In today’s market, securing the software supply chain and ensuring the safety of customers’ data is imperative for all public and private . In fact, Gartner estimates that by 2025, 45% of organizations worldwide will have experienced attacks on their software supply chains - a threefold increase from 2020. Therefore, it’s paramount for technology vendors and manufacturers to put security, integrity and customer experience at the core of its software development lifecycle practices, especially those vendors who support government, defense, service providers and critical public infrastructure.
The UK government and private sector in particular have seen an increase in software supply chain attacks. Adversaries are becoming ever more brazen in their attempts to infiltrate secure systems. This article explores the challenges presented by these attacks and how the Secure By Design framework helps to combat them. As a software vendor, Quest is committed to securing the software supply chain. Outlined below are seven strategies implemented by Quest to protect customers from potential breaches.
Challenges faced by the UK government and private sector
Both the UK government and private sector face pressing challenges concerning software supply chain attacks. Incidents like the SolarWinds breach have demonstrated the severe implications of these weaknesses, raising concerns about the vulnerability of government systems and private enterprises to malicious infiltration through the software supply chain. Such attacks disrupt operations, compromise trust and violate integrity of software solutions.
UKGOV’s combative measures: Secure By Design and the Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF)
In response to the escalating threats, the UK government's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has taken proactive measures to counter software supply chain attacks, like the 10NCSC-driven Secure By Design principles. These are aimed at the digital and security communities delivering services and they cover the end-to-end delivery life cycle addressing the challenges faced by government organizations. Alongside this, the NCSC advises utilizing the Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF), which provides comprehensive guidance and best practices for securing the software supply chain. By adopting CAF principles, organizations and supply chain software vendors like Quest can strengthen their defences against attacks and contribute to a more secure digital landscape.
Quest's Strategies to Safeguard Software Supply Chains
- Historical Trustworthiness: Quest's long-standing commitment to providing secure and reliable software solutions has earned the trust of customers. Quest maintains a secure software supply chain that reinforces confidence in their products and services.
- Strict Regional Operations: In order to mitigate risk, Quest performs no development in countries of security concern.
- Third-Party Vendor Assessment: Quest conducts thorough assessments of third-party vendors and partners to ensure that they adhere to stringent security standards. This practice minimizes the risk of supply chain attacks originating from external sources.
- Air Gapping and Secure Code Review: Critical components of our software development and distribution infrastructure are air-gapped, reducing the exposure to external threats. Additionally, Quest employs a robust code review process to identify and address vulnerabilities proactively.
- Cryptographic Signatures: All Quest software undergoes digital signing with cryptographic signatures, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of the software throughout its distribution.
- Continuous Security Enhancement: Quest is dedicated to staying ahead of emerging threats by investing in research and development to incorporate the latest security technologies into our supply chain software products.
- Collaboration and Future Outlook: Quest actively collaborates with industry partners and government agencies to exchange threat intelligence and strengthen cybersecurity measures across the software supply chain. Our commitment to evolving security practices remains constant to protect our customers effectively.
With attempts at infiltrating software supply chains on the rise, it is essential to understand the threat so that the risk of a breach can be lowered. The NCSC's proactive measures, such as the 10 core Secure By Design principles and Cyber Assessment Framework, are instrumental in enhancing cybersecurity and mitigating the risks posed by these attacks. As a responsible software vendor, Quest is steadfast in its commitment to securing the software supply chain, implementing comprehensive strategies to protect our customers and uphold the trust they place in our solutions. By aligning with the UK government's Secure By Design principles, we contribute to a more resilient and secure digital ecosystem for all.