The Top 10 Software Composition Analysis Tools

Explore features such as open-source component scanning, license compliance checks, and vulnerability management to ensure your software is built securely and efficiently.

The Top 10 Software Composition Analysis tools include:
  • 1. Aikido Security
  • 2. CAST Highlight
  • 3. Checkmarx SCA
  • 4. FOSSA
  • 5. GitLab
  • 6. JFrog X-Ray SCA
  • 7. Mend SCA
  • 8. Snyk Open Source (SCA)
  • 9. Synopsys Black Duck Software Composition Analysis
  • 10. Veracode SCA

Software Composition Analysis (SCA) tools identify open-source components within software applications. Open-source components can make up a significant portion of an application’s codebase, and relying on these components may introduce security vulnerabilities, licensing issues, and maintenance challenges. Its therefore important that developers can track the usage of open source code within their applications, assess any security and compliance risks, and remediate them effectively.

SCA tools work by integrating with the DevOps pipeline by scanning the application code and dependencies during development, testing, and deployment phases. They inspect source code and package managers, comparing code against knowledge bases which contain known and common vulnerabilities. This then flags any vulnerabilities, errors, or issues with the overall code quality.

This process helps in reducing the risks associated with open-source usage while adhering to compliance regulations and industry standards. SCA tools further provide automation capabilities, vulnerability remediation guidance, and continuous monitoring to ensure that organizations take a proactive approach to secure their software supply chain.

As developers look to “shift left” and introduce code security analysis earlier into the SDLC, the use case for Composition Analysis tools is rapidly growing. In this guide we will explore the top 10 Software Composition Analysis tools, including their key features, to help organizations make an informed decision.

Aikido Logo

Aikido Security is an integrated web application security platform designed for software development teams. It combines a host of application scanning tools into a singular platform, providing features such as Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), open source dependency scanning, secrets detection, static code analysis, infrastructure as code scanning, and container scanning. Aikido seamlessly fits into your existing technology stack, allowing for easy monitoring and issue management within your current toolset.
Aikido Security offers a range of robust scanning tools, including continuous surface monitoring, open source license scanning, malware detection in dependencies, and end-of-life runtime scanning. The platform prioritizes efficient and accurate vulnerability alerting, reducing false positives by deduplicating recurring alerts, automatically triaging, and using custom rules to weed out irrelevant alerts. Leveraging Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures (CVE) data, Aikido explains the issues in plain language, enabling a quicker, informed threat response.
Aikido Security helps support data privacy by conducting scans within temporary environments, which are subsequently disposed post-analysis. The platform holds read-only access and is unable to make changes to the source code. On top of these measures, Aikido Security conforms with AICPA’s SOC 2 Type II & ISO 27001:2022 indicators.
In summary, Aikido Security is a comprehensive and dependable security toolkit for software development teams. It unifies disparate application scanning tools into a unified platform, integrates seamlessly into existing tech structures, prioritizes efficient threat alerting, and maintains robust data privacy standards. All these attributes make Aikido a strong choice for web application security testing.

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CAST Highlight is an automated portfolio governance solution designed to provide comprehensive insights across a wide range of applications. The platform provides a centralized control tower for custom application portfolios, enabling rapid portfolio analysis, cloud migration optimization, open-source risk control, and green software development.

CAST Highlight offers developers a single, integrated view of their portfolio, assisting them in lowering maintenance costs, optimizing resource allocation, reducing technical debt, rationalizing redundancies, and avoiding production outages. Additionally, the platform helps cloud leaders to segment and prioritize applications for migration (5Rs) based on technical characteristics and business impact. This allows for a faster and more efficient migration and ongoing cloud optimization.

The platform also strengthens controls over open-source legal and security risks by providing automatic recommendations on priority actions to address critical security vulnerabilities and IP licensing exposures. Furthermore, CAST Highlight supports the emerging green software development trend by identifying green deficiencies in code and suggesting ways to reduce CO2 emissions while improving costs, performance, and resiliency. CAST Highlight supports over 50 technologies and offers customizable dashboards, instant drilldowns, REST APIs, and CI/CD plug-ins.

