The Future of Software Liability: How Software Vendors Can Prepare for Increasing Responsibility


As the Chief Information Security Officer at Veritas, I am keenly aware of the ever-evolving landscape of software security and the increasing responsibility placed on software vendors. In a world where cyber-attacks are growing in frequency and sophistication, it is essential for software vendors to not only deliver functional and efficient products but also ensure that they are secure and resilient.

Join me as we explore the future of software liability and provide insights on how vendors can prepare for increasing responsibility in this critical domain.


The Implications of Shifting Software Liability

In the past, software vendors have largely been shielded from liability for security breaches or flaws in their products. However, as our reliance on digital technologies increases, and with the growing impact of cyber attacks on businesses and individuals, the tide is turning. Regulators and lawmakers are now considering holding software vendors more accountable for the security of their products. We are already seeing progress made in the US with the Biden administration's National Cybersecurity Strategy, recently released, clearly shifting liability for software products and services to their creators and advocating for secure development practices.

This shift in liability has several potential implications for software vendors:

  1. Increased responsibility for software vendors: When software liability is shifted, software vendors become more responsible for ensuring that their software is secure and meets the necessary quality standards.
  2. Improved software quality: Shifting software liability can incentivize software vendors to improve the quality of their software and reduce the likelihood of defects and security vulnerabilities.
  3. Increased costs for software vendors: Shifting software liability can increase the costs for software vendors, as they may need to invest more in testing, quality assurance, and security measures to ensure that their software is secure and defect-free.
  4. Changes to software contracts and warranties: Shifting software liability may require changes to software contracts and warranties, as vendors will need to ensure that they are protected from potential lawsuits and damages resulting from software defects.
  5. Increased trust in software: Shifting software liability can increase trust in software among end-users, as they know that software vendors will be held responsible for any damages resulting from defects or vulnerabilities.
  6. Changes to the legal landscape: Shifting software liability can lead to changes in the legal landscape, as courts and lawmakers will need to adapt to new liability arrangements.

Ultimately, shifting software liability can have significant implications for software vendors, end-users, and the legal system. While it can incentivize software vendors to improve software quality and increase trust in software, it can also increase costs and require changes to software contracts and warranties. Ultimately, it is up to individual organizations to determine the best approach to software liability based on their specific needs and risk tolerance.


Recommendations for Vendors to Build Secure Software

Here are 10 best practices that organizations can follow to develop secure software applications:


  • Threat Modeling: Proactively identify potential security weaknesses in a system or application and to take measures to address them before they can be exploited by attackers. This can include identifying and addressing weaknesses in the application's design, configuration, or implementation, as well as identifying potential attack vectors and implementing appropriate security controls to mitigate these risks.
  •  Secure Coding: Essential for building secure and resilient applications. Some of the key elements include input validation, authentication and authorization, secure communication, error handling, access controls, secure configuration, and secure coding practices.
  • Software Bill of Materials Management (SBOMs): SBOMs, or Software Bill of Materials, are an inventory of all the components that make up a software application or system, including third-party libraries, frameworks, and other dependencies. SBOMs are an essential component of software development, as they help to identify potential vulnerabilities and risks in third-party components and dependencies, ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards, and improve collaboration and communication between development teams and other stakeholders. By investing in SBOMs, organizations can improve their supply chain risk management, reduce the risk of security breaches, and ensure compliance with open-source licensing requirements.

  • Code Review: Identify potential security vulnerabilities early in the development lifecycle, so that they can be fixed before the software or application is deployed. It is an important component of a comprehensive security testing and assurance strategy.


  • Penetration Testing: A critical component of a comprehensive security testing and assurance strategy. It provides several key benefits including.

       A. Identifying potential vulnerabilities.

       B. Providing insight into attack vectors.

       C. Improving security posture.

       D. Meeting compliance requirements.

       E. Reducing risk and minimizing the impact of a breach.


  • Secure Configuration Management: The process of managing the configuration of software systems and applications to ensure that they are properly configured and hardened to prevent common security vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It involves establishing and enforcing security policies and best practices for system configuration. Secure configuration management includes several key components, including:

      A. Standards configurations

      B. Change management

      C. Security controls

      D. Vulnerability management

      E. Patch management

  • Access Control: Restrict access to sensitive data, functions, and resources to only authorized users or systems.
  • Security Training: Helps to ensure that developers have the necessary skills and knowledge to build secure software and reduce the risk of security breaches. By investing in security training, organizations can improve the security posture of their software, reduce the risk of security breaches, and build a culture of security awareness in their development team.

  • Incident Response: Have a well-defined incident response is a critical component of software development that involves identifying, investigating, and responding to security incidents and vulnerabilities in software systems and applications.

  •  Continuous Monitoring: Continuously monitor system logs, network traffic, and user behavior for any signs of security vulnerabilities or breaches.

Following these best practices can help organizations develop secure and reliable software applications that can withstand potential security threats and vulnerabilities. It is essential to prioritize security in every stage of software development to prevent unauthorized access and protect sensitive data.



The future of software liability presents new challenges and responsibilities for software vendors. By embracing these responsibilities and taking proactive steps to enhance the security of their products, vendors can not only minimize potential risks but also demonstrate their commitment to protecting their customers and users.

Adopting best practices such as implementing an SDLC, threat modeling, SBOM management, and investing in employee training and security awareness will help vendors to build more secure and resilient software. Additionally, being transparent about security measures and collaborating with the security community can strengthen trust in the security of their products.

As we navigate this evolving landscape, let's work together to create a safer digital environment for all. By sharing our knowledge and expertise, we can collectively raise the bar for software security and create a more secure future for our digital ecosystems.

Together, we can embrace the challenges of increasing software liability, adapt to the changing landscape, and continue to deliver secure, reliable, and innovative solutions that meet the needs of our customers and users.

Don’t wait to enhance your organization’s cybersecurity posture—discover how Veritas can help you build a robust cyber resiliency plan by visiting our Cyber Resiliency page today.

Christos Tulumba
Chief Information Security Officer