Cloud Computing, DevOps

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Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) for Transparent and Secure Software Supply Chains

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In today’s interconnected and digitized world, software is pivotal in powering various aspects of our daily lives. From critical infrastructure to personal devices, software is omnipresent. However, with the increasing complexity of software ecosystems, ensuring transparency and security has become a paramount concern. Enter the Software Bill of Materials (SBOM), which promises to enhance visibility into software components, dependencies, and vulnerabilities. In this blog, we will explore what SBOM is, its significance, and how it contributes to a more secure digital landscape.


A Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) is a comprehensive inventory of all the components and dependencies that comprise a piece of software.

Analogous to a list of ingredients on a food product, an SBOM provides detailed information about the building blocks of software, including libraries, frameworks, modules, and other dependencies. This transparency is crucial for understanding the software supply chain and managing security risks effectively.

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Why is SBOM important?

  • Supply Chain Transparency: SBOM brings much-needed transparency to the software supply chain. With the increasing complexity of software development, applications often rely on numerous third-party components. An SBOM enables developers, vendors, and consumers to identify and understand the origins of these components, creating accountability and promoting responsible development practices.
  • Security Assurance: Understanding the software composition is vital in the face of rising cybersecurity threats. SBOM allows organizations to assess and manage potential security vulnerabilities within their software stack. By knowing which components are used and their versions, security teams can quickly respond to emerging threats and vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of exploitation.
  • Regulatory Compliance: As cybersecurity regulations evolve, some industries and jurisdictions are beginning to mandate the use of SBOMs. Compliance with these regulations is a legal requirement and a proactive step towards enhancing overall cybersecurity measures.
  • Efficient Patching and Updating: Timely patching of software vulnerabilities is key to cybersecurity. With an SBOM in place, organizations can efficiently track and update the components within their software stack, reducing the exposure window to potential threats.
  • Vendor and Consumer Confidence: The use of SBOM demonstrates a commitment to transparency and security, fostering trust among software vendors and end-users. Knowing that a product comes with a clear and detailed list of its components can be a significant factor in decision-making for businesses and consumers.

Implementing SBOM

Implementing an SBOM involves a collaborative effort across the software development and cybersecurity domains. Here are key steps to consider:

  • Inventory Creation: Develop a comprehensive list of all software components, including dependencies. This may involve automated tools that analyze the codebase to generate an accurate inventory.
  • Component Identification: Identify each component within the inventory, including version numbers, licenses, and relevant metadata. This information forms the foundation of the SBOM.
  • Integration with Development Processes: Integrate SBOM creation into the software development life cycle. This ensures that the inventory remains up-to-date as the codebase evolves.
  • Sharing and Distribution: Share the SBOM with relevant stakeholders, including customers, partners, and regulatory bodies. Open standards and formats for SBOMs, such as SPDX (Software Package Data Exchange), facilitate interoperability and ease of distribution.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Updating: Regularly update the SBOM to reflect changes in the software composition. This includes tracking new dependencies, updating version numbers, and addressing vulnerabilities promptly.

Steps to check SBOM

Step 1: Install an application as a docker container. Here, we have taken WordPress as an example. To check if both WordPress and MySQL are running as containers, use the command:



Log in, and you will get the WordPress homepage.


Step 2: Install syft to see the SBOM details of the application. Use the following commands given below:



Step 3: Use the syft command to check the SBOM of the application that is running on the docker container



In an era where software is omnipresent and cyber threats are rising, the need for transparency and security in software development is more critical than ever. SBOM emerges as a powerful tool to enhance visibility into the software supply chain, enabling organizations to effectively identify, assess, and mitigate security risks. By embracing SBOM, we take a significant step toward building a more resilient and trustworthy digital future.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding SBOM and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. Why is SBOM important in the context of software development?

ANS: – SBOM is crucial for several reasons. It enhances transparency in the software supply chain, aids in identifying and managing security vulnerabilities, ensures regulatory compliance, facilitates efficient patching, and builds trust among vendors and consumers.

2. How does SBOM contribute to supply chain transparency?

ANS: – SBOM reveals the origins of software components, including third-party elements. This transparency promotes accountability in the software development process by allowing stakeholders to trace the source and impact of each component.

3. How does SBOM enhance security assurance?

ANS: – SBOM enables organizations to assess and manage potential security vulnerabilities within their software stack by providing a detailed list of software components and their versions. This facilitates a proactive response to emerging threats.

WRITTEN BY Swapnil Kumbar

Swapnil Kumbar is a Research Associate - DevOps. He knows various cloud platforms and has working experience on AWS, GCP, and azure. Enthusiast about leading technology in cloud and automation. He is also passionate about tailoring existing architecture.



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