Checkmarx Logo

Checkmarx is a software security company that offers Software Composition Analysis (SCA) to scan applications for open source risks, recommend updates, and ensure license compliance. The SCA solution identifies vulnerable open source packages in code, provides remediation guidance, and helps developers scale their production efforts without compromising security. The software tracks open source components within applications and provides accurate results to prioritize remediation efforts.

The Checkmarx SCA solution is designed for secure DevOps, delivering security risk information directly to stakeholders, without impeding their ability to ship code on tight schedules. It is delivered through a scalable, enterprise-class cloud, with integrations, REST APIs, and secure data communications for both cloud-based and on-premises SDLC and CI/CD pipelines. The system automatically alerts users to new threats impacting previously analyzed projects even after they have gone into production.

Checkmarx’s dedicated open source security research team provides detailed descriptions and remediation guidance for known CVEs and exclusive vulnerabilities not available through public resources like the NVD. As part of the Checkmarx application security testing (AST) portfolio, the SCA solution simplifies user administration and access control configuration, allowing users to focus on managing software security. Checkmarx is trusted by over 1,400 organizations around the globe, including more than 40 percent of the Fortune 100 and large government agencies.

Checkmarx Logo

Fossa is a leading open source management platform that offers advanced risk detection capabilities, without hindering development cycles. It uses sophisticated algorithms to accurately identify and map direct and indirect dependencies across various programming languages, providing comprehensive open source risk detection. Fossa also contains a curated knowledge base of open source components and vulnerabilities for precise license and security issue detection.

The platform’s robust policy engine allows teams to create policies for license compliance and vulnerability detection. This allows you to enforce policies at scale and automate risk management processes. This includes customizable rules, vulnerability filtering, and role-based access control.

Fossa delivers timely and actionable intelligence to help developers quickly address and resolve issues, offering out-of-the-box integrations with CI/CD pipelines and collaboration tools like email, Jira, and Slack. Fossa is trusted by over 7,000 open source projects and companies such as Uber, Ford, Zendesk, and Motorola.

GitLab Logo

GitLab is a software development platform that helps companies to manage the complexity of developing, securing, and deploying software by reducing toolchain sprawl, resulting in faster cycles, increased developer productivity, and reduced expenses. GitLab provides a comprehensive security framework that protects multiple attack surfaces, such as code, build environments, dependencies, and release artifacts.

One of GitLab’s primary features is its ability to secure source code by establishing version control, code history, and access control, along with enforcing review and approval rules. Automated code quality tests and security scans ensure the detection of vulnerabilities, and that sensitive information is not included in the source code. GitLab also allows users to prevent developer impersonation through signatures.

GitLab assists in verifying open-source dependencies used in projects to ensure they are free from vulnerabilities and originate from trusted sources. It generates software bills of materials, enables automated software composition analysis, and performs license compliance scans. With GitLab, users can better protect their build environments and release artifacts while maintaining a secure connection with the cluster to deliver release artifacts.

GitLab offers platform-wide governance that enables security at scale and automation, allowing developers to focus on value-generating work and ensuring adherence to best practices throughout the organization. A multi-cloud DevSecOps platform, GitLab helps businesses to avoid vendor lock-in and to efficiently manage their software supply chains.

GitLab Logo
JFrog Logo

JFrog X-Ray is a software composition analysis (SCA) solution that scans and detects open-source software (OSS) packages for known vulnerabilities, helping users to efficiently resolve security risks. It offers comprehensive analysis for source code and binary files, as well as identifying license compliance issues with enhanced CVE detection.

JFrog X-Ray’s operational risk policies help to block undesirable packages by automating risk management and implementing customizable blocking policies based on soft attributes like the number of maintainers and release age. It also screens for malicious packages through JFrog’s database, which contains thousands of undesirable packages and is continuously updated with information from global sources.

The solution emphasizes shifting security assessment as far left as possible, beginning with scanning packages early in the development process for vulnerabilities and license violations. JFrog X-Ray provides developer-friendly tools for scanning source code and binary files, as well as seamless integration into users’ IDEs and automated pipelines using a CLI tool.

