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Source Vs. Binary Static Code Analysis

Secure software development has become a priority for all organizations whether they build their own software or outsource. And code analysis is becoming the de facto choice to introduce secure development as well as measure inherent software risk.

Many assume that code analysis requires code compilation as a prerequisite. Today, all major static code analyzers are built on this assumption and only scan post compilation requiring buildable code. The reliance on compilation has major and negative implications for all stake holders: developers, auditors, CISOs, as well as the organizations that hope to build a secure development lifecycle (SDLC).

Historically, static code analysis required a complete and buildable project to run against, which made the logical place to do the analysis at the build server and in-line with the entire build process. The “buildable” requirement also forced the execution of the scan closer to the end of the development process, making security repairs to code more expensive and greatly reducing any benefits.