Neeraj Kumawat in Software Testing, Technology, Developers Aug 5, 2020 · 1 min read · ~100

3 Open Source Security Risks and How to Address Them: What You Need to Know

3 Open Source Security Risks and How to Address Them: What You Need to Know

Open source software is very popular and makes up a significant portion of business applications. According to Synopsys, 99% of commercial databases contain at least one open source component, and nearly 75% of these codebases contain open source security vulnerabilities.

One of the major reasons why companies and developers choose to work with open source software is that it saves them from having to develop these base capabilities themselves.

Oh, and open source software is free!

Despite its advantages, open source software tends to have vulnerabilities that might impact your data and organization. In order to give you an overview of how open source security risks can impact your business, we have listed the top three open source security risks and ways to address them.

Before we dive into the article, let’s take a look at what exactly open source vulnerabilities are.

What Are Open Source Vulnerabilities?

Open source vulnerabilities are basically security risks in open source software. These are weak or vulnerable code that allows attackers to conduct malicious attacks or perform unintended actions that are not authorized.

In some cases, open source vulnerabilities can lead to cyberattacks like denial of service (DoS). It can also cause major breaches during which an attacker might get unauthorized access to sensitive information of an organization.

There are a lot of security concerns when it comes to open source software. For instance, OpenSSL is an encryption library responsible for managing highly sensitive data transmission functions by a wide variety of internet-connected software including the software that runs some of the most popular email, messaging, and web services.

You remember “Heartbleed”? Yes, that caused quite a stir! Yes, that was a critical open source vulnerability in a SSH library.

Similarly, another popular open source vulnerability was found in 2014 in Bash shell, the default command processor on many Linux distributions. It had an arbitrary command execution vulnerability that could be exploited remotely via server-side CGI scripts on web servers, and other mechanisms. This open source vulnerability is popularly known as “Shellshock.”

What are the Top 3 Open Source Security Risks?

Now that you have a fair idea about what open source security risks are, let’s explore the top three open source security risks that exist today and how you can mitigate these risks.

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