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Open Source Code Compilation Risk

  • Last Updated : 10 May, 2021

Why Should You Care About Open Source?
There are chances for following risks

  1.  Licensing and Compliance Risk
  2.  Security Risk
  3.  Business and Operational Risk
  4.  Remediation Risk

Licensing and Compliance Risk :

  • Breach of licenses – 
    Automatic termination since no materiality/cure period : Breach of licenses means you are using code from an unauthorized party which may lead to inject various security breeches in your system, thus having risk of leaking data. So in such scenario, an organization don’t need any special agreement for termination, it will automatically terminate the employee for breeching the security for the violation.
  • Copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement states that your source code is not copied from a source that had licensed their code not to be used anywhere else. Every organization takes this very seriously as claiming copyright from anyone can lead many adverse consequences of an organization like heavy plenty.
  • ‘Viral’ infection of proprietary code –
    This means the code we are injecting doesn’t contain any statement that will create a loophole for the virus injection in it. A virus injection in the source code is a very common method to breech the security of the organization.
  • Automatic grant of licenses to certain of your patents –
    If your source code is similar to some other similar kind of code (not exactly the same), you will automatically grant with the certain licenses associated with the similar code. If those licensees is secure enough to use by your organization, you are good to go.
  • Defensive patent termination rights – 
    It means that if your code work is not standing up to standards of code licensing , the respective authority had right to terminate your patent.
  • Use beyond scope of license –
    It means using source code that is not licensed are always in a threat of having a loophole for creating a security breech.
  • Under licensing; not enough seats/licenses – 
    It means using a license code of conduct but not following all the guidance that are required as part of code of conduct of that particular license.
  • Combinations of components under incompatible licenses – 
    When we are using more than one licensee in our project, we need to verify that the code of conduct for both the licensee are compatible with each other. If they are incompatible, there is a security risk always.
  • Failure to comply with licenses for “fourth party” components –
    Fourth party is the organization associated with your organization to provide you the work support. If the licensee compatibility of both the organization are not matched, there is a chance for breech of security for anyone or both the organization.

Security Risk:

  • Avoid unknowingly using third party software with known security vulnerabilities –
    Avoid using any third party software that uses contains any known vulnerabilities. Always check the license and code of conduct of that third party software.
  • Traditional static and dynamic security analysis find few OSS vulnerabilities –
    OSS vulnerabilities stand for open source software. The static vulnerability means an already associated risk and dynamic security means, that software doesn’t contain any risk of security, but while operating that software, we had risk of operation.
  • No support; self-serve; pull vs. push model –
    Make sure the OSS used by you provides with a support facility for you to open a support request f you find any security related vulnerability in that particular OSS.
  • Risk profile changes over time –
    Keep updated about the change in the policies of various licensed code is necessary to keep your source code safe all the time.
  • Any vulnerabilities associated with the components –
    Make sure all the components of OSS must not be affected with an open source vulnerabilities.
  • Any patches available –
    Always check for the software updates if any for making sure no OSS vulnerabilities will affect your code.

 Business and Operational Risk:
Operational risk centers around how things are refined inside an association and not really what is created or intrinsic inside an industry. These risks are frequently connected with dynamic choices identifying with how the association capacities and what it focuses on. While the risks are not ensured to bring about disappointment, lower creation, or higher in general expenses, they are viewed as higher or lower contingent upon different interior administration choices.

Business risk is the openness an organization or association needs to factor(s) that will bring down its benefits or lead it to fizzle. Anything that undermines an organization’s capacity to accomplish its monetary objectives is viewed as a business risk. There are numerous variables that can join to make business risk. Here and there it is an organization’s top authority or the board that causes circumstances where a business might be presented positively of risk.



Following factors are always taken in consideration while applying business and operational risks –

  • Dependence on code from
  • Competitor/hostile party
  • Orphaned/dead project
  • Think ahead to integration and running the business or things can become very difficult
  • Changing the offering model
  • Standardizing on certain components
  • May be expensive or impossible to collect the key information later

Remediation Risk:
Remediation risk management(RRM) is the cycle for overseeing wild undertaking exercises or conditions that may bring about adverse results to remediation framework execution. The task group assesses the remediation risk and creates plans to work with risk relief.

Following factors are always taken in consideration while applying remediation risk management :

1. Code Remediation –

  • Removing, rewriting or replacing code
  • Costs: Engineering, time

2. Legal Remediation –

  • Amending/terminating agreements, seeking clarifications, seeking waivers of past liability, re-licensing components and obtaining new licenses
  • Often hard to remedy past non-compliance
  • Costs: Legal, time, fees to licensors

3. Risk Mitigation/Allocation –

  • Additional representations and warranties
  • Remediation-focused closing conditions and best efforts covenants
  • Specific indemnities
  • Additional escrows

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