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Best Practices for Open Source Security

Introduction

The use of open-source code has been increasing since developers generally use community-built code according to the application functionality and use content-security policies and CORS. It boosts the development speed and also provides reliability to the developers. 

However, most of these libraries are often vulnerable, and organizations need to use open source security before implementing open source code and make their use restricted. This article will discuss some of the best practices companies can employ for open source security.

1. Establishing Policies for Open-Source Use

Due to the widespread professional use of open source libraries, they must obey any set of rules or standards set by a corporate policy document for developers to use them. 

Here, the organization’s responsibility lies in creating an official set of guidelines and updating it periodically to limit code libraries to secure and trustworthy options. Having a compliance committee or official who checks the code libraries for compliance with the open-source usage policy can also help.

Organizations should also train employees to deal with open-source packages and libraries. In addition, they should know how to adhere to open-source security compliance standards and deal with any vulnerabilities that may show up during the development cycle. 

2. Continuous Monitoring of Open-Source Code

Continuous Monitoring is an automated procedure that allows the DevOps team to observe and detect changes in a system. During each phase of the CI/CD pipeline, there are challenges related to compliance and security risks. In IT, this procedure is sometimes extended to include code monitoring after being pushed into production or designated as open source. After the code has been deployed to production or into the open-source community, the developers can recognize the security threat. It is critical to fix those vulnerabilities and keep the code up to date. 

As a result, continuous monitoring is required to implement open source security, and organization personnel must be aware of the changes that will be made as a result to make open-source code secure. If that script is vulnerable, it will have a significant impact on a lot of resources.

Organizations must create a culture where someone is responsible for code so that when it is released, the relevant person will be ready to handle it. They will be in charge of vulnerability patches for that code, maintaining a checklist to check all possible concerns.

3. Pay Attention to Your Tokens and Credentials

It is vital to check files every time we publish them in the public domain. They may have hardcoded credentials and sensitive information such as database passwords, API keys, secret and access keys of any cloud account”. These tokens can be used to carry out attacks on the organization with ease.

Here’s an example: suppose your company posts code on Github but forgets to delete the API key. In that case, an attacker can easily exploit the API key to gain access to their internal infrastructure and sensitive data stored on their servers.

4. Performing Continuous Source Code Review and Application Testing: 

One of the most common ways to identify vulnerabilities is through source code reviews or application testing. The source code review searches for flaws in the open code, makes them secure, and ensures that the functions and logic are correctly implemented. In addition, continuous testing verifies that the application is free of vulnerabilities and can be delivered quickly. 

Conclusion

Open-source security works best when all stakeholders shoulder some of the responsibility to create and implement secure code. In this article, we covered four best practices for open-source security: implementing policies for using open-source code, continuously monitoring code, paying attention to tokens and credentials, and constantly checking the source code and conducting application testing.

Ehacking Staff
With more than 50 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading cybersecurity training provider. EH Academy is the brainchild of Ehacking, which has been involved in the field of training since the past Five years and continues to help in creating professional IT experts.

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