What You Need to Know About SBOM Generation Tools

There are several options for SBOM Generation tools

When it comes to tools for generating a software bill of materials (SBOM), organizations basically have three options: use a software composition analysis (SCA) product, deploy an open source command-line interface (CLI) tool, or embrace new technology to find an altogether new solution.

Whichever option an organization chooses can have a significant impact for its software security. Software vulnerabilities are common entry points for bad actors, and the number of successful attacks based on software flaws is high.

The Choices Available For SBOM Generation

Let’s briefly look at each of the three options. SCA is an automated process that identifies the open source software (OSS) in a codebase. The analysis is performed to evaluate security, license compliance and code quality.

SCA tools analyze homegrown applications, generally during the development process, to find embedded open-source software and sometimes commercial off-the-shelf components, according to research firm Gartner. SCA tools typically identify known vulnerabilities in these packages, it said, and might also determine the license used to distribute a particular software package in order to support the assessment of legal risks.

The second option is using an open source CLI tool. CLI is a text-based user interface for running programs, managing files and interacting with systems. One example is the Linux Foundation’s Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) SBOM generator, which uses a CLI to generate SBOM data such as components, licenses, copyrights and security references of applications using the SPDX v2.2 specification.

The tool was designed to help those in the open source community that want to generate SPDX SBOMs with current package managers. It automatically determines which package managers or systems are actually being used by a given piece of software.

Then there’s the third option, deploying emerging technology such as Rezilion’s Dynamic SBOM platform. While older SBOMs are static and unable to account for the constant change that’s characteristic of the software industry, a dynamic SBOM is updated automatically whenever a release happens or changes occur.

Unlike a static SBOM, a Dynamic SBOM updates changes automatically. Such changes can happen anytime, and for an SBOM to be effective it needs to be tracked in real time. This can be a difficult process, so it’s important for organizations to deploy tools that can incorporate updates automatically.

The SBOM has become an indispensable tool for ensuring that software is secure and reliable. As research firm Gartner has pointed out, organizations need to improve their ability to remediate software issues quickly by adopting SBOMs as a critical element of their software product strategy.

They can protect the integrity of the software supply chain by combining SBOM data with a robust software vulnerability management strategy, Gartner said. “An SBOM is foundational to managing the complexity and securabilty of modern software deployments,” the firm said in a report. “And product leaders must meet the growing demand for technology, best practices and solutions to support the delivery of SBOMs.”

Having the best plan and tools in place for SBOM generation are vital for success. Security leaders and teams need to make this a top priority in order to stay ahead of software vulnerabilities and keep their organizations and its customers and business partners safe from software-related threats.

To learn more about SBOM generation tools, read the buyer’s guide today.

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