Your Quick Guide to Software Composition Analysis (SCA)

SCA, or software composition analysis, is a kind of testing that aims to discover third-party components inside your software that are vulnerable to known vulnerabilities. SCA addresses supply chain risk. SCA scanners also offer a report on the licensing for each third-party component, which may help you manage your company’s licensing policy. This article will provide you with an overview of SCA and explain how it works in detail, as well as its key business values. Software composition analysis, often known as dependency scanning, is another term for software component and dependency analysis.

What is SCA?

SCA is a strategy for managing open-source software components that come within the scope of application security testing. It will automatically examine open-source components in a codebase to identify their degree of code quality, security, and license compliance. A bill of materials (BoM) and a full inventory of a project’s software assets are developed and delivered throughout the scanning process, respectively.

SCA: How Does It Work?

SCA tools by JFrog are used to identify open-source dependency flaws. Software developers frequently use open-source components, which may be advantageous but occasionally risky. SCA assists firms in identifying and analyzing risks to mitigate them. SCA tools frequently function as follows:

Examine Code

SCA reviews the code of the program as well as its open-source and commercial dependencies. The SCA tool compares the code to a database of known vulnerabilities and notifies the development team if any components are at risk. This assists enterprises in protecting their software against open-source component security threats.

Find Open-Source Dependencies

SCA detects open-source dependencies and vulnerabilities in software projects. This is accomplished by evaluating the dependency list against the National Vulnerability Database (NVD).

Determine Open-Source Components

By examining source code, building artefacts, and package management files, SCA tools identify open-source components. The utility then searches its database for flaws in the components. The research is followed by a report that details the vulnerabilities, severity, and corrective recommendations.

SCA’s open-source component security alerts help enterprises protect their applications. It should be included in the software development life cycle from the beginning to ensure software security.

Why SCA?

SCA is significant because of its security, speed, and reliability. The growth of open-source code is too rapid for human tracking. Therefore, SCA tools that are cloud-native and advanced are required.

The key SCA values have been divided into three primary functional areas:


Detecting and patching vulnerabilities is the most critical aspect of software development. Knowing there is a vulnerability is the first step, but demonstrating to management that it has been rectified by providing future project file scans is an essential second step.

Using a solution to manage open-source components streamlines the process. You don’t need to scour community forums or subreddits to learn that your component might leak sensitive information or provide bad actors access to vital systems. The SCA tool will simply produce a vulnerability-fixing release for you.


Communication may be a problem for distributed development teams. Another team may use a different open-source component to solve a problem. This might make software administration more difficult for the firm. A good SCA tool will provide a project-specific BOM for development teams to share.

Management of Visibility and Inventory

The wasteful method of maintaining open-source components across software projects, including the use of those irritating spreadsheets, is no longer viable. Not just because it cannot be scaled but also because it lacks vision.

By automating the monitoring of open-source components inside a software project using an analysis of the project’s code, SCA tools make this visibility available to any developer, regardless of whether or not they are working on the project. Furthermore, since a competent SCA tool will detect both direct and indirect dependencies, it will be able to offer the developer an open-source use tree displaying how the application’s many components work together to fulfill the program’s functional objectives.


When applied correctly, software composition analysis turns open source from a potential threat to a powerful asset for your company. In today’s environment, an SCA tool is essential to examine the complicated structure of software components and to make the most of open-source software’s undeniably expanding capabilities. Establishing your priorities can assist you in navigating the sea of varied tools accessible to you to get the most out of your one-of-a-kind product. As a result, customizing an SCA tool is one of the most effective methods you can employ to increase the overall security of your portfolio.

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