JUL 13, 2021 | US
NIST, NTIA Begin EO-Directed Exploration of How To Secure Software Used by Federal Agencies
Inside Cybersecurity, July 13, 2021
By Sara Friedman
Recent publications from NIST and NTIA highlight challenges the federal government will face coming up with a definitive way to make software used by agencies more secure, while recognizing the process to define “critical software” and “SBOM” minimum elements is a work in progress.
Henry Young, director of policy at BSA-The Software Alliance, called the NIST publications “strong reminders of the importance of software to organizations around the world, including the United States government, in accomplishing their missions and serving their customers.”
"BSA, which represents the world’s most innovative enterprise software companies, is optimistic that these documents will achieve our shared goal of improving the security of software use,” Young told Inside Cybersecurity. “While the development of software is beyond the scope of this NIST guidance, the enterprise software industry, led by BSA, has been working on improving the secure development, capabilities, and life cycle of software through documents like the BSA Framework for Secure Software. BSA members will continue to invest to provide all customers, including the United States Government, the most secure and innovative software solutions.”
Meghan Pensyl, BSA’s policy manager, said NTIA faced a “difficult challenge to describe the minimum elements for a Software Bill of Materials, given the numerous different ways software is developed and deployed.”
Pensyl said BSA is “pleased to see that NTIA’s report recognized that different considerations for an SBOM apply to SaaS, for instance, which was a key part of BSA’s comments. We were also pleased that NTIA recognized that not all vulnerabilities are exploitable in all use cases, which affects what elements of an SBOM are important. We look forward to continuing to work with NTIA to effectively implement the Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity and ensure that SBOMs help improve cybersecurity as part of a larger risk management program.”
BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.
With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.