10 Security Benefits Of SBOMs

10 Security Benefits Of SBOMs

Did you know that most open-source software or third-party-of-the-shelf software has built-in backdoors? Most of them have hidden ways for a developer or coder to sneak in, even after you’ve implemented it into your code.

Why? Cause most developers are certain sooner, or later, your team is going to call them up for an assist. That your team is going to somehow break their baby, and they’ll need to hardwire it back into action.

This is just one of the many security issues, most developers are aware of and why SBOM security is so important. 

Importance Of SBOMs When It Comes To Strengthening The World’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure

The world is becoming more digitized every day and this has created new challenges for cybersecurity professionals. As a result, there is a need for a more robust cybersecurity infrastructure that can protect the world’s digital assets from cyberattacks.

SBOMs provide many benefits over other traditional approaches to cybersecurity. They offer protection against zero-day attacks, they can be customized to suit different environments, and they can monitor all traffic passing through the network.

But what exactly are they?

A software bill of materials or SBOM file is a list of all the parts and sub-assemblies that are required to build a product. It is used to identify where all the parts of an organization come from.

A software bill of materials, or SBOM, can be used to identify what software and hardware are needed for a given system.

Today, your product is built out of different products — each with its own manufacturer. For example, let’s say you want to incorporate a check-out because your software sells other products, then you’ll need an API from a secure payment platform.

You didn’t construct that API, but you are at its mercy. Its bacteria, its hiccups, and its many faux-pass are now your problem. Not only that, but that API was in fact constructed by other APIs or codes — maybe from PayPal, maybe from MasterCard, or Visa, etc.

What if you want to incorporate the ability to share information or status updates from your app to another app, or social network?

Once more, you’re at the mercy of Facebook, or Instagram, or WhatsApp. And once more, those companies sub-rented or outsourced a lot of their software design to other third parties. 

Today, software development is akin to going down a rabbit hole — you have no idea what you’ll find the second you start to dissect it. 

An SBOM can help by creating a map of that rabbit hole. And ways to deal with things that pop up along the way.

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Benefits SBOMs Provide Regarding Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a major issue that all organizations are facing today. Why? Because all organizations need to access the internet. They are no longer a closed system. 

Security breaches can happen at any point in time and it is important to be prepared for them.

It is also important to protect your data and make sure that your organization’s confidential information stays safe. 

SBOMs are your first line of defense since they give you a clear overview of the tour attack surface. Of what you’re putting out there, what you’re collecting, and threats are barreling toward you at a frightening speed.

Some of their benefits are: 

Deeper Transparency

92% of organizations nowadays are woefully ignorant of their attack surface. Not only that, a bigger percentage has 3X more dark data – that’s data they don’t even know they collect- than known data.

Organizations in most cases are tracking and hoarding critical private information on their consumers, accidentally, and from parts of their software or platforms, they don’t even know exist.

All that raw data is just out there, free for some crafty hacker to steal. SBOMs gives you the ability to start getting all of that under control simply by giving you the ability to understand your platform and where you’re casting your net over. 

Faster Incident Response

The lag time between an attack hitting you, and an incident report being generated is crucial to how you remediate that attack in the first place.

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Why? Because incident reports are the proverbial alarm that warns you of an attack. Otherwise, the Greeks are already in place inside Troy. SBOMs give you a faster response time between attacks and incident reports. 

Tighter Security

At their core, SBOMs give you tighter security because they allow your team to have better management over your code base and what you’re putting into it. 

Enhanced Supply Chain Resiliency

In the beginning, Bills of Materials were constructed for one singular purpose — to make sure that materials were always available for a certain product.

That vendor had that screw in stock, or that car window ready for your assembly line. They are still used for that, only now they undertake digital assets that make your supply chain what it is today. 

Less Code Bloat

Over 50% of all the code you have in your base is redundant — you’re either not using it, or you forgot to edit it out. All of that makes your code base slow, fat, and bloated. SBOMs give you an idea of where to cut out all those unwarranted calories and get lean and mean. 

Compliance With US Government Mandates

To get your app approved, you need to submit an SBOM to your local Big Brother. Governments need them, so they are no longer optional. 

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Insights Into Improvements

SBOMs give you key insight into what needs to be improved. Like which code line or open-source algorithm needs an update in order to mitigate a threat.

Increased Consumer Trust

Today, consumers are a bit wearier about what they ingest. SBOMs give them a clear idea of what your code does, what ingredients it has, and whether they are allergic to it. 

Lower Cost Spending

SBOMs give you a direct line of sight on all your spending – on what materials you are investing in or on what subscription services. Most companies that employ them cut their overhead the second they start to properly access them. 

Validation For Data Centers

SBOMs give data centers all the ammo they need to keep you current. They validate all their practices, their protocols, and allow them to improve on them. 

Why Contact Professionals To Generate An SBOM?

Creating an SBOM isn’t exactly rocket science. Most organizations use Google Sheets for them. The trick is creating an SBOM you can leverage. One that is constantly giving you great intel, one that is customized to your specs.

Professionals will be able to design a system that takes everything into account, not just a shopping list — but a list that tells not only what to buy, but what to leave behind, what might cause an allergic reaction, what’s on sale a block or so down the road, and what is simply too risky to sing your teeth into. 

Written by Alan Taylor
I’m Alan, a technology writer with a decade of experience testing and reviewing software. I’m passionate about providing honest and unbiased reviews to help consumers make informed decisions. With a background in computer science and a talent for simplifying complex concepts, I enjoy exploring new technology trends.