Group aims to help secure the technology supply chain

The Trusted Technology Forum, formed by the Open Group, was formed to identify best practices for ensuring the security of the technology supply chain and promote the development of standards and accreditation programs.

A working group of government, commercial and academic organizations has been formed to identify and promote best practices for securing the global technology supply chain from malicious activity.

The Trusted Technology Forum is a product of the Acquisition Cybersecurity Initiative sponsored by the Defense Department and supported by the Open Group, an industry open standards body, to help define trustworthy acquisition policies and practices.

“We’ve defined a Trusted Technology Provider Framework based on existing open standards and best practices,” said Andras Szakal, distinguished engineer at IBM and an Open Group board member. One of the requirements of the framework is that it be “grounded in reality” and based on practices already in use by organizations with mature supply chain security programs, he said.


Related stories:

Supply chain security expands in unclassified community

Software supply chain security is target of industry group best practices


An initial version of the framework has been developed but not released. The forum’s first product is expected to be a white paper based on the framework outlining current best practices.

The forum has defined supply a supply chain threat or attack as the subversion of hardware or software prior to delivery in order to put in a vulnerability for later exploit.

Technology supply chain security is emerging as an area of concern as cyber threats become more targeted and sophisticated. Although random attacks exploiting flaws in software remain a major cybersecurity risk, stealthy and advanced attacks targeting high-value resources and systems are becoming more common – or at least now are being discovered.

Several high-profile examples, including the Google Aurora breach reported early this year and the Stuxnet worm targeting industrial control systems, exploit zero-day software vulnerabilities that were not known of before the exploits were discovered. The next step in this escalation of exploits is the intentional introduction of vulnerabilities in software and hardware products by insiders in the supply chain.

The Homeland Security Department, which is charged with overseeing the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure, has identified 18 Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) sectors that are vital to the nation’s security and economy:

  • Agriculture and food.
  • Defense industrial base.
  • Energy.
  • Health care and public health.
  • National monuments and icons.
  • Banking and finance
  • Water.
  • Chemical.
  • Designated commercial facilities.
  • Critical manufacturing.
  • Dams.
  • Emergency services.
  • Nuclear reactors, materials and waste.
  • Information technology.
  • Communications.
  • Postal and shipping.
  • Transportation systems.
  • Government facilities.

A recent study by the Enterprise Strategy Group, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, two of the forum’s founding members, concluded that there is a lot of room for improvement by the industries operating the nation’s critical infrastructure in ensuring that their supply chains are reliable. “Few organizations are doing thorough due diligence on their IT vendors’ security, so CIKR firms may be buying hardware and software with security vulnerabilities ‘baked-in,’” the report states.

“Many critical infrastructure organizations are employing some types of secure software development programs, but these are often instituted haphazardly. Finally, CIKR companies are sharing IT systems with business partner employees and systems, but most lack formal cyber supply chain governance and oversight. As a result, secure CIKR organizations are increasing their security risks through electronic business processes with insecure partners.”

The study described software assurance as a work in progress. Although many CIKR firms studied by ESG have developer training, software testing and other safeguard programs, they are not mature or uniformly implemented.

Another weakness in software assurance is that development training and software testing focus on vulnerabilities created by errors in software rather than on intentional flaws that can be carefully crafted and hidden.

The Acquisition Cybersecurity Initiative began in 2008 to identify existing best practices to ensure trusted development, manufacture, delivery and operation of commercial technology products. This would benefit technology buyers by establishing a mechanism for acquiring trusted products and would help trusted suppliers by providing a market differentiator.

A framework defining the characteristics of trustworthy development could allow streamlining of current overlapping certification and accreditation efforts.

Although the initial framework has been developed, “there is a lot to do,” said Josh Brickman, director of program management for CA Technologies. Standards embodying some of the best practices need to be developed and conformance metrics are needed identify proper implementation of standards by vendors.

“We also want to establish an accreditation program for vendors” so that procurement agencies can have a list of trusted vendors to purchase from, Brickman said.

Founding members of the Trusted Technology Forum are the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics; NASA; the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute; MITRE Corp.; CA Technologies; Cisco Systems; Hewlett-Packard; IBM, Kingdee International Software Group; Microsoft and Oracle.



X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.