Webinar: Aligning Your SBOM with the Executive Order
A Software Bill of Materials – better known as an SBOM – can enhance your compliance posture. But how do you structure and operationalize it to ensure that it is helping with that objective? And how do you know if your SBOM complies with the Executive Order that mandates maintaining an SBOM?
A Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) can be likened to a list of ingredients for software, as it provides a comprehensive inventory of all components and dependencies within a software product or application. Just as a list of ingredients in a recipe informs you about the various elements that make up a dish, an SBOM informs you about the different components, libraries, frameworks, and open-source packages that constitute the software in question.
An SBOM plays a crucial role in enhancing transparency, managing security risks, and ensuring compliance within an organization’s software environment. By providing detailed information about each component and its origin, an SBOM helps organizations identify potential vulnerabilities, track software components’ usage and licensing, and implement remediation strategies when security issues arise. Additionally, an SBOM can facilitate better communication and collaboration between different teams, such as developers, operations, and security personnel, ultimately contributing to a more secure and efficient software development lifecycle.
An SBOM is a powerful tool for software licensing compliance and compliance in general for several reasons:
- Comprehensive inventory: An SBOM provides a detailed inventory of all software components used within an organization, including open-source packages, commercial libraries, and third-party dependencies. This inventory allows organizations to have a clear understanding of the software they are using, which is essential for ensuring compliance with various licensing agreements and regulatory requirements.
- Licensing management: With the information provided by an SBOM, organizations can effectively track and manage the licenses associated with each software component. This helps in preventing any violations of licensing terms, avoiding legal consequences, and maintaining good relationships with software providers.
- Risk mitigation: By identifying and tracking the usage of components with known vulnerabilities, an SBOM enables organizations to proactively address potential security and compliance risks. This proactive approach not only helps in maintaining a secure software environment but also demonstrates a commitment to regulatory and industry best practices.
- Streamlined audits: An SBOM serves as a single source of truth for an organization’s software inventory, making it easier for internal and external auditors to verify compliance with various regulations and standards. By providing a clear and accurate representation of the software environment, an SBOM reduces the time and effort required for audits, ultimately enhancing overall efficiency.
- Improved collaboration: An SBOM promotes collaboration between different teams within an organization, such as development, operations, and security teams. By fostering a shared understanding of the software landscape, an SBOM encourages a culture of compliance and helps ensure that all teams work together to adhere to relevant standards and regulations.
The Connection Between SBOMs and Executive Order 14028
In May 2021, the Biden Administration issued Executive Order 14028, which aims to strengthen the cybersecurity of the country. One of the requirements states that software makers who supply products to the federal government must generate an SBOM for each item. While this directive currently only applies to federal contractors, professionals predict that most businesses will also adopt SBOMs as a standard practice to enhance software supply chain security and fulfill compliance obligations.
To ensure that organizations comply with the Executive Order, they must follow best practices for aligning their SBOMs. Watch our webinar, Aligning Your SBOM to Comply with the Executive Order, for helpful tips on using your SBOM to support your compliance efforts and to ensure it complies with the EO.