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Thanks for visiting this category direction page on Dependency Scanning at GitLab. This page belongs to the Composition Analysis group of the Secure stage and is hiring a new Product Manager. The interim Product Manager is Sam White.
The Composition Analysis Group's primary focus is moving Dependency Scanning to Complete.
We welcome feedback, bug reports, feature requests, and community contributions.
Not sure how to get started?
/label ~"devops::secure" ~"Category:Dependency Scanning" ~"group::composition analysis" ~"type::feature".
Sharing your feedback directly on GitLab.com is the best way to contribute to our direction.
Dependency Scanning is a technique that identifies project dependencies and checks if there are any known, publicly disclosed, vulnerabilities in those components that may affect the main application.
GitLab was named as a Challenger in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing.
Applications define which package they require, and the version that is used. Dependency Scanning leverages the GitLab Advisory Database to check if any of these dependencies have known vulnerabilities, and it indicates if a package upgrade is needed.
Dependency Scanning is very dependent not only on the programming languages, but also on the package manager. You can read our user documentation to see what languages and package managers are currently supported. Different package managers have different repositories and ways to keep track of versions.
Our goal is to provide Dependency Scanning as part of the standard development process so that we are proactively identifying potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses as they are introduced, to the person who introduced them. Dependency Scanning results can be consumed in the merge request, where only new vulnerabilities, introduced by the new code, are shown. This means that Dependency Scanning is executed every time a new commit is pushed to a branch. This should allow for findings to be reviewed and resolved before having the opportunity to make it into production. Where possible we provide Automatic Remediation for a found vulnerability. For those who wish to require additional review when critical or high vulnerabilities are found, you can enable Security Approvals in Merge Requests. We include Dependency Scanning as part of Auto DevOps.
Primary: Sasha (Software Developer) wants to know when adding a dependency if it has known vulnerabilities so alternate versions or dependencies can be considered.
Secondary: Sam (Security Analyst) wants to know what dependencies have known vulnerabilities (to reduce the OWASP A9 risk - Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities), to be alerted if a new vulnerability is published for an existing component, and how behind current version the components are.
Other: Cameron (Compliance Manager), Delaney (Development Team Lead), Devon (DevOps Engineer), Sidney (Systems Administrator)
Our vision for dependency scanning is to provide the ability to scan application dependencies with as little user friction as possible.
Currently we notify developers when they add dependencies in these supported languages with known vulnerabilities in the GitLab Advisory Database, if security approvals are configured, we will require an approval for critical, high or unknown findings. A summary of all findings for a project can be found in the Security Dashboard where Security Teams can quickly check the security status of projects, and the Dependency List. For limited package managers, we are able to offer auto-remediation recommendations for the findings.
To reach the Complete Maturity level, we will need to accomplish the following. Epics and issues for most of these items can be found nested in the either the Dependency Scanning Viable to Complete or Complete to Lovable epics. The items below are grouped thematically and are not in priority order. Priorities for these items can be found on our always-open priorities issue.
In addition to this work, we also need to expand our language support, improve the configurability of the scanner, and provide better dependency graph visualizations. With a few exceptions, this work generally falls lower in priority compared to the items listed above.
Currently the dependency list view in GitLab is parsed from artifact files. Use of artifact files is not scalable long-term as a datastore, especially when introducing searching, grouping, filtering, and group/sub-group level dependency management. Consequently, our first priority is to store the dependency list in the database. This work is being done as part of our efforts to introduce continuous vulnerability scans.
This category is currently at Viable maturity. A plan has been created for the category to progress to Complete maturity.
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In addition to being A9 Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities in the OWASP top 10, keeping dependencies up to date is code quality issue, and finally as the need for software bill of materials (SBoM) grows being able to list your dependencies will become a needed feature for all application developers.
Dependency Scanning is frequently bundled together with Container Scanning and License Compliance to provide an overall Software Composition Analysis (SCA) solution within the Application Security Testing (AST) market. GitLab was recently named as a Challenger in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing.