The development of embedded systems has become increasingly complex, with a wide range of hardware and software components coming from different sources. The use of third-party software and components can increase development efficiency but also introduces new challenges such as supply chain risks, compliance issues, and security threats. In this context, Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs) are essential to identify and manage these risks, but they also present significant challenges in the embedded development process. This post explores five reasons why SBOMs are a challenge in embedded development and how SCANOSS can help.
Lack of visibility
Embedded systems are composed of a multitude of components, including hardware and software, with each component having its own dependencies. The lack of visibility into these dependencies can make it difficult to identify and track all the components, making it challenging to create accurate SBOMs. Without a comprehensive understanding of the system’s components, it is impossible to accurately assess risks and ensure compliance. SCANOSS provides a comprehensive overview of all the components used in the system, including their dependencies, licenses, and vulnerabilities, giving developers a complete view of their system’s components.
Creating an SBOM can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, requiring manual verification of each component used in the system. This manual process can lead to errors, omissions, and inconsistencies, making it challenging to maintain an accurate and up-to-date SBOM. SCANOSS automates the process of creating an SBOM, using AI algorithms to identify and verify all the components used in the system, reducing the time and effort required to create and maintain an SBOM.
Lack of standardisation
Embedded programming languages lack standardised dependency management, which makes it challenging to identify and track all the components used in the system. This lack of standardisation can lead to confusion, making it difficult to share and compare SBOMs across different organisations. SCANOSS supports multiple SBOM formats, including SPDX, CycloneDX, and SWID tags, making it easy to share and compare SBOMs across different organisations.
Supply chain risks
The use of third-party software and components in embedded systems introduces new risks, such as supply chain risks, where a single vulnerability in a component can have far-reaching consequences. Identifying and managing these risks requires a detailed understanding of the system’s components and their dependencies. SCANOSS provides detailed information on the vulnerabilities and dependencies of each component, allowing developers to quickly identify and mitigate supply chain risks.
The adoption of AI-assisted coding introduces new risks in terms of compliance. While AI-assisted coding can increase development efficiency and reduce the likelihood of errors, it can also generate code that may not comply with legal or regulatory requirements. This is particularly true in safety-critical applications, where compliance with standards such as DO-178C, ISO 26262, or IEC 61508 is essential. When using AI-assisted coding, it is important to ensure that the generated code is checked for compliance, just like any other code. This means that an accurate and up-to-date SBOM is needed to identify and manage the components used in the AI-assisted coding process. Additionally, any AI algorithms used in the coding process must be thoroughly tested and validated to ensure that they produce compliant code. SCANOSS can help address these risks by providing comprehensive information on the components used in the AI-assisted coding process, including any third-party libraries or frameworks. This information can then be used to create an accurate and up-to-date SBOM, which can be used to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
In conclusion, the development of embedded systems has become increasingly complex, with a multitude of components and dependencies coming from various sources. Creating and maintaining accurate and up-to-date SBOMs is essential to ensure compliance, manage supply chain risks, and mitigate security threats. However, the challenges associated with SBOMs can be significant, including lack of visibility, manual processes, lack of standardization, supply chain risks, and compliance issues, including those introduced by the adoption of AI-assisted coding. Fortunately, Scanoss can help address these challenges by providing comprehensive information on system components, automating SBOM creation, supporting multiple formats, identifying and mitigating supply chain risks, and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. With SCANOSS, developers can confidently manage risks in embedded systems, ensuring the security, compliance, and reliability of their products. To see how you too can avoid these development challenges within the embedded space, head to SCANOSS.com now!