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  5. CSSLP Domain 8:1 - Supply Chain Risk Assessment

Prospective Supplier Prequalification

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This course covers the supply chain risk assessment process and will prepare you for the first section of CSSLP Domain 8. 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to assess risk in your supply chain
  • Learn about intellectual property and compliance in the context of software development
  • Learn how to identify and choose suppliers for your software development supply chain

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone looking to develop secure software as well as those studying for the CSSLP certification.


Any experience relating to information security would be advantageous, but not essential. All topics discussed are thoroughly explained and presented in a way allowing the information to be absorbed by everyone, regardless of experience within the security field.



So as we get into the supplier chain, our process of identifying and selecting potential suppliers, we want to look at various kinds of prequalifications. Do they have appropriate experience in this particular genre of software? Building software is not just building software. There are different kinds of software to be built. And experience in the particular kind that you're going to do, web-based, database, artificial intelligence and so on, it's important that your candidates have experience in the right area. They have adequate staffing and skills, to be able to handle the work if they get it and to be able to deliver on schedule.

We need a reference, we need past performance, We need other projects that they've worked on to use as benchmarks against which to gauge how they will perform on the work that we're proposing to have done. And they must also be in sound financial condition. For example, the sound financial condition can be demonstrated by an SSAE18 SOC 1 report. That's what that report is about. And that might be an artifact of evidence that you will use to determine this.

Now, the standards to be met have to be met by the standards that the acquirer needs. These could include the common criteria, the ISO 9001, the ISO 9126, the ISO 21827, or the secure software development framework published by NIST. There are a host of other standards that could be employed like those that come from the center for internet security, SANS and others. But these are just examples of standards that need to be met as part of the project being built.

About the Author
Ross Leo
Learning Paths

Mr. Leo has been in Information System for 38 years, and an Information Security professional for over 36 years.  He has worked internationally as a Systems Analyst/Engineer, and as a Security and Privacy Consultant.  His past employers include IBM, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Rockwell International.  A NASA contractor for 22 years, from 1998 to 2002 he was Director of Security Engineering and Chief Security Architect for Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center.  From 2002 to 2006 Mr. Leo was the Director of Information Systems, and Chief Information Security Officer for the Managed Care Division of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.


Upon attaining his CISSP license in 1997, Mr. Leo joined ISC2 (a professional role) as Chairman of the Curriculum Development Committee, and served in this role until 2004.   During this time, he formulated and directed the effort that produced what became and remains the standard curriculum used to train CISSP candidates worldwide.  He has maintained his professional standards as a professional educator and has since trained and certified nearly 8500 CISSP candidates since 1998, and nearly 2500 in HIPAA compliance certification since 2004.  Mr. leo is an ISC2 Certified Instructor.

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