Having researched the importance of securing your company’s intellectual property, you have started down the road towards what tools work best for securing it. Let’s look at the three most common tools companies should consider purchasing and where best to allocate your cybersecurity funds. The three most popular tools are SCA, SAST, and DAST.

Software Composition Analysis (SCA) verifies the third-party libraries, frameworks, and components used within your application; SCA tools consider all the code your team did not write, known as open source software.

Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a popular Application Security (AppSec) tool that scans an application’s source, binary, or byte code that identifies the root cause of vulnerabilities and helps remediate the underlying security flaws. SAST solutions analyze an application from the “inside out” and do not need a running system to perform a scan.

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is a type of application security that tests an application for vulnerabilities by attacking a web app in the same manner as a hacker would: is a type of application security that tests an application for vulnerabilities by attacking a web app in the same manner as a hacker would: purposefully and with no prior knowledge or access to its source code.

Up to 90% of a company’s code is not written by its developers. This software is from open-source repositories that developers leverage to improve development efficiency. It makes sense to start with SCA over Static Application Security Testing (SAST), and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) since up to 90% of an organization’s Intellectual Property comes from these open source repositories.

Organizations often ignore security and risk management challenges associated with open source. 85% of security attacks are directed at software applications today, according to Forrester’s State of Application Security 2021. When organizations lack visibility into open source, they cannot effectively mitigate and remediate open source vulnerabilities.

Everyone can access and use open source. Hackers are well aware of this since they can access publicly available information about open source vulnerabilities and detailed instructions for exploiting them. A vulnerability is reported, and a technique to exploit it is published as soon as it is reported. Failing to identify and remediate these known vulnerabilities quickly introduces significant risk.

SCA Strengths

  • Reliably detects and maps known open source vulnerabilities that other methods cannot find.
  • It provides a comprehensive SBOM of all open source software in use.
  • Vulnerabilities are detected in real-time.
  • WHEN FACILITATING AN EXIT, the VC community requires due diligence with an organization’s license compliance. If your open source licensing is compromised, the organization may be unable to exit. SAST and DAST cannot inform you of your license compliance issues.

With the proliferation of open source code, application security is evolving rapidly. Since open source offers many benefits, it has become the foundation for modern application development. Therefore, an application security testing approach that includes only SAST/DAST and focuses only on proprietary code can leave significant vulnerability identification and management gaps.

  • SAST and DAST take more time to perform than SCA. They need actual source code or running applications to function correctly.
  • SAST and DAST are more expensive than SCA because they require additional resources like developers, security professionals, and time. Additionally, identified defects found by SAST and DAST solutions are often found later in the development/QA process, which increases costs – issues found early by the Threatrix SCA solution can be much less expensive to remediate.

The vulnerabilities that SCA tools find in third-party components come from numerous places, including:

Common Vulnerability Enumeration

The CVE (Common Vulnerability Enumeration) database exploits DB, independent security researchers, research that the vendor has performed themselves, and information released by the frameworks or third-party component creators.

The Threatrix SCA solution does not need to perform static or dynamic code analysis within the third-party components themselves; the solution identifies issues by identifying the specific open source code in place, assessing whether that code creates risk, and then reports findings based upon the pre-identified weaknesses identified in the CVE.

This results in very fast reporting and generally highly accurate results compared to SAST or DAST.

SCA is considered a valuable tool for finding vulnerabilities in code and protecting the software supply chain. It is vital because all companies use open-source code and must be aware of their usage limits, licensing obligations, and vulnerabilities found within the open source. Doing this manually can be painstaking, and Threatrix automates the entire process.

‍Threatrix reduces the risk of the use of open-source software. Our scans produce an SBOM of an organization’s open-source software used in their intellectual property. We know which components are associated with the projects.

We see what vulnerabilities and licenses are associated with those components and suggest moving to a secure version or automatically upgrading it to the next secure version or the latest secure version. We integrate with the existing DevOps environment to automate component detection and provide developers with data for easy remediation.

Threatrix scans all six locations where developers use open source. Tools that only look in dependency managers or package managers will miss up to 60% of the open source, exposing organizations to vulnerabilities and licensing infractions.

