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Government debuts new "trustworthy software" standard: PAS 754

Last week, the government launched PAS 754 – a new software standard that demonstrates “trustworthiness” in governance and management.

The document attempts to codify what constitutes good software engineering while setting out what processes and procedures a business must apply if they are to procure, supply or deploy trustworthy software.

“Robust and reliable software is a vital tool for modern day businesses, enabling them to operate efficiently while protecting them from growing cyber security threats,” claimed Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts at the launch.

“This new publically available specification, developed with the Trustworthy Software Initiative (TSI), will help UK companies select the most secure, dependable and reliable software for their needs as well as providing them with the skills to use it effectively.

“Future UK companies will also benefit, with the education materials being made freely available to universities for the next generation of young professionals,” he added.

Introducing the trustworthy software initiative

TSI is supported and funded by the National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) and forms on the key elements of delivery for the National Cyber Security Strategy.

It claims the PAS 754 document is an important step forward in the NCSP’s aim of improving cyber security and is a result of extensive collaboration between public sector organisations.

“All are entitled to expect the same degree of reliability, availability, security and resilience from their software as they have come to expect from the mechanical components of their systems. Hence the Trustworthy Software Initiative – TSI,” claimed Sir Edmund Burton, TSI President.

“A document such as PAS 754 is important because it can help to close down the trapdoors in an organisation’s software platform that leave it vulnerable to cyber-attack,” added Howard Kerr, chief executive of business standards firm BSI, from which the document is available.