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How WhiteSource created one of the biggest open source vulnerability databases on the internet, using AirFleet’s expertise

Liron Biton
14 September 2020
Case Studies

“Rajai is my best friend!” Liron smiles.

His colleague, Idan, agrees. “Rajai is great! Really great!” He enthuses.

Liron and Idan work for WhiteSource – an open source security and licence compliance management platform. They’re in charge of inbound and online marketing, including marketing automation, PPC, SEO, website conversion, analytics and so on.

Rajai works for AirFleet. He’s been working with Liron and Idan to deliver a lead-gen product called “Vulnerability Lab” which is essentially an interactive open source vulnerability database that is integrated with WhiteSource’s product.

This project has become a major source of organic traffic for WhiteSource in the first two months alone.

We’ve asked the WhiteSource team to tell us a bit about this project. They’re more than happy to oblige, particularly when it comes to praising Rajai.

“We could not have done this without AirFleet”, says Liron, “Rajai has been invaluable.”

What is WhiteSource?

WhiteSource works by scanning its clients’ software, detecting open-source libraries used, and detecting vulnerabilities and other risks that might harm WhiteSource’s clients; it then reports on these and suggests fixes.

“It basically covers the entire story around the open source end of your software”, explains Liron, “Our aim is to make open source more secure for software developers and software companies.”

In order to do this, WhiteSource has developed the best vulnerability database in the world. It’s a wonderful resource which, they realized, had the potential not only to add real value to the world, but which could be a real marketing asset for WhiteSource itself.

“Since WhiteSource is both part of the open source community and has gained a lot of data and knowledge about open source vulnerabilities over the years, we figured we now have a real opportunity to contribute to this community by creating the Vulnerability Lab”, Idan explains.

With the help of AirFleet, they have created the Vulnerability Lab – which provides open access to their huge vulnerability database.

Vulnerability Database

It’s great for SEO”, Idan says, “People come to our database because they want to learn about certain vulnerabilities and how to solve them. Then they go from there to our website and learn more about WhiteSource.”

“It’s about raising the perception and understanding of WhiteSource”, Liron explains, “and we’ve seen plenty of organic growth. It really strengthens our presence as leaders in the open source security market. We’re really adding value with this.”

Isn’t WhiteSource worried about giving away information like this? Liron shakes his head.

“Lots of people who aren’t our users come into the database because they’re interested.” He explains,  “But we’re not giving away any proprietary secrets. When you use the vulnerability database you do get a lot of insights into vulnerabilities – but a lot of what you learn is how much you need the full WhiteSource solution to deal with these vulnerabilities.”
AirFleet were crucial to achieving these results, as the two explain:

AirFleet’s role in the project

Creating the Vulnerability Lab was a complex project, which needed input from a diverse range of teams both inside and outside WhiteSource.

“We needed to understand what data points we were going to share, and how we were going to make it up to date every day, and how we were going to prevent it from being exposed to attackers…” Liron begins.

“And then, moving forward, we had issues around managing what we wanted to have on our website, adjusting it to what we had on the database and vice versa…all while making sure that our visitors are getting the best experience possible and protecting our proprietary secrets…it’s a complicated project, for sure!” Idan continues.

AirFleet has been invaluable in pulling all these strands together.

“I can’t do much without AirFleet, honestly”, Liron tells us, “This would have taken us forever using internal resources and would have required us to bring in a lot of new people. But AirFleet has the expertise in everything we needed to make this project happen quickly and smoothly.”

Having multiple experts from different fields on hand from the get-go has drastically cut the project’s R&D effort and sped up the project timeline ”by months”, according to Liron.

“AirFleet are so responsive”, Idan adds, “Absolutely nothing falls through the cracks. We have frequent meetings, we work together on a daily basis. It’s like having our very own dedicated team of experts – only better because, like Liron says, it would have been a huge effort to hire in a skillset this expert and this diverse.”

What about Rajai?

The team is full of praise for Rajai.

“If we ever have something urgent come up, Rajai is always there, always responsive. We don’t have any other service provider that responds so fast or so efficiently.” Liron says.

“It’s not like just having an internal webmaster”, Idan continues, “Rajai is so much more than that.”

For WhiteSource, AirFleet’s benefits are centered around responsiveness, expertise, and access to a diverse skillset.  “Rajai has that ability to understand exactly what you need, and he can match experts to that need.” Liron explains, “If we were using an in-house webmaster there’s no way we could have reached such a wide toolbox of experts.”

By working with Rajai and his ‘toolbox’ of AirFleet experts, WhiteSource are able to access not only a huge variety of skillsets, but also of perspectives. “By talking with Rajai, we can get the marketing perspective, business perspective, and technical perspective, and come up with solutions that work across the board.”

“He’s good at listening, so he quickly understands our needs. And more – sometimes we know what we need but not necessarily how to achieve it, and Rajai is immediately there with the perfect solution.” Liron says.

“He’s also not afraid to tell us when there’s a better way to achieve what we want”, Idan adds.

What’s the future for this project?

“We feel like this is just the start”, says Idan.

“To be honest we see much more growth in the future”, Liron agrees, “we’ve made such a great start, we want to really build on it. Add new features, make this the very best open source security resource out there!”

Overall, the project positions WhiteSource as a real leader in the open source community. As well as being fantastic for visibility allows the team to provide a much-needed service for a community that they value.

“The Open source community is really strong”, says Liron, “and it’s a privilege to be able to share something that people can gain so much value from.”

“In the future”, Idan says, “we want to keep adding and building on that value.”

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