US agency to seek consensus on divisive, volatile topic of security vulnerability disclosures

NTIA hopes to foster more trust and collaboration among security researchers and vendors

A U.S. agency hopes to gather security researchers, software vendors and other interested people to reach consensus on the sticky topic of how to disclose cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Beginning in September, the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will host a series of meetings intended to improve collaboration among security researchers, software vendors and IT system operators on the disclosure of, and response to, vulnerabilities.

The first NTIA-hosted meeting will be Sept. 29 at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Registration is open to all who want to participate, and the meeting will also be webcast, NTIA said.

Some researchers' public disclosure of previously unknown vulnerabilities has been controversial, with some software vendors complaining the information can help hackers compromise systems before they can be patched. Many researchers believe that public disclosure gives software vendors an incentive to issue patches.

But the NTIA sees potential for a consensus to develop, with strong security as the goal, said Deputy Assistant Secretary Angela Simpson. When a researcher discovers a vulnerability, "we'd like to promote collaboration, rather than antipathy, between the researcher and the vendor," she said.

While the debate over vulnerability disclosure isn't new, it is growing in importance as many industries find themselves selling products with software at their cores, Simpson said.

NTIA hopes the participants can develop a set of "high-level principles for successful collaboration," she added. Participants in the process, not the NTIA, will determine the outcome, she added. "The community holds the pen."

In recent years, the agency has hosted a series of so-called multistakeholder meetings related to developing privacy standards for mobile apps, drones and facial recognition technology. Those processes have produced mixed results, with some privacy advocates complaining the meetings were too focused on business, and not consumer, needs.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?