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GitGuardian vs Gitleaks for git secrets scanning

Understand how GitGuardian compares with Gitleaks, so you can find the best fit for you.

Compare GitGuardian to Gitleaks
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Hey there! If you’re researching different options for a new git secrets scanning solution then you’re probably looking to compare GitGuardian with other solutions to figure out which one is right for you. To help make this as easy as possible, we’ve put together a detailed overview of how GitGuardian stacks up to Gitleaks.

Below you’ll find a very transparent comparison of the main features, and even a set of cases where GitGuardian is not the best choice, and recommendations for when Gitleaks might work better than GitGuardian!

Let's compare!

The space is evolving quickly, and we make our best efforts to keep information on our competitors up to date. If you see any information that you consider outdated or unfair with our competitors, please contact us and we will immediately set the record straight!

General capabilities

(for both public and internal monitoring products)

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Desktop Screen

Enriched interface and centralization of incidents

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Rich UI with all data needed for investigation and remediation

Green Check

Yes

-- No

InfoSec team view (global view)

Green Check

Yes

-- No

Developer view (local view)

Green Check

Yes

++ Yes (with GitHub actions)

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Detection

Harvest candidates

Filter false positives

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Regular expressions to match known, distinct patterns

Green Check

Yes - Over %ndet% secrets detectors (API keys, database connection strings, certificates, usernames and passwords, ...)

++ Yes - Regex on characters chains + entropy filters

High entropy checks to match credentials without distinct patterns and enter “paranoid” mode

Green Check

Yes, in combination with other techniques to get rid of false positives.

++ Yes, but high level of false positive. Entropy level can be customised by end user.

Contextual analysis

Green Check

Yes. The context of a presumed credential can help a lot to filter bad candidates (e.g. the import of an API wrapper is a strong indicator of a true positive).

-- No

Credential validity checks

Green Check

Yes, where feasible.

-- No

Dictionary of anti-patterns

Green Check

Yes - Ability to exclude folders such as test folders and filter certain credentials like those containing "EXAMPLE" or "QWERTY" in them (placeholders).

++ Yes, manually for each rule you can specify an allowlist regex.

Feedback loop to constantly improve the algorithms

Green Check

Yes. Approx. %secrets-scanned-in-a-day% alerts sent per day!

-- No

Sensitive File names

Green Check

Sensitive filetypes raise specific alerts: policy breaks.

Ability to define custom detectors

Green Check

Yes, but only through our support and if the detector can be deployed for all customers. Full ability to define custom detectors to be expected in H2 2021.

++ Yes

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Implementation method

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Instance Level

Green Check

Yes

Org Level

Green Check

Yes, native GitHub app at organisation level (simple integration)

Individual repository level

Green Check

Yes, upon integration of a GHE organization, users can choose to:
- give access to only one repository in particular
- give access to all repositories (and the ones that will be created).

Secrets Detection API

Green Check

Core detection engine can be used to scan any type of text files (Slack messages, Gdivre, Jira tickets, etc.) More information: here

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Alerting

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Real-time alerting

Green Check

Yes

-- No

Email alerting

Green Check

Yes

-- No

Splunk

Green Check

Native integration

Integration with most common SIEMs or ITSMs

Green Check

Yes

-- No

Slack alerting

Green Check

Yes

-- No

JIRA

Green Check

Native integration (Q4 2021)

Custom webhook to integrate anywhere

Green Check

Available to push alerts (JSON output format)

GitLab Issues

Red X

Not supported

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Incident Life Cycle Management

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Collect and structure weak signals to prioritize incidents

Green Check

Yes - For example, credentials containing “admin” or “prod” in their context can be prioritized.

Ability to assign incidents / mark them as resolved / etc.

Green Check

Yes

-- No

Whitelisting

Green Check

Yes - Whitelist credentials or folders such as test folders.

++ Yes

Grouping / deduplication of alerts

Green Check

Yes - Multiple alerts related to the same leaked credential are grouped and can be resolved in a unified manner. No need to triage/resolve every single occurrence.

-- No

REST API

Green Check

API to retrieve and update secrets incidents

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Reporting

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

In app

Green Check

Yes - Global Health Status, MTTD / MTTR, etc.

-- No

Data exporting

Green Check

Yes - Enriched data can be exported in CSV format.

++ Yes (Only one scan at a time)

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Security

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

SSO authentication

Green Check

Yes

-- No

RBAC

Green Check

Yes - Roles available: Owner / Manager (Admin) / Members.

