Innovation often arises from the need to solve complex problems, and few issues in the realm of cybersecurity have been as widespread and devastating as the SolarWinds attack. This attack, which occurred between October 2019 and December 2020, affected over 18,000 organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, major infrastructure and financial firms, government agencies, and educational institutions. The aftermath of this damaging software supply chain attack highlighted the urgent need for a solution, and several software security providers emerged as a response to the attack’s destructive impact on cyberinfrastructure.
Executive Order 14028: Overview and Objectives
In response to the growing threat posed by software supply chain vulnerabilities, Executive Order 14028 was introduced as a groundbreaking policy directive. The order aims to enhance the security of software supply chains and mitigate potential risks. It acknowledges that vulnerabilities within the software supply chain can expose organizations to significant cyber threats, such as data breaches, unauthorized access, and supply chain attacks. The order’s objectives include promoting secure development practices, strengthening supplier accountability, and facilitating threat information sharing among stakeholders.
The Need for Software Supply Chain Security
Recent statistics on cybercrime reveal the urgency of bolstering software supply chain security. In 2020 alone, numerous data breaches exposed millions of sensitive records. According to a report by Risk Based Security, there were over 37 billion records exposed in data breaches in 2020, representing a 141% increase from the previous year. Such breaches highlight the critical need for robust security measures throughout the software supply chain.
CodeLock’s Innovative Approach
CodeLock, based in Ashburn, Virginia, sought to address a fundamental question: Why is it possible to establish a chain of custody for evidence at a crime scene but not for software? This question led to the development of a patent-pending solution that creates a forensic chain of custody between software developers and every line of code they create. Developed by Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Dr. JT Kostman, CodeLock has been endorsed by private companies and government agencies alike for its unprecedented code-level protection.
“CodeLock appears to have the capability to stop the most sophisticated criminal malware. Concerning cyberattacks from hostile nation-states, CodeLock would also be effective.” – Department of Homeland Security
CodeLock’s Role in Empowering Organizations
CodeLock is vital in empowering organizations by equipping them with industry-leading capabilities to track, trace, audit, and secure their software development processes. The company’s comprehensive suite of features is designed to bolster software supply chain security. High-profile software supply chain attacks, such as the SolarWinds attack, have exposed vulnerabilities in the software supply chain ecosystem. CodeLock addresses these challenges by offering sophisticated tracking and tracing mechanisms, robust auditing capabilities, secure code signing, and vulnerability assessments. These solutions align with the requirements stipulated in Executive Order 14028, promoting certain development practices and strengthening supplier accountability.
The Partnership between CodeLock and VIPC
To further strengthen software supply chain security, CodeLock has formed a strategic partnership with the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC). This collaboration represents a significant milestone in fortifying the resilience of the software supply chain. Recent incidents, such as the Kaseya attack, have demonstrated the wide-ranging impact of supply chain vulnerabilities, emphasizing the importance of proactive measures. By leveraging VIPC’s resources and expertise, CodeLock can enhance its services, leverage threat intelligence sharing, and provide users with comprehensive artifacts and evidence necessary to streamline their compliance process. The partnership aligns with the objectives outlined in Executive Order 14028, reinforcing the commitment of both entities to safeguarding the software supply chain.
Ensuring Accessibility through Affordable Pricing
CodeLock recognizes the importance of making software supply chain security accessible to organizations of all sizes. To achieve this, the company has implemented an affordable pricing model. By offering their flagship product at a starting price of just $19 per month, CodeLock ensures that even small and medium-sized organizations can afford the protection they need to safeguard their software supply chains. This pricing model aims to bridge the gap and strengthen the overall resilience of the software supply chain. Affordable solutions like CodeLock are essential for mitigating financial risks, considering that the average cost of a cyber attack for a small business is estimated to be around $200,000, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance.
The OMB’s Role in Software Security Compliance
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) plays a crucial role in ensuring software security compliance. It recently announced an extension to the deadline for collecting software security attestation forms from contractors. This decision underscores the White House’s commitment to ensuring the use of securely developed software by federal agencies. The extension provides agencies with additional time to ensure software vendors comply with the necessary security practices, contributing to a safer software ecosystem for government use.
The self-attestation forms developed in consultation with the OMB and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are based on practices outlined in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF). These forms require software producers serving the government to confirm the implementation of specific security practices and play a crucial role in ensuring all software products used by federal agencies are safe and secure by design.
Executive Order 14028 and CodeLock’s initiatives highlight the paramount importance of strengthening software supply chain security in the face of escalating cyber threats. CodeLock’s comprehensive suite of features, strategic partnership with VIPC, affordable pricing model, and the OMB’s role in software security compliance collectively contribute to a safer and more resilient software supply chain ecosystem. The innovative response of CodeLock to the devastating SolarWinds attack showcases its commitment to providing effective solutions to address complex cybersecurity challenges.
As the digital landscape evolves, collaborative efforts, policy directives, and innovative solutions play a crucial role in forging a secure and resilient software supply chain ecosystem. With the escalating frequency and cost of cyberattacks, organizations must prioritize software supply chain security to protect their critical assets. By implementing robust security measures, leveraging cutting-edge technologies, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, organizations can build a secure and resilient software supply chain ecosystem that safeguards their data and infrastructure from malicious actors.
By continuously enhancing software supply chain security, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with vulnerabilities and ensure the integrity and confidentiality of their software products. The proactive measures outlined in Executive Order 14028 and the innovative solutions offered by CodeLock provide organizations with the tools and frameworks necessary to navigate the evolving cybersecurity landscape and defend against sophisticated cyber threats.
As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it is essential for organizations to stay vigilant and adapt their security measures accordingly. By staying informed about the latest trends, best practices, and regulatory requirements, organizations can proactively address software supply chain security and protect their valuable assets from potential cyber threats.
The collaborative efforts of policymakers, industry leaders, and solution providers like CodeLock are instrumental in strengthening software supply chain security. Through the implementation of robust security measures, the fostering of partnerships, and the adherence to best practices, organizations can build a resilient software supply chain ecosystem that mitigates risks and ensures the integrity and security of their software products. By prioritizing software supply chain security, organizations can protect their critical assets and maintain the trust of their stakeholders in an increasingly interconnected and digital world.