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Major Vendors Form SAFECode

ARLINGTON, Va. and LONDON -- A group of leading information and communications technology companies today announced the formation of the Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECode), a non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to increasing trust in information technology (IT) products and services through the advancement of proven software assurance methods. Founded by EMC Corporation, Juniper Networks, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, SAP AG and Symantec Corp., SAFECode is the first global, industry-led effort to identify and promote best practices for developing and delivering more secure and reliable software, hardware and services.

As the global dependence on information and communications technology has grown, users have become increasingly concerned over the integrity, security and reliability of software, hardware and services, especially those in the government, critical infrastructure and enterprise sectors. The need to reduce IT vulnerabilities, improve resistance to attack, and protect supply chain integrity has never been more important than in today’s increasingly complex and dynamic threat environment. To help achieve these objectives and strengthen the security of the IT ecosystem, SAFECode unites key stakeholders in an effort to advance software assurance by developing and promoting a set of methods for secure product development and integrity controls that protect software, hardware and services across the global supply chain.

While individual companies have implemented effective methods for developing and delivering more secure and reliable software, hardware and services, there has been no coordinated, industry-led effort to build upon this positive work and promote best practices to advance software assurance more broadly. SAFECode fills this critical gap by bringing together subject matter experts to identify and share proven vendor software assurance practices, promote broader adoption of such practices into the cyber ecosystem, and work with governments and critical infrastructure providers to leverage vendor practices to manage enterprise risks.

  • Increase understanding of the secure development methods and integrity controls used by vendors
  • Promote proven software assurance practices among vendors and customers to foster a more trusted ecosystem
  • Identify opportunities to leverage vendor software assurance practices to better manage enterprise risks
  • Foster essential university curriculum changes needed to support the cyber ecosystem
  • Catalyze action on key research and development initiatives in the area of software assurance

To help SAFECode achieve its objectives, the organization has named Paul Kurtz, a recognized cyber security expert, as its executive director. Currently a partner at Good Harbor Consulting LLC, Kurtz most recently served as the founding executive director of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA). Prior to CSIA, he served in senior positions on the White House’s National Security and Homeland Security Councils under Presidents Clinton and Bush.

“Software assurance is a critical element of IT ecosystem security. By building on the positive work already done in this area by individual firms and encouraging broader adoption of proven best practices for the development and delivery of more secure technology products and services, SAFECode has a unique opportunity to significantly impact the overall security and reliability of the cyber infrastructure,” said Paul Kurtz, executive director of SAFECode. “With the support of its founding members, SAFECode will work to meet the growing demand for information and dialogue on software assurance and increase the trust in IT and communications products and services.”