How Enterprises Can Manage Shadow Code and Address Third-Party Blind Spot

How Enterprises Can Manage Shadow Code and Address Third-Party Blind

As organizations seek outsourced software and services to perform effectively and backfill talent, third-party interactions have increased. As a result, threat actors are targeting weaker providers with substantial market penetration to silently observe, steal sensitive data, and paralyze systems, broadening attack surfaces.

With software and web application development teams constantly under pressure to produce code for new website tools and features, it makes sense to use code depositories to accelerate the development process. Code repositories are vital to the web development process that most corporate websites use them. However, internal or external code depositories and libraries can hide the threat of shadow code.

Here are some of the risks associated with shadow code:


Even the most skilled developers make mistakes, and if there are any, attackers will definitely uncover them. Code vulnerabilities can introduce the risk of a security breach. The usage of untested and unapproved code raises the possibility of vulnerabilities that a threat actor can exploit.


A company may want to add a new feature to its website at any time. Instead of building the feature from scratch, the developer uses existing code to complete the task. Problems can arise if the developer does not thoroughly vet the code to ensure that it is up to date and compatible with other linked applications.

Also Read: How to Close the OT Cybersecurity Talent Gap

Malicious Intent

Threat actors sometimes create malicious code and store it in depositories and libraries in the hopes of it being used. Malicious code can also be introduced into first-party scripts by rogue insiders.

How Enterprises Can Ensure their Website Code is Secure

Here are some steps that businesses can take to increase the security of their website code:
  • Shift security to the ‘left’—Security cannot be implemented after a web application has been constructed or installed. It must be integrated throughout the entire website and application development process, from start to finish.
  • Patch and update management—Companies should regularly implement updates and patches.
  • Secure software development methods—Businesses should employ best practices that allow for the development of more secure application code as well as the detection and eradication of mistakes early in the development process. 
  • Audit web code assets—Companies must understand what web code assets they possess and why they exist and run deep-dive scans regularly to detect intrusions, undiscovered risks, and behavioral anomalies.
  • Use secure libraries—Companies should double-check the security of any external libraries to ensure they aren’t on any blacklists. They must patch and update their internal libraries on a regular basis to prevent relying on third-party library sources.
  • Select third-party scripts carefully—Using third-party code allows organizations to save time and money by not developing their own code, but third-party scripts can potentially contain malicious content or vulnerabilities. It’s critical to double-check all scripts obtained from third-party sources to ensure they’re safe to utilize. 
  • Leverage automated monitoring—Monitoring and inspection operations are essential, but they can be time-consuming if companies don’t have an automated system in place to evaluate code regularly. Unauthorized script activity can be quickly and easily identified using a purpose-built solution that automates the process.

Shadow code exposes businesses to greater risk by introducing the possibility of malicious intent and vulnerabilities. Companies must implement the right types of security to secure their consumers and websites. 

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