Authorities information for provide chain safety: The nice, the unhealthy and the ugly

roughly Authorities information for provide chain safety: The nice, the unhealthy and the ugly will lid the newest and most present suggestion happening for the world. acquire entry to slowly fittingly you perceive with ease and accurately. will addition your information dexterously and reliably


Simply as builders and safety groups had been making ready to take a breather and hearth up the barbecue for the vacation weekend, essentially the most prestigious US safety businesses (NSA, CISA and ODNI) launched a really useful sensible information of over 60 pages, Securing the Software program Provide Chain for Builders.

My first response was that it is nice to see these businesses becoming a member of the general public discourse in these still-exciting days after we’re all determining software program provide chain safety finest practices. This is a vital voice to shake up the numerous necessities, frameworks, and finest practices, and I commend you for sharing a number of the hard-earned classes.

However I feel it is also necessary for builders normally to weigh what is smart in essentially the most terribly delicate nationwide safety environments versus what is smart for the typical enterprise developer and safety workforce.

That is what struck me as the nice, unhealthy, and ugly implications of the report.

The nice

There are some wonderful prescriptive suggestions within the report the place these businesses advocate for particular frameworks just like the Provide Chain Tiers for Software program Artifacts (SLSA, pronounced “sauce”) and the Safe Software program Improvement Framework (SSDF). The report mentions these frameworks 14 and 38 instances, respectively, and for builders and safety groups who notice they’ve a software program provide chain safety downside however do not know the place to begin, they now have a transparent path. to take your first steps.

The results of these frameworks is that they supply builders with clear steering on (1) easy methods to develop safe code, from design points to organizational construction points for safer software program; (2) construct system integrity (making certain that no malicious code is injected into our construct methods); and (3) what occurs after the software program is constructed and easy methods to function the safety of the methods (remediation of vulnerabilities, monitoring, that kind of factor).

I additionally assume the report does a wonderful job of emphasizing what the software program agency buys from builders by way of artifact safety, and the way by investing in signing and verifying early within the software program growth lifecycle, it can save you so much. labored. having to fret in regards to the safety of bundle managers later.

The unhealthy

The information means that “all growth methods must be restricted to growth operations solely”… and goes on to say that “no different actions, akin to electronic mail, must be for enterprise or private use.”

I am unable to see a future the place builders are advised they cannot use Slack, electronic mail, and net shopping on their dev machines, and here is an instance the place what’s obligatory in air-gapped environments just like the NSA would not actually map to the mainstream. developer situations.

I additionally discover that the SBOM information has nice factors, but additionally misses concrete threats and mitigation examples. Typically, the trade continues to inform everybody to make use of SBOMs, however would not actually clarify what to do with them or what the true advantages are. And whereas I just like the information to evaluating SBOMs to software program composition evaluation (SCA) outcomes, the truth is that at present’s vulnerability scanners miss most of the transitive dependencies that make software program provide chains tough. a pretty risk floor within the first place.

The ugly one

Whereas open supply is talked about 31 instances within the information, these are largely cursory references, with no new suggestions. Everyone knows that a lot of the supply code in use at present is open supply and has distinctive safety features: the report doesn’t take note of how to decide on which open supply initiatives to make use of, what to search for when deciding on a brand new dependency. , approaches to scoring methods or easy methods to know the safety standing of an OSS mission.

There’s fairly a bit of knowledge overload. Half of the doc explains what its contents are, and the opposite half presents a pair of frames and the intersections of these frames. I feel what we’ll see subsequent is a tidal wave of product whitewashing from safety distributors claiming to have early capabilities that match these tips, but it surely’s necessary to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a accreditation course of, and most it will simply be advertising bluff.

Whats Subsequent

Whereas open supply is talked about 31 instances within the information, these are largely cursory references, with no new suggestions. Everyone knows that a lot of the supply code in use at present is open supply and has distinctive safety features: the report doesn’t take note of how to decide on which open supply initiatives to make use of, what to search for when deciding on a brand new dependency. , approaches to scoring methods or easy methods to know the safety standing of an OSS mission.

There’s fairly a bit of knowledge overload. Half of the doc explains what its contents are, and the opposite half presents a pair of frames and the intersections of these frames. I feel what we’ll see subsequent is a tidal wave of product whitewashing from safety distributors claiming to have early capabilities that match these tips, but it surely’s necessary to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a accreditation course of, and most it will simply be advertising bluff.

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Government guide for supply chain security: The good, the bad and the ugly