-- No

Audit trail

Green Check

Yes

-- No

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Get a demo

Public monitoring product

(On top of general capabilities)

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Monitoring

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Monitor all GitHub public activity, at scale

Green Check

Yes

-- No - You need to direct Gitleaks against repositories you know exist

Reliably filter public activity on GitHub that is linked with your company

Green Check

Yes - We have the ability to match developers, source code and companies using a unique combination of heuristics. Contact us, we will show you our results for your company!

-- No

Identify and monitor developers’ personal repositories

Green Check

Yes - This is where 80% of corporate leaks occur on GitHub.

-- No

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Deployment
of the solution

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Available in SaaS

Green Check

Yes

-- No

Available On Prem

Red X

No - GitGuardian Public Monitoring scans only public data, thus on prem is often not a requirement for our customers.

Open source

← swipe left

Get a demo

Internal monitoring product

(On top of general capabilities)

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Integration with the Version Control System

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

GitHub native integration

Green Check

Yes - Integration at the GitHub Org level with the ability to select monitored repositories

-- No

GitLab native integration

Green Check

Yes - Integration at the instance level on full perimeter or at the group level

-- No

Bitbucket native integration

Green Check

Yes - Bitbucket Server/Data Center customer only

-- No

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SDLC stage scanning capabilities

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Pre-commit

Green Check

Supported through GitGuardian Shield (view documentation here)

Pre-push

Green Check

Supported through GitGuardian Shield (view documentation here)

Pre-receive

Green Check

Supported but not recommended because "pre receive" can block developers and create friction

Post-receive

Green Check

Yes, supported natively. Real-time incremental scanning.

CI pipeline

Green Check

Natively integrates with GitLab pipelines, in addition to CircleCI, Travis CI, Drone CI...

Full historical scan

Green Check

Yes, can be launched on-demand through the interface

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Secure the SDLC and more

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Detection API to integrate anywhere in the SLDC and the tools developers use

Green Check

Yes - Integrate GitGuardian as a pre-commit or scan Slack messages for secrets using our API (that can be self-hosted)

++ Yes

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“Shift left”

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Put the developer in the loop

Green Check

InfoSec can collect feedback from the developers directly in the dashboard and collaborate in order to remediate.

-- No

“Auto-heal” incidents

Green Check

Developers have the ability to resolve certain incidents by themselves without involving InfoSec if not needed.

-- No

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Alerting

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Notification for the developer, directly in the VCS frontend

Green Check

Yes - GitHub only

++ Yes

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Deployment of the solution

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

Available in SaaS

Green Check

Yes

-- No

Available On Prem

Green Check

Yes - For more than 200 developers or 30k$ annual contract

Open source

Pricing

Green Check

Individual developer: Free
Small team (<25 dev): Free
Enterprise (>25 dev): Yearly fee based on the number of developers included in the surveillance perimeter

Free

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Multi source scanning

GitGuardian

Gitleaks

VCS

Green Check

Integrates natively with GitHub, in addition to GitLab and Bitbucket.

-- -

Docker image scanning

Green Check

Yes

-- -

Other sources

Green Check

REST API to scan any plain text by leveraging GitGuardian’s secrets detection engine.

-- -

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Get a demo

The short version

Choosing Gitleaks or GitGuardian for git secrets scanning is mostly a question of build or buy. As a famous open source software, Gitleaks is a good base to build on if you decide to build rather than buy.

The answer to the build vs buy question depends on your precise requirements and the exact goals that you’re trying to achieve. For example, you might not need a rich dashboard or real-time scanning, which lowers the cost of building and maintaining an in-house tool.

By the way, we’ve written a comprehensive article if you’d like to explore building a tool such as GitGuardian yourself. In our article, you will learn more about how SAP (NYSE:SAP) built an internal secrets detection solution. Hopefully this will help you!

We also have a significant experience in building TCO analyses and strong use cases for security leadership, so don’t hesitate to contact our sales team.

GitGuardian application dashboard

GitGuardian is best if:

  • You want a ready-to-use solution with many capabilities that go beyond detection such as dashboarding, alerting, incident lifecycle management and reporting, etc.
  • You have numerous repos or large developer teams and you’re looking for enterprise-grade software.
  • You fall in our free tier (individual developer and teams below 25 developers), and free and easy-to-use is great!
Alternative service interface

Gitleaks is best if:

  • You don’t fall in our free tier and you don’t want to pay for a solution.
  • You have a small developer team, few repositories or secrets to protect so it is not worth paying for a subscription.
  • You prefer monitoring internal repositories manually.

Secured by GitGuardian

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