About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

Managing Software Supply Chain Risk

By Steven Jakubin | Monday, April 25, 2022 - Leave a Comment

Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs) are becoming more and more important. . .

We are all very familiar with one aspect of the software supply chain – updates.  New features, bug fixes, and performance upgrades are a regular occurrence to any device’s lifecycle, however what if these kinds of updates also include deliberately malicious code? There are plenty of examples of this in the past few years, one being the infamous Solarwinds Attack where a Russian APT compromised the popular IT-management tool SolarWinds Orion which affected 18,000 customers.  ENISA suggested supply chain attacks would multiply four-fold in 2021.

The U.S. government recognizes the need for improved supply chain security, of which include the use of Software Bill Of Materials (SBOMs) in “monitoring operations and alerts and responding to attempted and actual cyber incidents”. See last year’s Sec. 4 of Executive Order 14028 ‘Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity‘ :

“Software Bill of Materials” or “SBOM” means a formal record containing the details and supply chain relationships of various components used in building software.  Software developers and vendors often create products by assembling existing open source and commercial software components.  The SBOM enumerates these components in a product.  It is analogous to a list of ingredients on food packaging.  An SBOM is useful to those who develop or manufacture software, those who select or purchase software, and those who operate software.”

A Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) is an inventory of all software components used to build software applications. A useful addition to your IT asset inventory strategy, the review of SBOMs can quickly identify vulnerable software affected by a supply chain attack.

While not considered a supply chain attack, Log4j provides a good use case for identifying vulnerable software using SBOM; while it was easier pinpointing which applications were running certain versions of Java, it was much more difficult identifying which applications included vulnerable Log4j libraries. A quick SBOM inventory of all Java applications would remedy this, allowing fast identification of vulnerable Log4j libraries throughout your organization. In a complete and updated SBOM database, these libraries could be identified with a query for Component Name ‘Log4j’ and Version String ‘2.17.1’ for all applications running Java 8. Our example query below follows the syntax of a SBOM standard being used.

The future of supply chain risk management involves SBOM ingestion. Most zero-day disclosures identify software versions affected by a vulnerability. Having a collection of SBOMs to rapidly identify vulnerable software will become the new standard, bringing clarity to your supply chain risk assessment, and improving the speed of your incident response.

Original article by Steven Jakubin. Data Security Analyst, infotex



Latest News
    What you need to know for compliance coast-to-coast. Back in 2020 we posted an article containing links to data breach laws from each state, and it has proven to be one of our more popular posts.  Because laws surrounding the use (and abuse) of technology are always evolving, we thought it was worth taking another […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! In the spirit of October and Halloween we have put together a gallery of our “spooky” Awareness Posters at halloween.infotex.com. Use them to help decorate for the holiday! Check […]
    With nearly three in four people using third-party payment services tied to their bank accounts, the risk isn’t limited to your own policies and procedures… An article review. When working on cybersecurity awareness messages for your customers you may be inclined to focus on your own systems, but a new study on security in digital […]
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BUSINESS NEWS NEW EMPLOYEE FOR INFOTEX infotex is excited to announce that Cody Smith has joined the team as the newest Data Security Analyst. Cody holds several industry certifications (including the most recent: SSCP) as well as a B.S in Cyber Security & Information Assurance from Western Governors University. […]
    It’s all about protecting Customer information . . . In 1999 the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) directed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other federal banking agencies to ensure that financial institutions have policies, procedures, and controls in place to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of customer financial information.  The FDIC and other federal banking agencies […]
    A Ghoulish Gallery! Just a few scary-themed Awareness posters from our collection, which you can see at posters.infotex.com! Below you will find both the vertical and horizontal versions of each of the posters, all you need to do is “right-click > “Save link as…” to download! Vertical 8.5″ x 11″ Format   Horizontal 11″ x […]
    What to Expect in an Annual Information Security Report to the Board Webinar-Movie Information security ranks as a top risk to financial institutions, both in terms of likelihood and overall impact. It is important that boards receive annual comprehensive reporting from management about the information security risks and incidents, and the actions taken to address […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around […]
    With the potential to break all existing forms of encryption, quantum computing poses a unique challenge… An article review. While quantum computing has been a buzzword for some time now the technology remains largely theoretical, with small scale proofs-of-concept that still suffer from serious limitations.  That hasn’t stopped security researchers from worrying about the technology’s […]
    A new way of helping people “read” new guidance… Look for more in the future! To save you time, we are proud to present “Adam Reads” . . . recorded versions of our Guidance Summaries! Below you can find an embedded player for the audio file. If you are having issues with that working, you […]