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

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

In today’s digital world, enterprises use a variety of applications and services that depend on third-party code. While this is an efficient way to develop software, it can create blind spots regarding security and compliance. Shadow code is an example of such a blind spot.

It refers to code not part of the formal code base but still running in production. It can come from various sources, including external libraries, plugins and open-source components. Businesses must analyze it carefully to ensure the security and reliability of their applications.

Today, Managed IT Services (MITS) will discuss the steps enterprises can take to manage shadow code and address resulting blind spots. Pay extra attention, as shadow code may result in unauthorized access to your systems. Businesses are already facing increasing instances of social engineering attacks.

As a business owner, if you are worried about your organization’s security, we have the ideal solution. MITS is a leading managed IT services provider in Pakistan. Our services include safe IT asset disposal and complete network monitoring, ensuring your organization is protected round-the-clock.

Shadow Code and Third-Party Blind Spots

Here is you can manage this challenge efficiently:

  1. Identify All External Components in Use

The first step is to identify and create a list of third party components in use. It includes both open-source and commercial components. The list must contain their version numbers, license types, and any known vulnerabilities or issues. A software analysis tool like Black Duck can scan the codebase and generate a report of all open-source components used in the application. Businesses may use the report to create an inventory of all such components.


After creating the list, enterprises should perform regular vulnerability assessments to identify vulnerabilities or issues. They can do it by using automated tools or through manual testing. Regular vulnerability assessments will help enterprises stay ahead of potential security threats.

Nessus, a software application, can scan the environment for known vulnerabilities and generate a report of any issues found. Use this report to prioritize and remediate vulnerabilities.


Enterprises should establish a code review process to ensure that all code, including third party components, meets the organization’s security and compliance requirements. Code reviews can be done by internal teams or external auditors. Integrate the review into the software development life cycle to ensure all code is reviewed before deployment.

The code review process can include a review of the codebase by internal teams or auditors. The review should ensure that all code meets the organization’s security and compliance requirements.


Organizations must monitor for unauthorized code changes to detect any instances of shadow code. It can be done using automated tools that scan the production environment for changes not part of the formal codebase. Any unauthorized changes should be investigated and remediated immediately.

For example, a tool like Tripwire can monitor the environment for changes to files and report any unauthorized changes. It can help detect instances of shadow code.


Enterprises should use trusted sources for external components to minimize the risk of shadow code. This includes using well-established open-source libraries and commercial components from reputable vendors. Enterprises should also avoid using components that have not been updated in a long time or have many known vulnerabilities. 


Enterprises should implement a third-party risk management program to address blind spots. This program should include policies and procedures for selecting, assessing, and managing vendors/suppliers. It should also include regular audits of the partners to ensure they meet the organization’s security and compliance requirements.


In conclusion, managing shadow code and addressing third party blind spots is crucial for enterprises to ensure the security and reliability of their applications. The above steps can help businesses address the challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *