The growing threat of cyber terrorism against businesses and their websites is being tackled head on by the US government, unveiling a new system of guidance on Monday with the goal of helping software behind websites, power grids and other services be less susceptible to hacking.
The US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) system includes an updated list of the top 25 programming errors that enable hackers to gain access to computer networks. The agency is also adding new tools to help software programmers eliminate the most dangerous types of mistakes and enable organizations to demand and buy more secure products.
The effort has been in development for three years, according to Robert A. Martin, principal engineer at Mitre, a technology nonprofit organization that conducts federal research in systems engineering, that was behind the development of the program.
The costs of programming errors that make software open to attack was highlighted by the numerous recent cyber attacks that have resulted in theft of credit card info, user names and passwords from business, government and banking websites.
During an online news conference, government officials noted that many stakeholders stressed the urgency for better training and education for people writing software. Officials said that organizations are under constant attack.
Homeland Security hopes that the program will make it easier for companies and agencies to better secure their networks and contribute to building a safer global network.