BOSTON, May 23, 2023 — Tidelift, a provider of solutions for improving the security and resilience of the open source software powering modern applications, today announced that it has been awarded three U.S. government contracts worth over $3.5 million, and is expanding its public sector organization in response to increased demand for innovative solutions that help the U.S. government improve its cybersecurity supply chain risk management (C-SCRM) capabilities.
High-profile software supply chain vulnerabilities including Log4Shell and SolarWinds have dramatically increased attention on the need for improved software security, both in the public sector and beyond. In the U.S., this effort began in May, 2021 with White House Executive Order 14028: Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, and since then a variety of policy and legislative initiatives around cybersecurity have gained traction.
In September, 2022, the U.S. government’s Office of Management and Budget released memorandum M-22-18 on Enhancing the Security of the Software Supply Chain through Secure Software Development Practices. M-22-18 formalizes the guidance provided in the NIST Secure Software Development Framework and NIST Software Supply Chain Security Guidance documents as the government requirements for developing secure software, and mandates federal government agencies comply with these guidelines.
This memorandum sets aggressive deadlines for compliance with specific dates for both government agencies and organizations selling software to the government to comply with NIST guidelines. Among other stipulations, it requires that any organization selling software to the government must self-attest that their software is compliant with the NIST SSDF by June 2023 for critical software or by September 2023 for all other software.
More recently, the National Cybersecurity Strategy sets a new precedent for software security liability, with the government intending to hold software producers liable for damages caused by preventable security vulnerabilities and offer liability protections to organizations that can show they follow secure software development practices.
Tidelift awarded three U.S. government contracts worth over $3.5 million
In addition to efforts like those mentioned above, the U.S. government is increasingly investing directly in improving open source software security. Tidelift was recently awarded three separate innovation research awards as part of the U.S. government SBIR program. The SBIR program is designed to help U.S.-based businesses invest in their technical potential, while stimulating technology innovation and meeting specific research and development needs.
Through these SBIR Phase II awards, Tidelift is working with the Department of the Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help spur innovation in the systems and processes the U.S. government uses to improve open source software security and cybersecurity supply chain risk management. This investment will help Tidelift expand its industry-leading open source software management solution, including increasing its ability to partner with even more open source maintainers to validate their components meet important security, maintenance, and licensing standards required by government and industry users, and pay these maintainers for this critical work.
It will also help the U.S. government better address the requirements and deadlines emerging from Executive Order 14028, memorandum M-22-18, and the NIST Secure Software Development Framework, especially when it comes to the open source components in use in government applications. Tidelift is also helping address new requirements around software bills of materials (SBOMs) that U.S. government agencies are beginning to understand, interpret, plan for, and deploy. Along with Tidelift producing an SBOM from every application build, the company is actively working upstream with open source maintainers to validate and improve security, maintenance, and licensing metadata for their projects and capture this data using the TACOS (Trusted Attestation and Compliance for Open Source) attestation framework.
"The United States Air Force, and the Government as a whole, are among the largest consumers of open source software. With the increasing requirements around Software Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) and Software Bills of Materials (SBOM) initiatives, we are excited to partner with Tidelift to enhance cybersecurity resilience outcomes for open source software dependencies that support our most critical work," said Robert "Devo" DeVincent, Chief Software Officer, Air Force 309th Software Engineering Group.
Tidelift expands public sector organization to meet growing demand
Tidelift has named Matthew Arnow, a long-time veteran of Tidelift, to lead the newly expanded public sector team. Matthew heads up the team with extensive experience working with government and public sector clients.
“Tidelift looks forward to working more closely with our government and public sector customers and prospects to improve the resilience of our mission-critical open source infrastructure,” said Matthew Arnow, head of public sector for Tidelift. “Our unique approach of working directly with the maintainers behind thousands of important open source projects will help public sector customers comply with U.S. government security directives and meet necessary government and industry standards.”
Tidelift partners with Carahsoft to support public sector expansion
Tidelift has also partnered with Carahsoft, the leading government reseller partner, to help more quickly and effectively address the number of large public sector opportunities.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen increased demand from our customers for solutions that help improve open source software security and supply chain resilience,” said Natalie Gregory, vice president, Carahsoft. “We look forward to working with Tidelift and our reseller partners to deliver open source software supply chain risk management solutions to our government customers.”
For more information about new government cybersecurity requirements, visit Tidelift’s government open source cybersecurity resource center.
Tidelift, a 2022 Gartner Cool Vendor, helps organizations effectively manage the open source behind modern applications. Through the Tidelift Subscription, the company delivers the tools, data, and strategies powering an inclusive and organization-wide approach to improving the health and security of the open source software supply chain. Tidelift enables organizations to move fast and stay safe when building applications with open source, so they can create more incredible software, even faster. https://tidelift.com/