The 2021 SCA Comparison Guide


Choosing the right software composition analysis solution to protect your enterprise from open source vulnerabilities is more critical than ever. Our 2021 Software Composition Analysis Comparison Guide can help you navigate the criteria that matter so that you can pick the right SCA for your organization.


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 others tools, so you can decide the right level of open source security needed for your business.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The MergeBase Advantage

Criteria MergeBase BlackDuck (Synopsys) WhiteSource Snyk Sonatype
Visibility High, Accurate Limited Limited, Not Precise Incomplete, Lacks Granularity Incomplete
Developer Friendly? Yes No No, Incomplete No No
Integration to your SDLC Complete Limited Limited Limited Incomplete
Triage and Remediation
Advanced Limited Adequate Adequate Incomplete
Total Cost of Ownership Lowest Highest Mid Tier High Tier High 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 is 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 at

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