OSC&R Software Supply Chain Security

Elevating Software Supply Chain Security with OSC&R

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Five ways the OSC&R framework helps CISOs and AppSec leaders verify their software supply chain security


Software supply chains are lucrative attack targets

Software supply chains are very lucrative cybersecurity attack targets. As SolarWinds, CircleCI, and Progress Software attacks have shown, breaching one system–a commercial SaaS application–provides attackers access to the many customers of their target. As a result, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 45% of organizations worldwide will have experienced attacks on their software supply chains.

As CISOs and AppSec leaders, you have the tremendous responsibility of maintaining a vigilant “predator’s eye” perspective on your software supply chains. This perspective facilitates a comprehensive understanding of vulnerabilities, potential exploitation methods, and associated risks.

OSC&R – An Open Industry Framework for Analyzing Software Supply Chain Security

We all know software supply chains are complex, and the tools, assets, people, and processes that compose them are dynamic. To help CISOs and AppSec leaders understand it–and the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) adversaries use to exploit it–we have created the OSC&R framework

Spearheaded by OX Security, OSC&R is a MITRE-like framework designed to provide a common language and structure for understanding and analyzing TTPs used by adversaries to compromise the security of software supply chains. It provides a comprehensive, systematic, and actionable way to understand a wide range of attack vectors, including vulnerabilities in third-party libraries and components, supply chain attacks on build and deployment systems, and compromised or malicious software updates.OSC&R aims to give the security community a single point of reference to proactively assess their strategies for securing their software supply chains and to compare solutions.

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Here are five ways you can leverage OSC&R to improve the security of your software supply chain immediately:

  1. Continuously Test Your Posture, Strengthen Your Defenses

Your software supply chain security posture is neither a one-size-fits-all nor a set-it-and-forget-it scenario. Different software projects have different supply chains. And the software supply chain is constantly evolving. 

OSC&R furnishes a uniform and thorough framework that continuously evaluates your security posture by pinpointing gaps and vulnerabilities. OSC&R enhances the context of your AppSec and DevSec test outcomes, enabling security decision-makers to comprehend the risk associated with each release from an attacker’s perspective. This understanding facilitates the prioritization of issue severity and ensures the resilience and agility of defense mechanisms.

  1. Verify Dependencies: Open Source, Containers, and OS

The foundation of your software often relies on open-source components, containers, and operating systems. OSC&R provides you with the capability to meticulously inspect these dependencies, ensuring that every layer is not only secure but also free from critical vulnerabilities and potential backdoors that could pose a threat to your entire infrastructure. Leveraging the resources available on the OSC&R project site and utilizing its specialized tooling allows you to delve into relevant attack tactics and techniques, enhancing your overall security posture.

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  1. Scrutinize Code and APIs: No Room for Vulnerabilities

Addressing risks associated with APIs requires a proactive approach, incorporating security measures into the API design, development, and maintenance processes. Regular security assessments, testing, and staying informed about emerging threats are essential to a comprehensive API security strategy. 

Utilize OSC&R for a comprehensive analysis of your codebase and APIs, identifying potential vulnerabilities attackers could exploit to gain unauthorized access, inject malicious code, or steal credentials. This will help you take proactive measures to remediate vulnerabilities, preventing them from evolving into pathways exploited by adversaries to compromise your sensitive data and systems.

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  1. Banish Harmful Residues: Passwords and Secrets

No one wants forgotten passwords or lingering secrets hidden in their codebase, logs, and configuration files—particularly those still active. OSC&R provides a means to examine your secrets through the lens of an attacker, understanding the TTPs they employ for exploitation. With this knowledge, you can methodically eliminate these unwanted remnants from your software supply chain.

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  1. Ensure Production Integrity: Nothing Unvetted Goes Live

Minimizing delays in production releases is paramount for all stakeholders; conversely, introducing security risks into the production environment is equally undesirable. This challenge surfaces during deployment, where AppSec and DevSec tools may flag numerous security issues.

In this scenario, the significance of OSC&R becomes evident during the production deployment phase. It empowers your team to swiftly distinguish between critical security blockers—actual kill chains—and hygiene issues that, while not optimal, may not warrant a complete halt to the deployment process. OSC&R serves as a guardian of the integrity of your software supply chain, ensuring that only thoroughly vetted components gain entry into the live environment.


By incorporating OSC&R into your workflows, you acquire a sense of assurance, recognizing that your defenses are responsive and proactive. This framework facilitates a thorough examination of your dependencies, ensuring their security and resilience against potential threats. Furthermore, OSC&R provides the capability to delve into your codebase, identifying and addressing vulnerabilities that malicious entities could exploit.

The confidence instilled by OSC&R transcends immediate security concerns and encompasses the broader aspect of preserving the integrity of your software supply chain. Serving as a guide against unforeseen risks, this framework contributes to constructing a strong foundation for your digital assets. With OSC&R, you can enhance your security stance, protect your organization’s reputation, foster customer trust, and uphold the confidentiality of sensitive information.

In summary, OSC&R goes beyond mere tools; it emerges as a strategic framework that nurtures a culture of security consciousness. It empowers organizations to proactively tackle the security challenges inherent in software development and deployment.

Learn more and get a complimentary OSC&R view of your software supply chain.

Take the first step towards fortifying your application security. Reach out to the experts at OX Security to discuss how OSC&R can revolutionize your approach.

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