How Government Agencies Can Secure Software Supply Chain from...

How Government Agencies Can Secure Software Supply Chain from Security Risks

Gov CIO Outlook | Monday, April 26, 2021

Implementing and integrating security development best practices and methodologies into the software development process has become necessary.

FREMONT, CA :Government agencies are restructuring their risk management strategies, particularly when it comes to safeguarding the software supply chain.

Like cybersecurity mitigations and controls, cyber threats are usually implemented across three categories: individuals, systems, and technology. People and technology-related risks are well-known, such as phishing emails, social engineering and software vulnerabilities, and the introduction of malicious code onto a system.

But inadequate or incomplete procedures can also introduce several risks, such as a patch that is not applied quickly, unpatched or vulnerable third party, open-source software components, or unsafe software development practices. Hackers are increasingly using these security vulnerabilities to compromise software delivery supply chains.

Process Vulnerabilities Unlock the Gates for Attacks Aimed at Loopholes in Software Development and D

Newer attacks that take advantage of weaknesses in the software development and distribution lifecycle have recently emerged, forcing vendors to reconsider their strategy.

Vendors must concentrate on the overall software development lifecycle, along with the build process, one of the final phases of application development after coding, quality assurance, and testing. Earlier, vendors did not pay much attention to the threat posed by the final stage of the software development lifecycle. As a result, bad actors have exploited this weakness in the process, inserting malicious code right before the files are signed and shipped to customers.

These intrusions and the threats they pose are highly complicated. They may originate from a variety of software vendors and custom-developed software and code from the contractors. 

Ensure that software providers are focused on the following main areas to fix lifecycle vulnerabilities when working with them:

Building security controls into the software: Integrating security controls directly into software is foundational mitigation for protecting systems from future attacks. Input validation, output sanitation, safe coding practices unique to the development language, and least privilege-based modularization are only a few examples of secure code development best practices.

Securing the development cycle infrastructure: Every component of the development cycle's infrastructure is vital and must be secured. Secure boot and robust access control processes can restrict threat possibilities with audit and verification for privileges.

Protecting the build server: Build servers are vulnerable points that must be secured. Smart vendors strictly regulate access and privileges. They also maintain a comprehensive audit trail of every person that logs on or off the system and their behavior on the server.

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