COVID-19 has impacted everything over the past year, and mobile app security is no exception. The Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center (CyRC) took an in-depth look at application security, and discovered just how vulnerable apps that use open source code really are. According to the report, 98% of apps use open source code, and 63% of those apps have at least one known vulnerability.

Open source code is no more or less vulnerable than any other code, Jonathan Knudsen, senior security strategist with Synopsys, was quick to point out in an email interview. The prime security task for any organization that uses open source code is how to manage the code correctly.

โ€œThe report underscores, among other things, that managing security vulnerabilities in open source software components is a very real problem,โ€ Knudsen said. The challenge lies in the self-service nature of open source use. With no commercial vendor to push out updates and patches, it then becomes the responsibility of the developers and the business to evaluate and monitor for security risks and come up with a strategy for the inevitable security problems.

Adoption of Open Source

Developers turn to open source because it helps them code 20 to 30 times faster than writing their own from scratch; getting a mobile application into the marketplace quickly is a top priority. This need to move fast has created a dependency on open source. It has also led to the prioritization of development over security in many IT organizations just to remain competitive in the market.

โ€œTo stay competitive, software development teams must figure out how to write code quickly, while not sacrificing security to create value and preserve competitive advantage for their organizations,โ€ said Yaniv Bar-Dayan, CEO and co-founder at Vulcan Cyber. Until that happens, open source will continue to be the go-to code.

Majority of Mobile App Vulnerabilities From Open Source Code

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