May 17, 2020

ASU wins Green Supply Chain accolade

Supply Chain Digital
Supplier Management
Supply Chain Mana
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Arizona State wins Supply & Demand Executive’s 2011 Green Supply Chain Award
SciQuest, a leading provider of on-demand strategic procurement and supplier management solutions, named Arizona State University its winner for the Su...

SciQuest, a leading provider of on-demand strategic procurement and supplier management solutions, named Arizona State University its winner for the Supply & Demand Chain Executive 2011 Green Supply Chain Award. Arizona State University (ASU) was selected for its ambitious sustainability initiative.

Supply & Demand Chain Executive is the executive's user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation. The 2011 Green Supply Chain Awards recognizes companies that are making green or sustainability a core part of their supply chain strategy and are working to achieve measurable sustainability goals within their own operations. Submissions were judged based on the clarity and content of the goals and strategy, the extent of the steps being taken, the impact of the results to date and projected results.

WHY STUDY SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY?

ASU's goal is to become completely carbon-neutral and totally sustainable by 2035. To achieve these objectives, ASU is researching and investing in energy conservation and on-site renewable energy, educating staff and students and implementing a green purchasing policy and supply chain.

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“We're honored to be acknowledged for embracing more green and sustainable practices throughout our entire organization,” said John Riley, executive director, Purchasing & Business Services, ASU. “As part of our overall initiative, we have also implemented a green purchasing policy that is focused on selecting environmentally friendly goods and services. With SciQuest, staff and faculty are assured access to a variety of products that comply with our policy.”

“ASU's sustainability initiative is truly groundbreaking and serves as a blueprint for schools and organizations looking to minimize their environmental impact,” said Max Leisten, market director for Higher Education, SciQuest. “The university's green purchasing policy takes the guesswork out of making the right choices. Integrating eProcurement ensures organizations like ASU have access to the tools they need to be successful.”

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Edited by Kevin Scarpati

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Jun 21, 2021

Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity

Google
NIST
SLSA4
Sonatype
Elise Leise
3 min
The SolarWinds and Codecov cyberattacks reminded companies that software security poses a critical risk. How do we mitigate it?

As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas. 

 

High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks 

According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’. 

 

Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months: 

 

  • SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack. 
  • Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors. 
  • Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration. 

 

As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework

 

What Are Their Recommendations? 

Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security. 

 

Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version: 

 

  • NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
  • Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state. 

 

If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed. 

 

How Do The Proposals Differ? 

As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’. 

 

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