The Biden administration is intensifying efforts to address liability regimes for commercial software developers, aiming to bolster cybersecurity practices in the IT industry. National Cyber Director Harry Coker announced plans to explore liability frameworks for manufacturers, seeking to prevent the blanket disclaiming of liability by software companies. This initiative, part of the administration’s 2023 national cybersecurity strategy, underscores the need for legislation to establish higher standards of care and promote safer coding practices. Coker highlighted the collaboration with academic and legal experts to navigate liability issues and emphasized forthcoming engagement with industry stakeholders to shape effective regulatory measures.
Furthermore, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been proactive in promoting secure software development practices. Through initiatives like the “secure by design” alert series and the release of a secure software self-attestation common form, CISA aims to guide manufacturers in fortifying web management interfaces against cyber threats and addressing critical vulnerabilities. Chris Wysopal, co-founder and chief technology officer of Veracode, commended these efforts as a positive step toward improving software security but emphasized the importance of establishing a safe harbor for vendors who adhere to secure development processes.
In response to CISA’s call for input on enhancing software development practices, industry stakeholders have emphasized the need for collective action to embed cybersecurity measures into every technology product. CISA Director Jen Easterly stressed the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives to drive the shift toward “secure by design” principles, emphasizing the need for clear demand from customers for enhanced cybersecurity in technology products. As the federal government seeks to advance these initiatives, collaboration between policymakers, industry leaders, and cybersecurity experts will be crucial in shaping effective strategies to mitigate cyber threats in the digital landscape.
- Remarks: National Cyber Director Coker Remarks at the Information Technology Industry Council Intersect Tech Policy Summit