06 Apr, 2023

DefectDojo – A Vulnerability Management Tool

DefectDojo is an open-source vulnerability management tool designed to help software development teams identify, track, and remediate security vulnerabilities. Developed by the security team at Rackspace, it is now maintained by a community of developers and security experts. 

Figure 1: DefectDojo Dashboard

In today’s world, where cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and frequent, it’s critical for software development teams to prioritize security in their development processes.It provides a comprehensive solution for vulnerability management that enables teams to identify and address security vulnerabilities in a timely and effective manner.

It is an ideal tool for organizations that want to implement a security-first approach to software development. It provides a platform for teams to manage the entire vulnerability management process, from scanning applications to tracking remediation efforts. It integrates with a wide range of security tools, including scanners, issue trackers, and reporting tools, to provide a comprehensive solution for managing security vulnerabilities.

With DefectDojo, teams can easily schedule automated scans of their applications and identify vulnerabilities in real-time. The platform allows teams to collaborate on remediation efforts and track progress to ensure that vulnerabilities are addressed promptly. Additionally, it provides a centralized repository for vulnerability data, allowing teams to easily track trends and identify areas for improvement.

One of the key advantages of DefectDojo is its flexibility. The platform can be customized to suit the needs of individual teams and organizations. Teams can create custom workflows, define their own vulnerability classifications, and configure the platform to integrate with their existing toolchains.

Another advantage of DefectDojo is its active community of developers and security experts. The platform is regularly updated with new features and security patches, ensuring that it stays up-to-date with the latest security threats and vulnerabilities. The community also provides support and guidance for users, making it easy for teams to get started with DefectDojo and use it effectively.

Installation and Setup

To use DefectDojo effectively, it’s important to understand how to install and set up the tool. It can be installed using Docker or manually on a local machine or in the cloud. Below are the steps to guide you through the installation of DefectDojo using Docker.

Prerequisites

Docker and Docker Compose installed on your system
Basic knowledge of Docker and Docker Compose

Step 1: Clone DefectDojo repository

The first step in installing DefectDojo using Docker is to clone the DefectDojo repository from GitHub. You can do this by running the following command:

$ git clone https://github.com/DefectDojo/django-DefectDojo.git

Step 2: Build the Docker images

Once you have cloned the repository, navigate to the django-DefectDojo directory and run the dc-build.sh script to build the Docker images.

$ cd django-DefectDojo
$ ./dc-build.sh

Step 3: Run DefectDojo containers

Next, run the dc-up.sh script to start the DefectDojo containers. The script takes a profile name as an argument, which specifies the configuration to use for the containers. In this example, we are using the mysql-rabbitmq profile.

$ ./dc-up.sh mysql-rabbitmq

Step 4: Obtain admin credentials

Once the containers are up and running, you can obtain the admin credentials by running the following command:

$ docker-compose logs initializer | grep “Admin password:”

This command will output the admin credentials, including the username and password.

Step 5: Access DefectDojo

You can now access DefectDojo by navigating to http://localhost:8000 in your web browser. Use the admin credentials obtained in the previous step to log in.

Best Practices

DefectDojo is a comprehensive vulnerability management tool that offers a wide range of features to help software development teams identify, track, and remediate security vulnerabilities. While the platform is powerful, to get the most out of it, it’s important to follow some best practices. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best practices for using it effectively.

Schedule regular scans

One of the key features of DefectDojo is its ability to schedule automated scans of your applications. By scheduling regular scans, you can ensure that any new vulnerabilities are identified quickly and remediated promptly. It integrates with a range of scanning tools, including OWASP ZAP, Burp Suite, and Nessus, making it easy to schedule scans and view the results directly in the platform.

When scheduling scans, it’s important to consider the frequency and scope of the scans. Depending on the size and complexity of your application, you may need to schedule scans more or less frequently. Additionally, you may need to adjust the scope of the scans to focus on specific areas of your application or specific types of vulnerabilities. By fine-tuning your scanning schedule and scope, you can ensure that you’re identifying vulnerabilities effectively without overwhelming your team with false positives.

Figure 2: DefectDojo Veracode Scan Report

Customize your workflows

DefectDojo is a highly flexible platform that can be customized to suit the needs of your team or organization. Take advantage of this flexibility by creating custom workflows that align with your development process and toolchain. It supports a range of integrations with issue trackers, reporting tools, and other security tools, making it easy to integrate the platform into your existing workflows.
When customizing your workflows, consider the different stages of your development process and how DefectDojo can support each stage. For example, you may want to set up a workflow that automatically creates a new task in Jira when a new vulnerability is identified by a scanning tool which is then confirmed on Dojo.

Vulnerability management features

DefectDojo is a comprehensive vulnerability management tool that offers a range of reporting and metrics features to gain visibility into vulnerability trends and insights within your organization. It allows users to merge similar findings into a single ticket, create remediation and finding templates by CWE for consistent remediation advice, and customize remediation advice based on company requirements. With DefectDojo, you can set remediation SLAs based on finding criticality and track days remaining to remediate. You can also set thresholds to determine product grades and view a scorecard of product health at a glance.

Figure 3: Vulnerability Management

Integrate with other tools

DefectDojo integrates with a wide range of security tools, including scanners, issue trackers, and reporting tools. By integrating with other tools, you can create a comprehensive solution for vulnerability management that covers all aspects of your development process. For example, you can integrate DefectDojo with JIRA or GitHub to automatically create tasks when a new vulnerability is identified.
When integrating with other tools, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your team or organization. You may need to customize the integration to ensure that it aligns with your workflows and toolchain. Additionally, you may need to adjust the configuration of the integration over time as your needs evolve.

Train your team

DefectDojo is a powerful tool, but it’s only effective if your team knows how to use it. Make sure to provide training and guidance to your team members to ensure that they are using the platform effectively. This can include training on how to integrate tools, use plugins, manage vulnerabilities, handle benchmarks, etc.

 Figure 4: Benchmark

Conclusion

DefectDojo is a powerful tool for managing vulnerabilities in software development projects. With its range of features, including scanning integration, vulnerability management, and reporting, DefectDojo makes it easy for teams to identify, track, and remediate security vulnerabilities. By using it, software development teams can ensure that their applications are secure and protected against cyber threats.

One of the key benefits of DefectDojo is its scalability. The platform can be used by teams of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. With its flexible architecture, DefectDojo can be customized to suit the needs of individual teams and organizations. This allows teams to tailor the platform to their specific workflows and toolchains, making it a highly adaptable solution for vulnerability management.

DefectDojo also provides a range of integrations with other security tools, such as scanners, issue trackers, and reporting tools. This allows teams to create a comprehensive vulnerability management solution that covers all aspects of the development process. By integrating it with other tools, teams can improve their overall security posture and ensure that vulnerabilities are identified and addressed quickly.

Additionally, DefectDojo provides a centralized repository for vulnerability data, making it easy for teams to track trends and identify areas for improvement. This can help teams to develop more effective vulnerability management strategies and reduce the risk of security breaches in the future.

Ultimately, DefectDojo is a critical tool for any software development team that wants to prioritize security in their development process. By using DefectDojo, teams can ensure that their applications are secure and protected against cyber threats. With its comprehensive solution for vulnerability management, flexible architecture, and range of integrations, it is an ideal choice for organizations that want to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to cybersecurity.

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