Report finds significant adoption of secure practices in OSS projects

There is a significant adoption of secure software development practices in Open Source Software (OSS) projects, reveals the 2017 Coverity Scan Report released by Synopsys, Inc.

The report examines OSS quality and security data collected over the past decade through Coverity Scan, a free static analysis solution from Synopsys used by more than 4,600 active OSS projects. The report also underscores the importance of managing OSS risk.

“Due to the ubiquity of open source and the vital role it plays in virtually all types of software, understanding and managing its risks can no longer be optional,” said Andreas Kuehlmann, senior vice president and general manager of the Synopsys Software Integrity Group.

“The Coverity Scan Report highlights the progress of some of the most mature and widely used open source projects, and it provides invaluable insights for the broader software community that depends on the integrity of open source.”

Since its inception in 2006, Coverity Scan identified more than 1.1 million defects in active OSS projects, leading to the remediation of more than 600,000 defects. The 2017 Coverity Scan report details the analysis of approximately 760 million lines of open source code across several languages, including C/C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, and Python.

Since January 2016, 4,117 active projects have submitted builds for analysis. Of those, nearly 50 percent (2,049) use Travis CI, indicating using of continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) practices. Other 2,509 projects have been triaged, which require developers to have intimate knowledge of the codebase. Additionally, 1,120 projects were configured to make use of modeling, a mechanism for improving the quality of their analysis results.

The report also notes that key behaviors indicate increasing maturity of OSS projects. The adoption of CI/CD and remediation of actionable defects by developers highlight the value of static analysis to the OSS ecosystem. Other measures of maturity such as development and community metrics are required to characterize the risks associated with OSS consumption.

According to some of the largest commercial users of Coverity, software shipped to customers can contain up to 90 percent open source code. In addition, there are now companies founded entirely on OSS proving that OSS is now the norm.

Synopsys Coverity Scan helps reduce risk and lower overall project cost by identifying critical quality defects and potential security vulnerabilities during the software development. Synopsys manages the Coverity Scan project and provides Static Application Security Testing (SAST) as a free service to the open source community to help them build quality and security into their software lifecycle.