It probably won't come as a surprise that modern organizations have had a growing reliance on various forms of software to operate effectively and efficiently. Whether the software is developed in house or received from a third party, organizations are quickly finding that with the increasing use of software comes a significant increase in cybersecurity and IT threats. This brings up the question of whether utilized software can be trusted. The clock is ticking for organizations as the White House recently released a statement announcing that the private sector has until September of 2023 to become compliant with executive order 14028. This executive order was originally passed in May of 2021 and outlines critical risks and the responsibilities of organizations regarding software security.
Because of this, IT and security teams will be spending much of their time searching for solutions to ensure that security risks are successfully mitigated. Organizations can expect to see the following trends throughout the rest of the fiscal year, these trends include:
· Software needs to be built securely to operate safely. Much of the vulnerability within software supply chains comes with the creation of the software. This means that software providers are unable to provide secure software to any organizations without having a complete understanding of who, and when the software was created. This responsibility falls on the software provider as companies can expect to see an increase in organization’s CISO’s and other security team leaders requesting further information on its development. Software companies should be prepared to have this information available and will find that companies able to provide evidence of a secure supply chain will be able to provide their product while reducing risk and limiting the necessity for emergency patches.
· Increasing regulation. Not only does ensuring that the software supply chain is secure assists with the ability to sell the product, but it will also be critical in ensuring effective compliance. With the growing reliance on technology within the business world the U.S. government has been increasing standards for organizations. With the September deadline quickly approaching, software providers need to obtain the capability to provide evidence and proof that the company’s product is secure. This is largely due to the recent announcement by the White House that outlines how the Biden administration aims to tackle the issue of cybersecurity. The main changes will shift the responsibility away from businesses utilizing the software and move it to the software providers themselves. In a nutshell the responsibility of software security will no longer be in the hands of the consumer but the provider.
· The benefit of operating securely. Many organizations may be thinking that these newly implemented compliance standards are unnecessary or may put in minimal effort to become compliant, however, data breaches are a serious threat to organizations and can completely destroy a company financially and reputationally. The average cost of a compliance breach can cost over $4 million but those costs can become much larger due to a loss of reputation. Recent incidents have shown that nearly half of all organizations that experience a data breach suffer serious reputational loss. An organization’s reputation is everything when the reputation is diminished, organizations can expect to see a loss of loyal customers as well as an overall worse perception of the brand by potential consumers.
Throughout the rest of the year software providers can expect to see an increase in demand for secure software supply chain practices. With this in mind, providers should seriously consider implementing a robust software supply chain security solution that allows for a 360-degree view of the entirety of the supply chain. Providers must actively seek out editing and tampering across all stages of the software’s development to better provide detailed information on what exactly is in the software. By providing detailed information on why a specific software is secure will greatly enhance a software provider’s capability to remain relevant in the coming years.