Accurate solutions provide deep detection that scans dependency and package managers and downloaded files installed in projects, forked projects, static references, and embedded open source (snippet level detection.)

✔ = limited coverage/limited languages

Components with known vulnerabilities, legal license compliance checks, and obsolete component information should be the minimum a security tool provides. 

Accuracy of results: All automated tool results contain false positives, meaning the tool reported an issue but not a valid issue. A solution with low false-positive rates reduces the overall effort spent on corrections through a manual process. There is no need for teams to clean up the results provided by Threatrix. Developers click a button to move an insecure version to the latest secure version.

Fix Recommendations: Threatrix provides automated fix recommendations and guidelines to speed up the process of compliant and vulnerability-free code. When fix recommendations are not helpful or practical, developers will spend extra time understanding and fixing the problems manually.

Supported Technologies: Most tools support less than 23 languages. Threatrix supports major technologies and 400+ programming languages.

Scanning Time: Slow scan times hinder engineers’ completion of their projects. Choosing a tool with shorter scan times can help expedite the CI/CD pipeline time allowing developers to complete their tasks on time. Our results are provided during builds within seconds.

Effort and time required: Some tools take hours and require more effort to deploy and gain results. Threatrix’s entire deployment process can take less than 15 minutes. Security teams can save time and effort by employing simpler deployment models.

Features: Threatrix focuses on enterprise accounts’ needs (with smaller organizations gaining access to a proper enterprise solution), with granular security controls integrated into the solution. Our proprietary entity management architecture creates secure data silos within an organization to keep sensitive data on a need-to-know basis, like vulnerabilities in websites or apps. The solution is configurable, so only the required personnel working on those apps can see and remediate those vulnerabilities, allowing companies to govern their projects per the organization’s privacy/compliance/security policies. This design dramatically reduces exposure to inside attacks.

Licenses: Threatrix is the only solution that can accurately detect embedded assets (snippets of open source code) within custom-developed code and report on the license risks associated with embedding that open source code into custom-developed applications. We can determine the exact file version from which an embedded asset was taken. All code in your repository is scanned to determine whether it is open source or code your team wrote. This is imperative because many of today’s projects are converting from permissive to commercial or viral licenses (copyleft licenses).

Threatrix can accurately detect entire open source projects, partially open source files, and embedded open-source assets as small as 256 bytes in seconds while reporting the exact version number and licenses.

We are the only company that automates license attribution at the project level and in the source code to efficiently govern legal and security policies, reducing developers’ pressure to perform this task manually.


  • By introducing safety and compliance checks early, open-source developers can significantly reduce development time and effort.
    • Open source issues are identified early in development for more efficient and less costly remediation efforts.
  • Creates immediate transparency to compliance, legal, and security personnel to identify where open source has been included within organizational development projects and identifies organizational risks introduced by developer use of open source components.
    • A Company’s security posture significantly improves for applications/products. As part of the deployment, compliance reports will facilitate clearance from internal/client information security teams.
    • Addressing components with copyleft licenses or commercial licenses improves legal compliance, reduces risks associated with inappropriate licensing, causing closed source software to become open source, and satisfies M&A requirements and Investor scrutiny.
    • Can even identify new findings in production without scanning the running production environment – and thus allow for detection and remediation activities without introducing the added risk of running a dynamic scan in production.
  • Obsolete components can be upgraded to reduce technical debt.
  • With automated scanning, results are available almost immediately and require little to no manual intervention resulting in less impact on delivery schedules.
  • Threatrix provides policy/procedure templates with embedded leading practices that may be customized for internal use to help codify and integrate Threatrix for maximum organizational benefit.
  • Threatrix SCA can identify newly discovered vulnerabilities in production even after SAST and DAST solutions have provided a clean bill of health – thus allowing streamlined remediation to address the newly discovered issue.

Open source security and license compliance is a constantly moving target. As a result, it’s crucial that organizations regularly review and iterate on their security policies and tool selections and that all organization security members are involved and informed of these processes.