Semgrep vs. Coverity

Coverity scans can take hours, and results are impossible to bring to developers without extensive, manual review of findings.

Semgrep scans take minutes. Findings are easy to understand and triage in bulk, and easy to surface in developer workflows without slowing them down.

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Why choose Semgrep?

Scan in minutes, not hours:

Coverity scans require build and capture steps that take hours. "Rapid" scans in Coverity use a separate engine with shallow coverage. Every Semgrep scan runs on source code, finishes in minutes, and uses Semgrep's Pro Engine.

Involve developers without overwhelming them:

Semgrep gives you granular control over which issues are surfaced to developers and how they are surfaced (PRs, IDE). Shifting left with Coverity means clogging developer IDEs with noise from a secondary engine.

Doesn't require a dedicated team of experts to manage:

Coverity is complicated in every dimension, but most critically its rules are difficult to understand and near impossible to customize. Semgrep rules look like source code - this makes understanding and customizing rule behavior to suit your needs simple and intuitive.

Rule and Workflow Diagram
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Coverity

Why this matters

Languages supported

30+

22

Comprehensive language support reduces the number of tools security teams and developers need to use and integrate into their workflows.

Scan Speed

<5 minutes

(all languages)

30 minutes to 5+ hours

(language dependent)

Fast scan speeds allow SAST processes to be embedded in the developer workflow without adding friction.

Most Coverity scans require a build, capture, and analysis step. Compiled languages like C/C++ take hours to scan.

Seamless integration with CI / SCM

Seamless integration with CI and SCM providers make a SAST solution easy to implement, and easy to manage and use.

Semgrep integrates seamlessly with all major SCM and CI providers in a few clicks. Users can sign up, scan a project, and get actionable findings all within 10 minutes.


See Synopsys Bridge documentation for a relative comparison of complexity and difficulty.

No build/compile requirement

SAST and code analysis tools that run on source code are fast, lightweight, and developer-friendly.

All Semgrep scans run on source code, even compiled languages. Most Coverity scans require a resource-intensive build step, even non-compiled languages.

Rule policies and behaviors

Granular controls over which findings are surfaced to developers and where they are surfaced is critical to shift security processes left without introducing friction and slowing down development.

Semgrep users can customize which vulnerabilities are surfaced to developers via PR comments, ticketing solutions, IDE extensions, or Slack/email via the Semgrep Cloud Platform.

PR Scans

PR scans are critical if security teams and developers want to find and fix issues before they hit main and accrue technical debt.

Semgrep and Coverity can both scan pull requests, however only Semgrep can conduct a PR scan in minutes and immediately return high-confidence results back to the developer within PR comments.

PR comments

PR comments allow security issues to be identified and presented to developers within their pull requests - with the relevant code, context, and explainability presented alongside.

Fix rate / developer feedback

Fix rate measures the percentage of findings that are addressed by developers. This offers critical insight into rule-effectiveness, false positive rates, and developer engagement.

AI assisted triage and remediation

Semgrep Assistant uses GPT-4 to help prioritize issues, identify false positives, and recommend fixes for true positives. Assistant always provides the context needed for developers and security engineers to quickly verify and understand any generated suggestions.

Autofix

Autofix lets security teams implement deterministic fixes to specific, recurring issues to automate remediation.

Does NOT require code access

Many organizations are unable to use a solution that requires the processing or handling of their code to any extent.

IDE Extensions

IDE extensions let developers identify security issues while they code (SAST at the speed of linting), and let organizations enforce coding practices and guardrails.

Coverity's IDE plugin does not scan on every keystroke. Coverity IDE scans use a different analysis engine, self-described as having "broad, shallow coverage."

API support

APIs allow teams to ingest findings and data from SAST tooling into their alerting systems, internal tools, etc.

Ticketing integrations

Integrations with ticketing tools help teams surface security issues to developers within their existing workflows.

Semgrep supports major ticketing tools like Jira, Asana, and Linear.

Coverity has limited support for Jira cloud, and no native support for Asana and Linear.

Languages supported

9

17

Comprehensive language support reduces the number of tools security teams and developers need to use.

Reachability Analysis

Reachability analysis identifies the dependency vulnerabilities that are actually reachable in your code - for example, validating if a vulnerable function is called or not.

This allows teams to cut down false positive rates by 80-95% [1] [2] and prioritize fixes that actually reduce risk.

SBOM export

An SBOM, or software bill of materials, is important for SCA tools to be able to generate in order to prove compliance and report on dependency risk.

SBOMs exported with Semgrep are also enriched with reachability data, giving a clearer picture into the actual state of risk in your code.

PR Scans

PR scans allow teams to find dependency vulnerabilities before they are committed to main, and surface a list of dependency vulnerabilities directly in the developer's workflow.

PR Comments and developer feedback

Interfacing with security tooling and findings via PR comments improves the developer experience, and makes security workflows feel more responsive and bi-directional.

The ability for developers to give feedback on a finding within PR comments gives security teams faster and more comprehensive insights on accuracy and false positives.

Blackduck has limited support for PR comments via Synopsys Bridge - read the documentation to get a relative idea of complexity and limitations.

Automatic remediation

Automatic remediation automatically updates and patches dependencies where vulnerabilities are addressed.

Blackduck supports automatic remediation for Javascript. Semgrep does not support automatic remediation at this time.

License Compliance

License Compliance is an essential part of most AppSec programs, especially with companies where distributed code products can’t have any copyleft licenses used.

Semgrep Supply Chain’s License Compliance enables you to block pull requests for non-compliant licenses and gain visibility into the license composition of all your dependencies.

Scan locally (IDE/Terminal)

IDE extensions let developers identify dependency issues while they code, within their IDE.

Semgrep currently supports IntelliJ IDEA and VS Code.

Basic rules for secrets detection

Basic rules can detect simpler secrets using regex and entropy analysis without requiring any additional context.

Semantic Analysis

Semantic analysis understands the context of the code, going beyond regex and entropy analysis to reduce noise and uncover more true positives.

Validation

Semgrep takes any uncovered secrets and validates them against a range of public APIs to identify if they are active/live.

Custom Validators

Security teams can write validation checks for internal tools used by developers

Find and fix the issues that matter before build time

Semgrep helps organizations shift left without the developer productivity tax.

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