SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS

The Cyber Resilience Act’s main focus in on companies developing and commercializing non-embedded software.

On the other hand, free and open-source software, as well as pure SaaS software is not targeted by the CRA, unless, for the latter, it is used to remote process the data generated by a hardware product retailed in the European market.

Further, software already targeted by other EU legislations (such as medical and civil aviation software) do not need to also comply with the act for (and only for) requirements already covered by other legislation.

For software companies targeted by the Act, the legislation aims to strengthen their security feature and address vulnerabilities, ensuring software applications are better equipped to withstand cyber threats.

Follow our comprehensive guide to know more!

Prerequisites

Software developers are required to ensure an appropriate level of cybersecurity and compliance with the Cyber Resilience Act. These prerequisites are the followings:

  • Software must be developed in a manner that guarantees a level of cybersecurity by implementing security measures and best practices throughout the software development lifecycle
  • Products must be delivered with a secure by default configuration and users should be able to reset the product to its original secure state if necessary
  • Software should incorporate control mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access
  • Software should process only the data that is necessary and relevant to the intended use of the product
  • Software should be designed to protect the availability of essential functions and to minimize any negative impact on the availability of services provided by other devices or networks
  • Vulnerabilities should be addressed through security updates. Users should be notified of available updates to ensure the continued security of the software product

Legal basis

Products with digital elements shall be designed, developed and produced in such a way that they ensure an appropriate level of cybersecurity based on the risks;

be made available on the market without known exploitable vulnerabilities;

be made available on the market with a secure by default configuration,
unless otherwise agreed between manufacturer and business user in relation
to a tailor-made product with digital elements, including the possibility to
reset the product to its original state;

ensure that vulnerabilities can be addressed through security updates, including, where applicable, through automatic security updates that are installed within an appropriate timeframe enabled as a default setting, with a clear and easy-to-use opt-out mechanism, through the notification of available updates to users, and the option to temporarily postpone them;

ensure protection from unauthorised access by appropriate control
mechanisms, including but not limited to authentication, identity or access management systems, as well as report on possible unauthorised access;

protect the confidentiality of stored, transmitted or otherwise processed data, personal or other, such as by encrypting relevant data at rest or in transit by state of the art mechanisms, and by using other technical means;

protect the integrity of stored, transmitted or otherwise processed data, personal or other, commands, programs and configuration against any manipulation or modification not authorised by the user, as well as report on corruptions;

process only data, personal or other, that are adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the intended purpose of the product (‘minimisation of data’);

protect the availability of essential and basic functions, also after an incident, including with resilience ▌ and mitigation measures against denial-of-service attacks;

minimise the negative impact by themselves or connected devices on the
availability of services provided by other devices or networks;

be designed, developed and produced to reduce the impact of an incident using appropriate exploitation mitigation mechanisms and techniques;

provide security related information by recording and/or monitoring relevant internal activity, including the access to or modification of data, services or functions, with an opt-out mechanism for the user; ;

provide the possibility for users to securely and easily remove on a permanent
basis all data and settings and, where such data can be transferred to other products or systems, ensure this is done in a secure manner.

Documentation

Software developers are required to maintain certain mandatory documentation in compliance with the Cyber Resilience Act. This documentation includes:

  • Software Bill of Materials if can be accessed, it should be provided along with the product
  • The EU Declaration of Conformity should be accessible to users and include relevant information regarding the product’s compliance with the CRA. It should contain details such as the internet address where the declaration can be accessed and the type of technical security support offered by the manufacturer

Legal basis

identify and document vulnerabilities and components contained in the product, including by drawing up a software bill of materials in a commonly used and machine-readable format covering at the very least the top-level dependencies of the product;

The CE marking shall be affixed visibly, legibly and indelibly to the product with digital elements. Where that is not possible or not warranted on account of the nature of the product with digital elements, it shall be affixed to the packaging and to the EU declaration of conformity referred to in Article 20 accompanying the product with digital elements. For products with digital elements which are in the form of software, the CE marking shall be affixed either to the EU declaration of conformity referred to in Article 20 or on the website accompanying the software product. In the latter case, the relevant section of the website shall be easily and directly accessible to consumers.

a copy of the EU declaration of conformity

where applicable, the software bill of materials as defined in Article 3, point (36), further to a reasoned request from a market surveillance authority provided that it is necessary in order for this authority to be able to check compliance with the essential requirements set out in Annex I.

Reporting

Under the Cyber Resilience Act, software developers have certain reporting obligations. These requirements include:

  • Fully cooperate with market surveillance authorities and other competent authorities by providing necessary information, cooperating in investigations, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Provide market surveillance authorities with the name and address of any economic operator to whom they have supplied a product with digital elements upon request
  • Retain the information referred to in the previous point for a period of ten years after being supplied with the product and for ten years after supplying the product with digital elements

Legal basis

1. EU type-examination certificates and approval decisions issued regarding cybersecurity requirements for products with digital elements that are subject to other Union harmonisation legislation shall remain valid … [42 months from the date of entry into force of this Regulation], unless they expire before that date, or unless otherwise specified in other Union legislation, in which case they shall remain valid as referred to in that Union legislation.

2. Products with digital elements that have been placed on the market before … [date of application of this Regulation referred to in Article 57], shall be subject to requirements of this Regulation only if, from that date, those products are subject to substantial modifications ▌.

3. By way of derogation from paragraph 2, the obligations laid down in Article 11 shall apply to all products with digital elements that fall within the scope of this Regulation that have been placed on the market before … [date of application of this Regulation referred to in Article 57].

Economic operators shall, on request and where the information is available, provide to the market surveillance authorities the following information:

(a) name and address of any economic operator to whom they have supplied a product with digital elements;

(b) product with digital elements, where the information is available;

Economic operators shall be able to present the information referred to in paragraph 1 for ten years after they have been supplied with the product with digital elements and for ten years after they have supplied the product with digital elements.

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