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CIS Guides ON Software Supply Chain Security

June 22, 2022

Aqua Security and the Center for Internet Security (CIS) released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security. Developed through collaboration between the two organizations, the CIS Software Supply Chain Security Guide provides more than 100 foundational recommendations that can be applied across a variety of commonly used technologies and platforms. In addition, Aqua Security unveiled a new open source tool, Chain-Bench, which is the first and only tool for auditing the software supply chain to ensure compliance with the new CIS guidelines.

Establishing Best Practices for Software Supply Chain Security

Although threats to the software supply chain continue to increase, studies show that security across development environments remains low. The new guidelines establish general best practices that support key emerging standards like Supply-chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA) and The Update Framework (TUF) while adding foundational recommendations for setting and auditing configurations on the Benchmark-supported platforms.

Within the guide, recommendations span five categories of the software supply chain, including Source Code, Build Pipelines, Dependencies, Artifacts and Deployment (link to blog with overview).

CIS intends to expand this guidance into more specific CIS Benchmarks to create consistent security recommendations across platforms. As with all CIS guidance, the guide will be published and reviewed globally. Feedback will help ensure that future platform-specific guidance is accurate and relevant.

“By publishing the CIS Software Supply Chain Security Guide, CIS and Aqua Security hope to build a vibrant community interested in developing the platform-specific Benchmark guidance to come,” said Phil White, benchmarks development team manager for CIS. “Any subject matter experts that develop or work with the technologies and platforms that make up the software supply chain are encouraged to join the effort in building out additional benchmarks. Their expertise will be valuable to establishing critical best practices to advance software supply chain security for all.”

To date, the guide has been reviewed by experts at CIS, Aqua Security, Axonius, PayPal, CyberArk, Red Hat, and other leading technology firms.

Ofir Shapira, Cyber Security Product Manager, Axonius: “The work Aqua is doing around software supply chain security, not only as a company but for the wider community, is paving the way for more secure software releases.”

Erez Dasa, Cyber & Application Security Architect, leading digital payment organization: “Implementing these guidelines over development processes gives us much more confidence in the security of releases.”

The Industry’s First Open Source Tool for Software Supply Chain Security

To support organizations adopting the CIS guidance, Aqua released Chain-Bench. Chain-Bench scans the DevOps stack from source code to deployment and simplifies compliance with security regulations, standards, and internal policies to ensure teams can consistently implement software security controls and best practices.

“Building software at scale requires strong governance of the software supply chain, and strong governance requires effective tools. This is where we saw an opportunity to add value,” said Eylam Milner, Director Argon Technology, Aqua Security. “We wanted to leverage our expertise in software supply chain security to help build critical guidance for one of industry’s most pressing challenges, as well as a free, accessible tool to help other organizations adhere to it. The work doesn’t stop here. We will continue working with CIS to refine this guidance, so that organizations worldwide can benefit from stronger security practices.”

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