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White House urges software developers to prioritize ‘memory safe’ programming

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TLDR:

  • The White House Office of the National Cyber Director is calling on technology firms to adopt memory-safe programming languages to enhance cybersecurity.
  • The report outlines strategic approaches for developers to reduce vulnerabilities and improve cyber defense.

A new report from the White House Office of the National Cyber Director is urging technology firms to embrace memory-safe programming languages to bolster cybersecurity efforts. The report emphasizes the importance of security by design and reducing vulnerabilities in the digital ecosystem to combat cyber threats effectively. National Cyber Director Harry Coker highlighted the need to address memory-safety vulnerabilities, which have been exploited in various cyberattacks throughout history.

The report suggests two strategic approaches for developers – reducing the attack surface in cyberspace and anticipating systemic security risks through better diagnostics. It also calls on the research community to develop improved diagnostics to measure cybersecurity quality. The transition to memory-safe programming is expected to be a long-term effort, but early adopters are encouraged to make a significant impact on national security.

The document also emphasizes the importance of new metrics to inform decision-makers and incentivize long-term investments in secure software development. Collaborating with the academic community to address cybersecurity quality measurements is seen as imperative for ensuring long-term cybersecurity and protecting the nation’s digital ecosystem.

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