Best Practices for Using Open-Source Software Safely

Best Practices for Using Open-Source Software Safely

With DevOps becoming the default development application for organizations today, there is no longer a question regarding the use of open-source software operations. Enterprise managers are in a race against time and other metrics to make open-source software the go-to option for enterprise software.

Commercial software operations have also been affected by the disparity in Dev-op operations. The questions can extend to open-source software and become overwhelming. Recent research in this regard has revealed that 80 percent of the code used in software development today is open-source in nature.

With greater reliance on open-source software and cybersecurity hosting the same importance as before, attention to detail is a requirement that developers can no longer seclude. In this article, we mention some of the best practices and top tips you can follow to keep using open-source software. The tips will make sure that your data is safeguarded from hacks in the future.

Create a Policy

Most software development policies are focused on finishing projects and development work as soon as humanly possible. With such policies, it can be hard for organizations to focus on other roles and improve software implementation.

If you want to use open-source software across your organization, you should have a detailed policy in place. The policy should put down principles that developers, operation staff and management can all follow under one roof. The policy should point out areas where developers and operation staff members can improve over time.

The policy should intend to engage all stakeholders and should provide a definite path for improvement in the future. The main purpose is to reduce risk in software development and provide a safe passage to glory in open-source software. The understanding of risk can then open doors to better application security management.

Track and Update all Components

Old chunks of code are no more than a ticking time bomb that should be avoided at all costs. Organizations should look to avoid all code as it provides a safe entry for hackers into the organizational ecosystem.

The policy we talked about in the point below should also contain a detailed list of features to update and upgrade blogs. Upgrading a project ensures that problems are fixed whenever a bug is found. The policy ensures that all relevant updates are managed appropriately, and there is nothing left for hackers to target and gain access through.

One of the most important factors to consider while updating your project is to realize the components that need constant upgrading. Developers have access to plenty of tools and scanning solutions to help them find out areas they should regularly update in their open-source platform.

Go for Automation

Automation is the need of the hour today, and can help smaller organizations move towards a model based on DevOps and agile management. Automation is the conduit that allows small-scale organizations to work on defined tasks and find solutions to problems.

Automation is considered to be a critical part of open-source security. GitHub is one organization that has come up with an automation tool to manage dependencies in their system and make sure that the code used in all projects is not repeated and is the latest version of that code. There are a number of tools available to developers and organizations to secure their software and move towards automation.

SOAR or Security, Orchestration, Automation and Response tools can help achieve proficiency over the board and lead to the minimization of security risks impacting the organization. The risks, when minimized, can lead to quality code and better results.

Focus on Dependencies

Almost all applications in the virtual age are built through open-source components and features. These open-source components are eventually made from other open-source components. The cycle of open-source components can lead to vulnerabilities in the system, which can lead to hacks and cyber-attacks. Most of the times software teams and developers aren’t aware of the open-source components they are using.

The average codebase studied during the year 2019 was found to have a mix of 400 plus components. These dependencies have only gone up since then. Developers can use dependency check tools to analyze their code and find out vulnerabilities and dependencies in the system.

Attention on Project Size

Organizations should also focus on the size of the project they are working on. Open-source projects exist in multiple sizes and variations. There are projects with thousands and hundreds of contributors, while others have a single active developer and administrator.

When it comes to open-source security, you should always gear up based on the size of the project. Larger projects are at a greater harm, which is why there should be more eyes focusing on vulnerabilities within such projects. The code team can find out vulnerabilities in the system and tackle them based on the provided input.

Repositories Matter

Finally, it should be noted that the repository you go for maintaining your codebase matters a lot. The code for your software usually comes from the repository that ranks at the top of the search results. There are often some reservations over the feasibility of stored open-source code.

Most open-source developers maintain their code on GitHub. Developers should know the limitations of the repository they use. These limitations can help prepare them for the future. Development managers should work together with security teams to make sure that the code is sourced from a solid repository. The reputation of the enterprise is at times based on the quality of the code, which is why it shouldn’t be compromised.

The open-source environment is becoming popular with the passing minute. More and more developers are recognizing the benefits of the model, including how it initiates better results. However, there is a strategic need for certain practices to be followed. We hope the practices mentioned in this article help you ensure a smooth experience with open-source software.