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Dependabot vs Snyk: What are the differences?

Dependabot and Snyk are both tools that help improve software security by identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in dependencies. Let's explore the key differences between them.

  1. Integration with Development Workflows: Dependabot integrates seamlessly with popular development platforms, such as GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, allowing it to automatically detect and update outdated dependencies. On the other hand, Snyk also integrates with these platforms but offers additional integrations with CI/CD pipelines, package managers, and IDEs, providing more flexibility in different development workflows.

  2. Scope of Security Testing: Dependabot primarily focuses on identifying and updating outdated dependencies to address security vulnerabilities. It notifies developers about available updates and helps automate the update process. In contrast, Snyk offers a wider scope of testing, not only identifying outdated dependencies but also actively scanning for vulnerabilities within the dependencies themselves, providing more comprehensive security assessment.

  3. Breadth of Language Support: Dependabot has extensive language support and can analyze dependencies for a wide range of programming languages and ecosystems, including Ruby, JavaScript, Python, Java, and many more. Snyk also supports numerous languages but has a slightly wider range, covering additional languages, such as Go, Swift, Rust, and PHP.

  4. Vulnerability Intelligence: Snyk provides detailed vulnerability information, including severity ratings, exploit maturity, and remediation steps. It offers insights into the specific risks associated with each vulnerability and provides recommendations on how to address them efficiently. Dependabot, although effective in identifying outdated dependencies, does not offer the same level of vulnerability intelligence as Snyk.

  5. Community and Ecosystem: Snyk has a strong community and ecosystem, with a wide range of integrations, plugins, and extensions available. It also offers a vast database of known vulnerabilities and remediation guidance provided by the community. Dependabot, while widely used, may not have the same level of community support and ecosystem integration as Snyk.

  6. Pricing Model: Dependabot is generally available for free, and its core features are included in most popular development platforms. However, some advanced features may require a subscription or additional payment. Snyk offers both free and paid plans, with the free plan covering basic vulnerability testing and higher-tier plans providing advanced features, such as license compliance monitoring and organization-wide security policy enforcement.

In summary, Dependabot automates dependency updates by monitoring repositories for outdated dependencies and creating pull requests to update them, streamlining the process of keeping projects up-to-date. On the other hand, Snyk offers comprehensive security scanning capabilities, detecting vulnerabilities in dependencies and providing actionable insights to remediate security risks, making it a valuable tool for ensuring the security posture of software projects.

Advice on Dependabot and Snyk
Bryan Dady
SRE Manager at Subsplash · | 5 upvotes · 434.3K views

I'm beginning to research the right way to better integrate how we achieve SCA / shift-left / SecureDevOps / secure software supply chain. If you use or have evaluated WhiteSource, Snyk, Sonatype Nexus, SonarQube or similar, I would very much appreciate your perspective on strengths and weaknesses and how you selected your ultimate solution. I want to integrate with GitLab CI.

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Moises Figueroa
DevOps Engineer at Ingenium Code · | 2 upvotes · 29.9K views

I'd recommend Snyk since it provides an IDE extension for Developers, SAST, auto PR security fixes, container, IaC and includes open source scanning as well. I like their scoring method as well for better prioritization. I was able to remove most of the containers and cli tools I had in my pipelines since Snyk covers secrets, vulns, security and some code cleaning. SAST has false positives but the scoring helps. Also had to spend time putting some training docs but their engineers helped out with content.

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Pros of Dependabot
Pros of Snyk
  • 1
    Free for github projects
  • 10
    Github Integration
  • 5
    Free for open source projects
  • 4
    Finds lots of real vulnerabilities
  • 1
    Easy to deployed

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Cons of Dependabot
Cons of Snyk
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 2
      Does not integrated with SonarQube
    • 1
      No malware detection
    • 1
      No surface monitoring
    • 1
      Complex UI
    • 1
      False positives

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    What is Dependabot?

    Dependabot helps you keep your dependencies up to date. Every day, it checks your dependency files for outdated requirements and opens individual PRs for any it finds. You review, merge, and get to work on the latest, most secure releases.

    What is Snyk?

    Automatically find & fix vulnerabilities in your code, containers, Kubernetes, and Terraform

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Dependabot?
    What companies use Snyk?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Dependabot or Snyk.
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