As the software supply chain becomes increasingly complex in today’s interconnected world, securing it becomes more challenging. Supply chain attacks have become more frequent and sophisticated. Organizations must ensure their software is free from open source vulnerabilities while understanding the obligations of the attached licenses.

One critical aspect of securing the software supply chain is knowing the origin of the software components, which is where proof of provenance (POP) comes into play. We will explore POP, why it is crucial, why an SCA tool is incomplete without it, and how Threatrix provides this critical element of security and compliance discovery for the health of all Intellectual property.

What is POP?

Proof of provenance is verifying and authenticating the origin and history of a software component or product to ensure that it is legitimate and has not been tampered with. It involves verifying the authenticity and integrity of the software component by collecting and analyzing metadata that describes its creation, modification, and distribution history. It involves verifying the software components’ origin. Provenance data should include the original creator or author of the software component, the date it was created, and any modifications made since its first inception.

The goal of proof of provenance is to assure users and organizations that the software component or product is trustworthy, secure, and reliable. Proof of provenance is an essential security measure in supply chain management. It is used to mitigate the risk of supply chain attacks and other security threats that can compromise the integrity and security of software systems.

Why is Proof of Provenance Important for Software Supply Chain Security?

Software supply chain attacks have become increasingly common, with attackers exploiting vulnerabilities to gain access to critical systems. These breaches can have devastating consequences, ranging from data breaches to system shutdowns. One way of mitigating the risk is by using a security tool that provides the provenance of each open source component used in the applications.

By verifying the provenance of the software components, organizations can ensure that they are not using components that have been modified or replaced by malicious actors, reducing the risks and ensuring that organizations can trust the software they use.

Why is a Supply Chain Security Tool Incomplete Without Proof of Provenance?

An SCA (Software Composition Analysis) tool is essential to any security and compliance strategy. It helps to identify vulnerabilities in software components used in an application and provides organizations with the information they need to address and automate vulnerability fixes. However, an SCA tool is incomplete without proof of provenance for each open source component, file, and snippets of code. Without the correct origin, a company may still be using components modified or replaced by malicious actors. This undermines the effectiveness of the SCA tool and leaves organizations vulnerable to attacks.

How Does Threatrix Stand Alone in Offering Proof of Provenance?

Threatrix stands alone in the supply chain risk remediation and compliance space by providing documented proof of provenance, giving organizations a comprehensive software bill of materials (SBOM) of open source vulnerabilities and the correct licenses attached to the software components. This is important because licenses change over time, and without knowing the correct attached license, organizations are blind to the possible implications of the legally bound requirements. This ensures that organizations can trust the open source software embedded within the intellectual property to significantly reduce the risk and legal implications of inaccurate licensing data.

Threatrix’s proof of provenance creates a digital signature for each software component used in an application. This signature includes information such as the component’s creator, its creation date, and any modifications made. Threatrix TrueMatch algorithm ensures that the open source component is authentic and has not been tampered with.

The Importance of Continuous Monitoring

Continuous monitoring involves regularly scanning software and all the dependencies down to the snippet level and locating all open source software during a developer’s project build. Threatrix provides the results of the scans with the POP within a few minutes during your release cycle. The use of open source software can also create a complex web of license obligations that must be carefully managed. Failure to comply with license obligations can result in legal issues and reputational damage. Therefore, it is essential to continuously monitor open source software licenses during build-time, providing the ability to immediately address known risks to a company’s Intellectual property.

By continuously monitoring for vulnerabilities, organizations can identify and address issues before they are exploited as long as the POP is included with the SBOM.

Regulations and Standards connected to the POP

The federal government now requires any software provider that sells software to them must provide an SBOM, but without the facts to back up the information provided, then the data only creates more work and stress for development and compliance teams because the information simply can’t be trusted.

POP is important for compliance with regulations and standards related to software supply chain security, such as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and the Software Supply Chain Integrity (SSCI) framework. These regulations require organizations to demonstrate that they have implemented adequate security measures to ensure the integrity and authenticity of their software components.

In summary, proof of provenance is essential for ensuring the accuracy and trustworthiness of an SBOM. Without proof of provenance, the SBOM cannot be trusted, and the security and integrity of the software system are at risk. By providing businesses with a way of verifying their software components’ provenance, Threatrix helps mitigate the open source vulnerability risk and helps companies understand and comply with the licensing legal obligations.

About Threatrix

Threatrix AI-powered platform detects and responds to security and license risks derived from open-source software developer team’s use. Threatrix technology helps eliminates risk by managing open-source dependencies, technical debt, and license compliance with very little developer involvement. The platform was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the world’s largest and most demanding customers ensuring releases are fast, secure, and compliant.