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Defense Acquisitions: Knowledge of Software Suppliers Needed to Manage Risks (Report)

The Department of Defense (DoD) is increasingly reliant on software and information systems for its weapon capabilities, and DoD prime contractors are subcontracting more of their software development. The increased reliance on software and a greater number of suppliers results in more opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities in defense software. In addition, DoD has reported that countries hostile to the United States are focusing resources on information warfare strategies. Therefore, software security, including the need for protection of software code from malicious activity, is an area of concern for many DoD programs. GAO was asked to examine DoD’s efforts to (1) identify software development suppliers and (2) manage risks related to foreign involvement in software development on weapon systems. To address software vulnerabilities and threats, GAO recommends that DoD better define software security requirements and require program managers to mitigate associated risks accordingly. DoD agreed with the findings but only partially concurred with the recommendations over concerns that they place too much responsibility for risk mitigation with program managers. GAO has broadened the recommendations to address DoD’s concerns. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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