Why A Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) Is So Important

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Software has become an integral part of our daily lives, permeating everything from our smartphones and cars to critical infrastructure systems. However, as the complexity and interdependencies of software systems continue to grow, so do the risks associated with vulnerabilities and security breaches. This has led to the emergence of a crucial tool known as the Software Bill of Materials (SBOM). In this article, we will explore the significance of an SBOM, shedding light on its role in enhancing transparency and improving security.

Why A Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) Is So Important
Why A Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) Is So Important
Table of contents

Understanding the SBOM

At the heart of any piece of technology lies its source code, a complex map that determines the functionality, scalability, and overall operation of a product. Deep within this map, we find the Software Bill of Materials (SBOM), an essential list of components that make up this digital territory. In terms of tech due diligence, an SBOM serves as the fundamental blueprint from which we assess cybersecurity risk, maintainability, scalability, and Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

A well-prepared SBOM encompasses a detailed inventory of every piece of software included in the final product. It includes open-source components, proprietary elements, third-party offerings, as well as any external libraries and frameworks. But why is this level of granularity so crucial in Tech Due Diligence?

Importance of SBOM in Tech Due Diligence

The Tech Due Diligence process involves a thorough analysis of the technology that a company uses, develops, or is about to buy, including its source code. An SBOM serves as a key tool in this process, providing valuable insight into the following areas:

1. Cybersecurity Risk Management

As the landscape of digital threats evolves, cybersecurity becomes increasingly important. An SBOM provides crucial visibility into potential vulnerabilities. It identifies outdated or insecure components that pose a risk to the overall system, enabling measures for improvement and risk mitigation. In fact, recent legislation like the US Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity (May 2021) underscores the necessity of an SBOM in software development and acquisition, to improve software supply chain security.

2. Assessing Maintainability and Scalability

A comprehensive SBOM helps assess the maintainability and scalability of a product. It provides a clear picture of the software's architecture, indicating whether it's designed for future expansion, flexibility, and adaptation. This can be a significant factor in tech due diligence, particularly when evaluating the long-term viability of a software product or a potential acquisition.

3. Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

In an age where open-source components and third-party software are routinely integrated into proprietary software, an SBOM plays a pivotal role in managing IP rights. It allows organizations to identify any potential IP conflicts, including licensing issues. A thorough SBOM analysis can prevent costly legal disputes and protect a company's IP rights.

4. Regulatory Compliance

The SBOM aids companies in ensuring regulatory compliance. For instance, GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act demand specific data handling practices which can be checked against the list of components in an SBOM. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in hefty fines and damage to a company’s reputation.

Leveraging SBOMs for Strategic Decisions

For decision-makers, the SBOM isn't just a checklist or an inventory; it's a valuable source of strategic insights. By leveraging the information contained within an SBOM, companies can make informed decisions about software acquisitions, partnerships, or investments.

Understanding the components that make up a piece of software can expose potential dependencies or liabilities that might otherwise remain hidden. This includes dependencies on third-party software or services, which could present business continuity risks if a vendor stops supporting a component or suffers a security breach.

Further, an SBOM can reveal opportunities for software optimization, by identifying redundant or underutilized components. It can also inform decisions about resource allocation, by highlighting parts of the software that require the most maintenance or updates.

SBOMs and Future-Proofing

Future-proofing a software product or a tech company involves forecasting and preparing for potential changes and challenges in the tech landscape. In this context, an SBOM can be seen as a valuable tool for scenario planning.

For instance, an SBOM could reveal a software product's over-reliance on a particular technology or platform that is likely to become obsolete. This insight could then trigger a strategic pivot towards more sustainable technologies, thus securing the product's or company's future in the face of technological change.

In addition, SBOMs can play a role in the pursuit of more environmentally sustainable software development practices. They can help identify components that are resource-intensive and potentially replace them with more efficient alternatives.


As we continue to navigate the increasingly complex digital landscape, the importance of a comprehensive Software Bill of Materials in Tech Due Diligence cannot be overstated. It's an invaluable tool for risk management, strategic decision-making, and future-proofing. By scrutinizing the SBOM and understanding every component of the software we use or develop, we can build safer, more sustainable, and more successful tech companies and products.

In our role as tech due diligence experts, we continually emphasize the need for thorough SBOM analysis and interpretation. As the world grows more connected and technology continues to evolve, the SBOM will undoubtedly remain at the forefront of cybersecurity, scalability, maintainability, and IP protection. Recognize its importance today and secure your technological future tomorrow.



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Marine Yborra CMO Vaultinum
Marine YborraMarine is our Marketing Director. She is a branding and brand activation specialist with international experience in BtoB and BtoC.

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