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Press Release | Dec. 14, 2023

NSA Releases Recommendations to Mitigate Software Supply Chain Risks

FORT MEADE, Md. – In response to an increase in cyberattacks to supply chains over the past five years, including targeted attacks of software supply chains, the National Security Agency (NSA) is releasing the Cybersecurity Information Sheet (CSI), “Recommendations for Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) Management.” This CSI provides network owners and operators with guidance for incorporating SBOM use to help protect the cybersecurity supply chain, with a focus on and some additional guidance for National Security Systems (NSS).
Effective Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) management leverages identification of software components to mitigate cyber risk and support improved cybersecurity throughout the software’s lifecycle. According to the CSI, SBOM management should proceed in three steps. First, examine and manage risk before acquiring software. Second, analyze vulnerabilities after deploying new software. Third, implement incident management to detect and respond to new software vulnerabilities during vital operations.
“As Software Bills of Materials become more integral to Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management standards, best practices will become critical to ensuring efficiency and reliability of the software supply chain,” said Rob Joyce, NSA Cybersecurity Director and Deputy National Manager for the National Security System (NSS). “Network owners and operators we work with count on NSA to advise them on shoring up their defenses.  These guidelines provide the information they need to select the appropriate tools to reduce an organization’s overall risk exposure.”
This guidance includes recommended SBOM tool management functionality that supports the Director of the NSA in his role as the National Manager for National Security Systems, namely to provide better Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management (C-SCRM) for NSS owners and operators. The CSI encourages NSS owners to implement a robust C-SCRM SBOM management strategy that ensures the authenticity, integrity, and trustworthiness of software products.
The CSI’s contents draw from NSA sources and analysis, as well as NSA’s partners, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Office of Management and Budget, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the larger cybersecurity community.
Read the full report here.

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NSA Media Relations