Software Security in the Supply Chain

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Welcome! This is a new feature that will be a weekly post where we address questions of interest to the Application Information Security Community. To that end, we’d love to hear your questions! Please Tweet us with the hashtag #ThinkAppSec or leave us a comment below and we’ll pick one or two questions from that list. Let’s get talking about Application Security!

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Last week I had the good fortune to spend time with many top security, privacy and risk executives at the EWF National Conference. My questions for this week were inspired by the week of information sharing and discussion.

1. To settle or not to settle?

Though AppSec wasn’t top of the agenda, we did have an excellent discussion on integrating security into the mobile application development lifecycle during the session on Mobile Risk. For this session, Lynn Terwoerds, Director of Compliance, Oracle, Shira Rubinoff, Founder and President, Green Armour Solutions and I presented the background information about the recent FTC settlement with a phone manufacturer.

Then we shared our thoughts on the impact of the settlement for software developers going forward. Finally, we asked the audience of ~200 professionals to break into groups and choose:

Would you agree to the Settlement or launch a challenge to the FTC complaint?

The answers were in favor of settling – but we did have participants from both sides present their reasoning in a point counterpoint debate. After the debate the ratio shifted, but the majority still voted to settle.

So here’s a question for you –  If you were the head of security or risk for a large company that creates and ships software, would you have settled or challenged? And why?

2. Software security in supply chain management

This question was part of the presentation by Edna Conway, Chief Security Officer, Global Supply Chain, Cisco.

Edna posited that yes, software security matters in supply chain management. Why? Because if the software used to track and inventory the assets in the supply chain isn’t secure, how can the assets being managed be accounted for and protected properly? How can logistics be tracked accurately if the software managing those logistics isn’t reliable?

Edna, made a great argument for the criticality of securing supply chain and in addition to software security she also called out the need for robust access management, monitoring and physical security.

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Diana Kelley

Executive Security Advisor, IBM Security

Diana Kelley is an internationally recognized information security expert, speaker, strategic advisor, market analyst and writer. She has over 20 years of IT security experience including: risk management development, compliance advisement, project management, systems and network architecture development and hands-on implementation. In the course of her career she has delivered security advisory services to IBM, Microsoft, the US Government, Intel, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, Shell, PKWARE, Symantec and CA.