Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development

Technology Giants Join CISA's Secure by Design Pledge

68 Tech Companies Join US Cyber Agency's Pledge to Build Security Into Products
Technology Giants Join CISA's Secure by Design Pledge
Sixty-eight companies pledged to embed stronger security protections into their products. (Image: Shutterstock)

The U.S.'s leading cyber defense agency enlisted 68 software firms in a new pledge aimed at embedding stronger security measures directly into product designs in a broader effort to shift security responsibilities from users to developers.

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The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced the Secure By Design pledge Wednesday. It includes seven goals for manufacturers to work toward and detailed approaches to demonstrate measurable progress, including increasing the use of multifactor authentication, reducing default passwords and entire classes of vulnerability, and enhancing security patching across the manufacturer's products. Pledgees vowed to do so within the next 12 months.

"More secure software is our best hope to protect against the seemingly never-ending scourge of cyberattacks facing our nation," CISA Director Jen Easterly said in a statement accompanying the announcement. "I applaud the companies who have already signed our pledge for their leadership and call on all software manufacturers to take the pledge and join us in creating a world where technology is safe and secure right out of the box."

The pledge also calls on manufacturers to publish vulnerability disclosure policies that allow for testing by members of the public on their products and transparent disclosures of vulnerabilities. Organizations that sign on to the commitment agree to "demonstrate a measurable increase in the ability for customers to gather evidence of cybersecurity intrusions affecting the manufacturer's products."

The 68 inaugural members of the Secure By Design pledge include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Cloudflare, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM. According to CISA, the pledge builds on existing software security best practices developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as industry and international standards.

"The items in the pledge directly address some of the most pervasive cybersecurity threats we at CISA see today," CISA Senior Technical Advisor Jack Cable said in the statement. "Every software manufacturer should recognize that they have a responsibility to protect their customers."

CISA, the FBI, the NSA and international partners published a framework in 2023 for manufacturers to further build security into the design process, calling for risk assessments to identify top cyberthreats to critical systems and including protections in product blueprints (see: CISA, Others Unveil Guide for Secure Software Manufacturing).

The agencies wrote that secure by design principles "not only strengthen the security posture for customers and brand reputation for developers but also lower maintenance and patching costs for manufacturers in the long term."

About the Author

Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta

Managing Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Riotta is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. He earned his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as 2021 class president. His reporting has appeared in NBC News, Nextgov/FCW, Newsweek Magazine, The Independent and more.

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