Subscribe to our newsletter:

Introducing the Software Bill of Materials, and why you should use it

24 Jun 2022 News
rss subscribe
RSS Subscribe
Apps on sale

A Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) is based on the notion of a manufacturing Bill of Materials (BOM), which is an inventory of all the elements involved in a product. Manufacturers in the automotive industry, for example, keep a thorough BOM for each vehicle built. The parts built by the original equipment manufacturer and parts from third-party vendors are listed in this BOM.


In May of 2021, the US president signed an executive order with cyber-security directives relating to federal cyber security itemizing amongst others, SBOM. An SBOM is a list of all open-source and third-party components that are included in a codebase. These inclusions into source code can introduce possible vulnerabilities into developed applications. To achieve compliance in this area development teams, need to utilize stable development platforms, like, to promote overall application transparency.

What needs to be included in the SBOM?

An SBOM must include a complete inventory of all software packages running in the product, as well as the entity that created them. Supplier, component name, version of the component, other unique identifiers, dependency connection, author of SBOM data, and timestamp are all included in the baseline information for each component. 

SBOM request practices and processes, including frequency, depth, known unknowns, distribution and delivery, access control, and mistake accommodation.

Failure to comply with open-source licenses can expose organizations to costly lawsuits and intellectual property theft (IP). Conflicts over open-source software licenses, such as the GNU General Public License, can have a significant influence on an organization's compliance. This principle should be extended to APIs and Database frameworks. It is therefore important that the SBOM include detailed licensing information.

An SBOM for a SaaS application may also include information about APIs or third-party services required to run the SaaS application.

Benefits of utilizing a Software Bill of Materials

SBOMs may help any company that cares about reducing risk and adhering to top cybersecurity practices now more than ever. They make it easier to share information about software components and vulnerabilities. The following are some of the most important advantages of SBOMs.

SBOMs are a better way to keep track of software audits and regulatory compliance criteria. Because open-source software is so widely available, businesses must be extra cautious to prevent license conflicts or compliance difficulties. Failure to meet software requirements can lead to legal action or even damage a company's reputation. SBOMs simplify due diligence and aid in the early detection of flaws, allowing the process to be streamlined. They also enable faster and more accurate responses to licensing claims.

Companies that develop software can use SBOMs to avoid known vulnerabilities and/or detect and delete them before they are put into production. SBOMs, in the end, aid creators and developers in discovering and resolving security flaws more quickly. An SBOM simplifies due diligence and enables faster identification and resolution when a company buys new software.

SBOMs, help you manage your software more efficiently. It is incredibly time-consuming and resource-intensive for engineers to manually search through millions of lines of code to detect and fix vulnerabilities. Furthermore, as the complexity of the software grows, so does the effort. An SBOM is a framework that aids in the effective management of various complications while also lowering expenses. SBOMs reduce time and allow for less unplanned and unscheduled work by consolidating a list of components and versions in one location. This is also automated, which keeps prices low and production high. 

Even though an SBOM can't prevent undiscovered flaws, it can aid in the discovery of errors early in the process. As a result, it can help lessen the likelihood that these flaws will wind up in your software. Furthermore, it contributes to the overall quality of your software.


The main takeaway from all of this is that apart from adhering to regulatory compliance the implementation of an SBOM also contributes to the overall cyber resilience of an organization and its customers. Development teams need to continually keep the SBOM up to date and aim to only utilize open-source code libraries and segments that have a positive industry track record. 


Share this article: