Maybe you’ve come here after realizing that traditional AppSec tools aren’t enough to secure your connected devices and embedded systems. So, the next question is: how do you identify and mitigate security issues and vulnerabilities so you can ship your products with confidence? 

Why Consider Binary SCA?

Broadly speaking, software composition analysis (SCA) tools help developers and, increasingly, other stakeholders in the software development process find open source license compliance threats and product security exposures before they grow into real problems that can hurt your company’s reputation, intellectual property, or bottom line. 

But when you bring traditional SCA to connected devices and embedded systems, new challenges emerge.

Traditional application security products can’t always see into suppliers’ software and aren’t always compatible with the embedded development environment. That’s why Finite State developed a platform that expands SCA – to see into the binaries that developers had previously been forced to accept at face value.

Finite State’s Binary SCA tool sees inside the third-party components within embedded firmware and connected products and ties them to known vulnerabilities or supply chain threats—before you ship them to customers. 

Binary SCA represents a critical tool in the software development lifecycle and can analyze software regardless of its underlying hardware and instruction set architecture.

To make an informed decision about whether Binary SCA is right for you and your organization, consider these three points: 

1. With Binary SCA, you can see into hardware and software components 

When you use Binary SCA, you get a comprehensive software bill of materials (SBOM) that lets you see into all of your hardware and software components, including:

  • Binaries
  • Libraries
  • Open source software 
  • Third-party components
  • Embedded software
  • Drivers
  • Kernels
  • Board Support Packages (BSP)
  • Operating systems

Unlike AppSec solutions, you won’t need separate products for SCA and custom code analysis. Finite State’s platform serves both functions at once. 

Binary SCA works much like the regular SCA seen in app development. But Binary SCA goes further and analyzes the embedded systems and architectures of connected devices. 

Binary SCA discovers the third-party components in your devices and lists them in your SBOM so you can monitor their risks, licenses, and vulnerabilities. Since binary analysis occurs at the end or after the build process, it provides much higher assurance than SBOMs generated via source code. Complex CI/CD pipelines have various jobs and dependencies that pull in code at different stages of the pipeline, making any SBOMs generated from SCA highly likely to be inaccurate and incomplete. Always evaluate the final output of the build as the source of truth to avoid costly mistakes.   

2. Binary SCA exposes hidden third-party and open source risk

When you ship your product, you ship with it all the security risks you’ve inherited from upstream vendors and suppliers as well as legal risks that lurk in your binaries as unknown, undisclosed or expired licenses.

With Binary SCA, you can manage these risks before your connected devices are shipped. 

Development teams can still look to open source software, licenses, and operating systems to meet their milestones and produce their connected devices. And we can all breathe a little easier knowing there’s now a tool that can find hidden third-party and open source risks before those risks have a chance to occur.

In finding the most efficient way to develop devices and embedded software, we will always face tradeoffs between risks and rewards. Reduce the risks with Binary SCA by identifying product security issues and licensing exposures before your organization finds itself in the crosshairs of a threat. 

Trust your vendors, but verify for yourself.   

3. Binary SCA helps you find weaknesses and vulnerabilities 

Existing SCA tools might appear to work on devices, but that doesn’t mean that those devices won’t potentially still harbor:

  • Insecure configurations
  • Hard-coded credentials
  • Cryptographic materials 
  • Other sources of weakness 

Because devices fundamentally differ from apps, SCA tools designed for apps don’t work on devices. Product security for devices must be designed … for devices. 

Apps are singular programs, but devices hold an entire ecosystem of programs that may contain thousands of configuration files and settings. Unlike apps, devices rely on a technology stack that includes hardware, bootloaders, OS components, drivers, and more. To make matters more challenging, many embedded devices use Real-Time Operating Systems or bare metal firmware images that are big (or small) monolithic binary that have all of the software components statically compiled into one file. This is why it’s essential to use a purpose-built solution for embedded product security.

To identify the weaknesses and vulnerabilities that may live within your connected device, you need an SCA tool that’s built to bring product security to devices and analyze their binaries. That’s something that traditional AppSec tools just cannot do. 

Complex device ecosystems require purpose-built solutions. 

Invest in Binary SCA Today!

Got questions about Binary Software Composition Analysis or how it can help your organization improve its product security? The Finite State Platform can help you see into all of the hardware and software components of your connected devices and embedded systems. 

The Binary SCA tool available through the Finite State Platform can help you find your third-party and open-source risks and form mitigation strategies to address them. It can also help you build more confidence that the products you ship harbor fewer vulnerabilities and weaknesses. 

Get full visibility into your product security and reduce risk. Request a demo that will show you what Binary Software Composition Analysis can do for you.

Time to find out what's hiding in your embedded software components. Request a Free SBOM