Securing the Software Supply Chain with SLSA and Slim

Nnenna Ndukwe
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In software, the mantra of "trust but verify" has never been more relevant. The complexities of the modern software supply chain make it susceptible to a myriad threats, and according to OpenSSF and Sonatype, supply chain threats are growing 742% year over year. With the growing trend of cyber-attacks aimed at the software supply chain, the security of your code—from development to deployment—is paramount. In this post, we’ll explore the concept of Software Supply Chain Levels of Assurance (SLSA, pronounced "salsa"), why it's necessary to adopt these security practices, and how SlimAI enables your organization to achieve SLSA compliance in order to improve security posture.

What is SLSA Compliance?

Software Supply Chain Levels of Assurance (SLSA) is a framework for software supply chain integrity, created by Google. The SLSA is a set of security guidelines designed to improve the state of the software supply chain by providing measurable and actionable controls. This framework is for software providers, software consumers, and infrastructure providers.

SLSA compliance is graded on a four-level scale. Each level represents an increasing degree of security controls, starting with simple control of source code, then including built artifacts, continuously delivered products, and culminating in a robustly secure, auditable, and reproducible software supply chain. Achieving higher SLSA levels signifies a lower risk of software supply chain attacks.

Why Software Teams Should Adopt SLSA Practices

The purpose behind adopting SLSA practices is not to simply meet requirements and check a box. It provides tangible benefits that are integral to DevSecOps functions within organizations being able to accelerate their velocity in effective ways.

Here's why we think it’s important:

1. Enhanced Security

The SLSA framework offers a path to a hardened software supply chain, reducing the risk of tampering or compromise at any stage of the software development lifecycle.

2. Greater Transparency

SLSA provides detailed guidelines for critical processes and operations, promoting transparency and reproducibility. This helps to improve accountability and facilitate easier troubleshooting and debugging.

3. Regulatory Compliance

As cybersecurity threats grow, regulators worldwide are increasing their focus on software supply chain security. SLSA can help companies demonstrate their commitment to security and may support compliance with future regulatory requirements.

4. Improved Trust

By achieving high levels of SLSA compliance, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to security to their customers, partners, and stakeholders, enhancing trust in their software products.

How Slim Helps Teams Align with SLSA

Gartner shared that “a platform approach to supporting DevSecOps workflows reduces the potential attack surface while still enabling development teams to deliver at scale”, as opposed to multiple teams utilizing different security tools and mechanisms.

Alignment and simplicity in the process of maintaining and improving security posture is a pragmatic response to the challenges DevSecOps teams are facing daily.

SlimAI has three pillars that are crafted to tackle the problems of software supply chain security paired with a more seamless workflow experience to enable teams.

Here is a breakdown of these pillars:


SlimObserve is about us collecting all of the insights required to contextualize your software supply chain risks.

  • Container vulnerability scanning
  • Reachability analysis
  • Continuous monitoring


We respond when, where & how it makes sense for your organization.

  • Slack integration tooling to be more aware and responsive to changes in vulnerabilities in their containers


SlimExchange helps to keep teams audit-ready with proactive reporting features.

  • Software artifacts: downloadable SBOMs
  • Reporting & Publishing

These three product pillars cover multiple components of SLSA compliance for DevSecOps teams.

Streamlined Workflows

We automate many aspects of the DevOps process, making it easier to adhere to SLSA guidelines. This automated workflow can contribute to satisfying the requirements of lower SLSA levels, which focus on source and build integrity.

Enhanced Security & Trust

Integrates security into the development lifecycle. It can provide artifact provenance and ensure that software build processes are hermetic (isolated from external influences), both of which are necessary for achieving higher SLSA levels.

Reportable and Transparent

Our tools allow teams to document and review every step of the development and deployment process, providing the level of transparency and abilities to report required by SLSA.

Continuous Compliance

Our platform enables continuous monitoring of compliance with SLSA standards, allowing teams to maintain high levels of software supply chain integrity and security.

Ultimately, software supply chain industry standards are continuously leaning in the direction of software teams building with SLSA compliance as a forethought. Leveraging Slim helps to keep teams aligned with SLSA compliance and, in turn, increases your team’s velocity.

Resources and References


Gartner Article: Adopt Platform Engineering to Scale Application Security Practices

Slim Platform and CLI Documentation

OpenSFF: The Rising Threat of Software Supply Chain Attacks: Managing Dependencies of Open Source Projects

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