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Linux Foundation Advances Adoption Of Software Bill Of Materials

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The Linux Foundation has announced new industry research, a new training course, and new software tools – backed by the SPDX industry standard – to accelerate the use of Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs) in development.

President Biden’s recent Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity referenced the importance of SBOMs in protecting and securing the software supply chain. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) followed the issuance of this order by asking for wide-ranging feedback to define a minimum SBOM, a simple yet critical step towards software security and a significant moment for open standards. The deadline for submissions is today.

The de-facto industry standard, and most widely used approach today, is called Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX). SPDX evolved organically over the last ten years to suit the software industry, covering issues like license compliance, security, and more.

Linux Foundation Research is conducting the SBOM Readiness Survey. It will examine obstacles to adoption for SBOMs and future actions required to overcome them related to the security of software supply chains.

The Linux Foundation is also announcing a free, online training course, Generating a Software Bill of Materials (LFC192). This course provides foundational knowledge about the options and the tools available for generating SBOMs and how to use them to improve the ability to respond to cybersecurity needs. It is designed for directors, product managers, open source program office staff, security professionals, and developers in organizations building software.

Participants will walk away with the ability to identify the minimum elements for an SBOM, how they can be assembled, and an understanding of some of the open source tooling available to support the generation and consumption of an SBOM.

Also announced today is the availability of the SPDX SBOM generator, which uses a command-line interface (CLI) to generate SBOM information, including components, licenses, copyrights, and security references of your software using SPDX v2.2 specification and aligning with the current known minimum elements from NTIA.

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