JFrog’s dedicated security team continually advances software security by discovering and analyzing new vulnerabilities and attack methods. Their research enhances the CVE data used in JFrog X-Ray, providing valuable context and step-by-step remediation guidance for developers. With over 720 findings published and 500+ zero-day vulnerabilities disclosed, JFrog X-Ray helps to create trusted, secure releases throughout the software development process.

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 Mend SCA is an open source security platform that enables organizations to identify and resolve vulnerable open source dependencies, ensure compliance with license policies, and prevent malicious open source software from being integrated into their code base. Mend SCA offers comprehensive visibility and control over open source usage, simplifying the process for developers to resolve open source risk from their existing tools.

Mend SCA operates unobtrusively in the background, continuously detecting open source components, including direct and transitive dependencies, whenever developers commit code or build applications. If vulnerabilities, malicious packages, or license policy violations are identified, Mend SCA sends real-time alerts and offers automated remediation capabilities. In some cases, it can even block malicious packages and license violations before they become part of the code base.

The platform integrates with IDEs, repositories, registries, and CI/CD pipelines to provide automated risk remediation and policy enforcement throughout the software development life cycle. Mend SCA supports over 200 programming languages, making it an ideal solution for addressing open-source security and license compliance issues across a wide range of applications. Logo
Snyk Logo

Snyk Open Source is a developer-focused software composition analysis (SCA) solution that helps find, prioritize, and fix security vulnerabilities and license issues in open source dependencies. It allows developers to identify vulnerable dependencies while coding in their IDE or CLI, scan pull requests before merging, and add automated Snyk tests to CI/CD pipelines. Additionally, it can test production environments for existing vulnerabilities and monitor for newly disclosed issues.

The platform’s features enable users to prioritize top open source risks, automate vulnerability fixes through one-click pull requests, and continuously monitor projects and deployed code for vulnerabilities. Snyk Open Source also provides real-time and historical reporting for compliance evaluation with regulatory and internal security policies.

Developers can integrate Snyk Open Source into their workflow tools across the software development lifecycle. The platform offers automated and actionable fixes and is powered by a robust database of open source vulnerability intelligence. With its focus on security at every step, Snyk Open Source provides comprehensive protection across coding, code management, CI/CD, containers, deployment, and reporting tools.

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Synoposys Logo

Synopsys Black Duck Software Composition Analysis (SCA) is designed to manage security, quality, and license compliance risks associated with using open source and third-party code in applications and containers. By utilizing multifactor, open source detection and a KnowledgeBase of over 6.3 million components, Black Duck provides comprehensive visibility into the composition of any application or container.

Black Duck conducts dependency analysis for languages like Java and C#. For applications built using languages like C and C++, it utilizes codeprint analysis to identify open source and third-party components. It also performs binary analysis which identifies open source content within compiled application libraries and executables, while snippet analysis discovers copied open source code within proprietary code.

Black Duck’s discovery technology compiles a complete software Bill of Materials (SBOM) for the open source, third-party, and proprietary software components in applications and containers. This enables tracking of security, license, and operational risks through NTIA-compliant formats such as SPDX and CycloneDX. The solution also automates open source governance and policy enforcement across the software development life cycle (SDLC), integrating with tools used by developers, development teams, and security and operations teams.

Synoposys Logo
Veracode Logo

Veracode Software Composition Analysis (SCA) is a tool designed to secure software supply chains by reducing open-source and license risk. Veracode enables businesses to automate the discovery and remediation of vulnerabilities within their software’s open-source libraries. As a result, it helps organizations ensure their code is compliant with regulations and mitigates the risk of costly fines or penalties.

In addition to detecting vulnerabilities from the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), Veracode SCA’s premium database identifies potentially harmful code that may not have been reported or registered. With its easy-to-use interface, developers can immediately test code in their development environment, reducing fix time and facilitating faster and more accurate results.

Veracode SCA offers features such as Fix Advisor, dependency graphs, auto-pull requests, and the generation of a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) in CycloneDX format. It also enables custom policy management and robust reporting and analytics tools. Developers can rely on Veracode’s continuous monitoring, extensive analytics, and flexible policies for effective open-source management.

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The Top 10 Software Composition Analysis Tools