How Do Software Composition Analysis Tools Work?

How Do Software Composition Analysis Tools Work?How Do Software Composition Analysis Tools Work?

SCA (software composition analysis) tools provide developers with details about open-source elements that they’re using to create applications. These tools help organizations to have an automated system that keeps track of discovering open-source code that contains vulnerabilities.

SCA tools are also useful for providing you with details surrounding license compliance and the overall quality of the open-source elements that developers are using.

This post covers some of the main ways that SCA tools work and how they can benefit your company.


One of the overlooked benefits that come with using SCA tools is that it can greatly improve the productivity of your developers. This is because SCA tools provide developers with a clear indication of what the problems are and how severe they are.

As a result, they can take steps to fix the problems and prioritize them. This saves a lot of time and hassle trying to figure out what the issue is. Instead, they can focus on remediating the problem and getting right back to developing code.


For SCA tools to work best, they should be enabled to continuously monitor code. This ensures that developers can be provided with updates on the security of their code at every stage of the development process.

Organizations that are always creating new applications appreciate being able to use SCA tools that are always scanning through their code. It allows them to feel confident that their code is secure before moving onto the next development stage.

It’s good practice for companies to be aware of vulnerabilities that are present within all of their applications, even the ones that aren’t currently active. This ensures that when developers start working on them, they’ll be given reports on the current vulnerabilities that need to be addressed before carrying on.

Not to mention, SCA tools can provide developers with suggestions on how to go about fixing issues. This can be handy for fixing problems quickly.

Continuously monitoring your applications is beneficial for companies as they’re given a broader picture of how secure their code is and how attackers may try to exploit vulnerable areas.


Organizations must ensure that the applications being developed adhere to the set of security policies that have been created. There are SCA tools that enable these policies to be enforced, especially when using open-source code.

This is because open-source code can come with a set of risks. If developers aren’t aware of the policies involved with these elements, it could land them in trouble. SCA tools allow developers to know more about the security standards involved with open-source code so that they can work to maintain its security.

It’s also important to ensure that the security measures put in place have some level of flexibility to allow developers to still work effectively. SCA can help keep policies flexible whilst still keeping components secure.

Developers that are used to using SCA can create code more securely from start to finish due to how they know more about the security policies that are in place.

False Positives

When it comes to software composition analysis, false positives can be an incredibly tiresome problem to deal with. They also produce a range of licensing issues and security flaws within code.

Therefore, it’s important for developers utilizing SCA to use it accurately to avoid false positives. Using SCA correctly can save developers a lot of time and hassle when it comes to dealing with security and policy issues.

Furthermore, organizations can be aware of security issues before deploying their applications. This can save your developers having to go back and make adjustments to a live application that then needs to be deployed again.


A Bill Of Materials (BOM) provides you with information about all of the elements that are used in an application, as well as the types of licenses and component versions being used. Having an accurate idea about the BOM included in your applications helps security teams have a deeper understanding of the security of all the different elements being used.

As a result, they can discover licensing and security flaws in applications and fix them before any issues become too big.

Risk Discovery

Top-down and bottom-up risk discovery are two factors that SCA can help with. SCA enables you to detect open-source and third-party elements within applications which helps developers understand whether their code is both legal and secure.

Top-down risk discovery involves ensuring that open-source and third-party elements are secure in order to make sure that the application as a whole isn’t weakened. Developers can also be given information about licenses that are out of date which allows them to carry out updates and patches.

Bottom-up risk discovery involves developers using SCA for having control over security elements when using third-party code. Using third-party code can make the development process a lot quicker for programmers.

When exploits across applications happen, developers must be aware of what’s affected so that they can fix the issue as soon as possible. SCA enables developers to discover the areas within applications that are affected which makes it much easier to fix issues.

Furthermore, developers can use SCA to choose between various open-source libraries. These libraries can be checked for updates to ensure that developers are using the most up-to-date version of open-source code which increases its likelihood of being secure.


SCA helps organizations stay on top of their security to ensure that hackers don’t exploit weaknesses and steal sensitive data. Tracking open-source code manually is tiresome and developers end up working inefficiently.

Utilizing SCA allows developers to run tools that work continuously and provide them with updates on licensing and security issues. They can then work productively to fix the issues before continuing with the development process.

Developers are having to work faster than ever to keep up with the needs of organizations and it can lead to poor attention security. SCA ensures that security is always being attended to so that every element in your application remains secure.

About the author
Tomas Statkus
Tomas Statkus - Team leader

Tomas Statkus is an IT specialist, the team leader, and the founder of He has worked in the IT area for over 10 years.

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