IWLA opposes new labor relations rules
The International Warehouse Logistics Association declares its strong opposition to new rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that would interfere with employers' right to engage in private conversations with consultants regarding labor relations, including attorney-client communications.
Under its proposed rules, the Labor Department would require that employers file detailed reports about consultations regarding labor relations, individuals engaged in these conversations, what the employers learned and how they intend to act on that knowledge.
This represents an enormous reinterpretation of the 1959 Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. It will require the disclosure of many routine communications between companies and their lawyers. The proposed rules would make employers disclose certain fees paid to supervisors or employees "for the purpose of causing them to persuade other employees to exercise or not to exercise, or as to the manner of exercising, the right to organize and bargain collectively."
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"Once again, we see the administration working at cross purposes with its aim of promoting an economic recovery by taking another step that will worsen our persisting economic recession and encourage the relocation of jobs outside the United States,” IWLA President & CEO Joel Anderson said. “Under the proposed rules, if my member companies ask labor consultants to prepare materials on how to best communicate with their workforce, the employer must maintain and register this information with the Labor Department."
Anderson added: "This is an incredible incursion into the ability of companies to receive, weigh and commission advice on how to conduct effective communications with their own workforce. IWLA will strongly oppose this proposed regulation and defend our members' right to receive the best advice they can obtain to serve their customers and their workforce."
Edited by Kevin Scarpati
Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity
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”’.