Tag: application security

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Software Safety Should Be Treated Just Like Food Safety. Discuss.

It’s easy to agree with statements like “the food we buy in supermarkets should be safe to eat.” After all, who wants go to bat for shoddy growers pushing contaminated lettuce, or distributors sending out botulinum-laced fish and meats? But what about software safety? Suffice it to say that if people ate software applications instead of, say, cinnamon rolls, they’d be dropping like flies. That’s because the code that powers those applications is often riddled with potentially dangerous insecurities. Unlike the food industry, however, there have been only fitful efforts by government and industry to address what everyone recognizes is a widespread problem.   I’ve written elsewhere about the relative lack of a “safety culture” in the software industry compared with industries like civil aviation or even food. (Remember: most of the food recalls and alerts that are issued today are voluntary.) But there’s also a decades-long track record of the government taking […]

FDA Will Regulate Some Apps As Medical Devices

In an important move, the U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has released final guidance to mobile application developers that are creating medical applications to run on devices like the iPhone and Android mobile devices. Some applications, it said, will be treated with the same scrutiny as traditional medical devices.* The statement is the final word from the FDA on the approach it will take when enforcing federal regulations regarding the safety of medical devices to the large and fast-growing category of medical applications. The agency said on Monday that, while it doesn’t see the need to vet “the majority of mobile apps,” because they pose “minimal risk to consumers,” it will exercise oversight of mobile medical applications that are accessories to regulated medical devices, or that transform a mobile device into a regulated medical device. In those cases, the FDA said that mobile applications will be assessed “using the same […]