Veracode Review

I used a lot of the findings to put pressure on our vendors to try to improve their security postures


What is our primary use case?

We use Veracode for static analysis of source code as well as some dynamic analysis.

How has it helped my organization?

It's valuable to any business that has software developers or that is producing software that consumers use. You have to do some type of application security testing before allowing consumers to use software. Otherwise, it's risky. You could be publishing software with certain security defects, which would open up your company to the likelihood of a class action lawsuit.

I don't have any examples of how it improved the way our company functions. However, I did use a lot of the findings to put pressure on our vendors to try to improve their security postures.

Veracode has helped with developer security training and helped build developer security skills. Developers who get the tickets can go into it and take a look at the remediation advice. They have a lot of published documentation about different types of security issues, documentation that developers can freely get into and read.

The integration with JIRA helps developers see the issues and respond to them.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are that you can do static analysis and dynamic analysis on a scheduled basis and that you can push the findings into JIRA.

Static Analysis Pipeline Scan was able to find security defects in the software we were sending its way. For both Android and iOS that worked very well. It did have a lot of false positives though, but at least we knew it was working. The speed of the pipeline scan was completely reasonable. I don't have any complaints about the time it took.

What needs improvement?

The efficiency of Veracode is fine when it comes to creating secure software, but it tends to raise a lot of false positives. It will tell you about a lot of issues that might be hard for an attacker to actually manipulate. Because of that it's very difficult, sometimes, to sort through all of the findings and figure out what you actually ought to pay attention to. Maybe calling them false positives isn't entirely accurate. There were a lot of things that it would raise that were accurate, but we just didn't consider them terribly important to address because it would be very hard for an attacker to actually use them to do anything bad. I think it frustrated the engineers at times. 

Also, the policies you have, where you can tune the findings you get, don't allow you not to file tickets about certain findings. It will always report the findings, even if you know you're not that concerned about a library writing to a system log, for example. It will keep raising them, even though you may have a ticket about it. The integration will keep updating the ticket every time the scan runs.

We couldn't make it stop. We tried tuning the policies. We had several meetings with the Veracode team to get their feedback on how we could tune the policies to quiet some of these things down and nothing ever resulted in that. Ultimately we couldn't stop some of these alerts from coming out.

Even stranger, for some of the issues raised, such as the ones that were in the vendor code base, we would put the status in Veracode that we communicated this to the vendor, but then, the next time the scan was run, it would find the same issue. One time it would respect that update and the next time, afterwards, it wouldn't respect it and it would generate the issue again. It was really weird. It was reopening the issues, even though they should have been in a "closed" state.

Another significant area for improvement is that their scanning had a lot of problems over this last year. One of the biggest problems was at first it wasn't able to read packaged Go. When I say packaged Go, I mean packaged the way the Go programming language says you're supposed to package Go to deploy the software, when you're using multiple build modules together to make an app. That's a totally normal thing to do, but Veracode was not able to dig into the packages and the sub-modules and scan all the code. It could only scan top-level code.

Once they fixed that problem, which took them until August, we found that it kept reporting that there were no problems at all in our Go code base. That was even scarier because it would usually give all these false positives on our other repositories. I had the application security engineer write a bunch of known defects into some Go code and push it in there and scan it, and it didn't raise anything with any of that. They're advertising that they have a Go scanner, but it doesn't actually function. If our company was going to continue in business, I would have asked them for a refund on the license for the Go scanner at our next renewal, but since we're going out of business, I'm not renewing.

I would also love to see them make it easier to debug the JIRA integration. Right now, all of the logs that are generated from the JIRA integration are only visible to the Veracode engineering team. If you need to debug this integration, you have to have a live meeting with them while they watch the debug messages. It's utterly ridiculous. Their employees are really nice, and I appreciate that they would go through this trouble with me, but I think it's terrible that we have to bother them to do that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Veracode for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's highly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scaled fine. We didn't have any problems with it not being available or going down during our scans. We have used it 100 percent, meaning we've taken advantage of every license we bought.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support was really good. I would give them a B+ and maybe an A-. The only thing that's really taking support down is the product itself. You and the support team are fighting against the product. The people at Veracode were great though.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't have a previous solution. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty complex. We had to integrate it with our CI/CD pipeline. This required writing custom code. Once it was integrated there, we had to have the development team make some changes to how they pushed a release to a special branch so it would go to Veracode on a weekly basis. And once it started raising the issues, we had to work on that JIRA-Veracode integration, which was not straightforward at all and required a lot of debugging help from the Veracode engineering team. They provided that and that was great, but ideally it would show you the error messages so that you don't need their help.

The initial deployment took about two or three weeks and then we had to come back and tune it several times, so there were another two to three weeks of tuning. Altogether, it was about six weeks of effort on our part.

Initially, we had one person working on the deployment, and then I started working on it as well. Later, there were four of us working with Veracode during these calls to try to do the policy tuning and figure out if we could make it work better for everyone.

We had six people using the solution: four software engineers and two security engineers.

What was our ROI?

I'm not sure if we have seen ROI. We didn't have any high-severity security defects being raised by Veracode, and that's just a function of the development team members we had. It helped in protecting ourselves from potential class action lawsuits.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is really fair compared to a lot of other tools on the market.

It's not like a typical SaaS offering. Let's say you got SaaS software from G Suite. You're going to get Google Docs and Google Drive and Google Sheets, etc. It's going to be the same for everybody. But in Veracode, it's not. You buy a license for specific kinds of scanners. I had two licenses for static analysis scanners and one license for a dynamic analysis scanner. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I chose Veracode over others because it supported the programming languages we're using. It had the best language support. A lot of the other solutions might have supported one of the languages we're using, but not all of them.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to definitely have some code that has a lot of security defects embedded into it and to run it through the scanner to test it early on in the process, ideally during the evaluation process. If your company works in five programming languages, you would want to create some code in each of those languages, code that has a lot of security defects, and then run the scanner over it to just make sure it can catch the security vulnerabilities you need it to catch and that it's consistent with how it raises those vulnerabilities.

Veracode provides guidance for fixing vulnerabilities but that doesn't enable developers to write secure code from the start. The way the product works is it scans code that has already been written and then raises issues about the security problems found in the code. That is the point at which the developer sees the issue and can look at the remediation advice Veracode gives, and the possible training. But it doesn't allow them to write secure code in the first place, unless they really remember everything. It does educate them about it, but it's usually after the fact.

The solution provides policy reporting for ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulation. While those features were not applicable to us, they were in there. I think they would be very useful for anyone working in a high-compliance industry.

It also provides visibility into application status across all testing types, including SAST, DAST, SCA, and manual penetration testing, in a centralized view. If you buy the SAST and DAST license, of course you'll see those scan results inside that view, but to see the pen testing that means you'd have to buy pen testing from them as well. Seeing those testing types in one view didn't really affect our AppSec. It's nice for the security team, but it's just not that important because they weren't in there everyday looking at it. Since we had the JIRA integration, the defects would flow into JIRA. The software engineers would take a look at it and categorize whether it was something they could fix or something that was in a vendor's library. The software engineers would prioritize the things that they could fix, and if it was in a vendor's library, I would batch those up and communicate them to the vendor.

Overall, I would grade Veracode as a "B" when it comes to its ability to prevent vulnerable code from going into production. It will find everything that's wrong, but it doesn't have enough tuning parameters to make it easier for organizations without compliance burdens to use it more effectively.

Overall, it's pretty solid. I would give it an eight out of 10.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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