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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?