The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has announced that proposed guidance for secure software development is now open to public review and opinion.
For a 60-day period, the public can provide feedback on the draft self-attestation form for secure software development, which requires the providers of software for the government to confirm that specific security practices have been implemented.
The self-attestation form has been drafted in line with the requirements of Memorandum M-22-18 (Enhancing the Security of the Software Supply Chain through Secure Software Development Practices) that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released in September 2022.
“This self-attestation form identifies the minimum secure software development requirements a software producer must meet, and attest to meeting, before their software subject to the requirements of M-22-18 may be used by Federal agencies,” reads CISA’s Secure Software Development Attestation Common Form.
Per M-22-18’s requirements, federal agencies may use specific software only if the developer has attested compliance with government-issued guidance on software supply chain security.
The self-attestation requirement applies to software produced after September 14, 2022, to software-as-a-service products and other software receiving continuous code changes, and to existing software when major version changes occur.
Software developed by the federal agencies and freely available software used by the agencies does not fall in scope for M-22-18 and does not require self-attestation.
“Software producers who utilize freely obtained elements in their software are required to attest that they have taken specific steps […] to minimize the risks of relying on such software in their products,” the guidance reads.
If a software producer cannot provide a completed self-attestation form, federal agencies are required to obtain documentation on development practices, to document measures taken to mitigate resulting risks, and to require a plan of actions and milestones (POA&M) from the software producer.
Minimum attestation requirements described by the new guidance include secure development environments, efforts to maintain trusted source code supply chains, maintaining provenance data for all code, and automated vulnerability checks.
“This guidance seeks to secure software leveraged by the federal government. CISA expects agencies to use this proposed form to reduce the risk to the federal environment, thereby implementing a standardized process for agencies and software producers that will create transparency on the security of software development efforts,” CISA explains.
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