Prototype Software Assurance Framework (SAF): Introduction and Overview
April 2017 • Technical Note
In this report, the authors discuss the Software Assurance Framework (SAF), a collection of cybersecurity practices that programs can apply across the acquisition lifecycle and supply chain.
Software Engineering Institute
CMU/SEI Report Number
Software is a growing component of modern business- and mission-critical systems. As organizations become more dependent on software, security-related risks to their organizational missions also increase. Traditional security-engineering approaches rely on addressing security risks during the operation and maintenance of software-reliant systems. The costs required to control security risks increase significantly when organizations wait until systems are deployed to address those risks. Field experiences of technical staff at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) indicate that few programs currently implement effective cybersecurity practices early in the acquisition lifecycle. Recent DoD directives are beginning to shift programs’ priorities regarding cybersecurity. As a result, researchers from the CERT Division of the SEI have started cataloging the cybersecurity practices needed to acquire, engineer, and field software-reliant systems that are acceptably secure.
This report introduces the prototype Software Assurance Framework (SAF), a collection of cybersecurity practices that programs can apply across the acquisition lifecycle and supply chain. The SAF can be used to assess an acquisition program’s current cybersecurity practices and chart a course for improvement, ultimately reducing the cybersecurity risk of deployed software-reliant systems. This report presents Version 0.2 of the SAF and features three pilot applications of it.