid Tier

Selecting the right open source security solution is critical to protecting your organization and your budget. The bottom line is you need a full-featured and cost-effective solution that s quickly adopted by all your teams. MergeBase provides visibility to the real risk in their applications from vulnerable open source components at every stage of the development lifecycle. MergeBase accelerates triage by minimizing false positives and deemphasizing vulnerabilities in unused code. It automates remediation during development and can block attacks on vulnerable components in production.

For more information on this guide and to learn more about how MergeBase can help protect your organization from open source risk please connect with us for a remote consultation or email us at  help@mergebase.com

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Optional Developer Add-on

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