Why Every Business Should Maintain a Software Bill of Materials

What is a Software Bill of Materials?

A Software Bill of Materials (BOM) is a list of all the parts that are needed to build a software product. It is also known as the “build list” or “assembly list”. It can be used by both developers and project managers to track what components are needed for a software product.

Software supply chain attacks are becoming more common in the industry and more businesses are being attacked every day. This is a huge problem due to the fact that these attacks are not just a nuisance and a waste of time, but they can also be very costly.

What are the Benefits of a Software Bill of Materials?

The Software Bill of Materials is a document that lists all the software components used by a project and their corresponding versions. It is designed to help developers and stakeholders understand the underlying dependencies of their software.

The two main benefits of having a maintained software BOM are:

  • Know if your software is vulnerable quickly in the event of a widely publicized vulnerability of supply chain attack

  • Assist in compliance with various software licenses and regulations governing software

How Can a Software BOM Help Protect Your Business from a Supply Chain Attack?

A software BOM (bill of materials) is a list of all the components that make up a software product. It helps to protect from attacks by giving you a list to quickly search through when you become aware of a new vulnerability or potential supply chain attack.

A security breach can happen in a variety of ways, and a software BOM help protect against two of the biggest categories of attacks:

  • Viruses and malware that exploit software vulnerabilities.

  • Supply chain attacks where the supplier may not have been aware of the attack or it may be difficult to detect.

Creating a Software BOM using Microsoft’s open source BOM tool

In July, Microsoft open sourced their free Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) tool. The SBOM tool is “a general-purpose, enterprise-proven, build-time SBOM generator” and it’s available across different platforms. The output of the tool is in the SPDX format, a standard format for SBOMs. and the Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) format to make it easy to integrate with any package manager.

With this tool it is easy for any organization to prepare a Software Bill of Materials.


  • CRMs/ERPs
  • Payment Gateways
  • Accounting Systems
  • Lead Managements Tools
  • Web Apps
  • Legacy Systems
  • E-Commerce Systems
  • Freight/Shipping Systems
  • Social Media
  • Email Services

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