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Nikita Koselev
Nikita Koselev

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Navigating the Future of Open Source Security: Insights from Industry Leaders

In a pivotal panel discussion held on February 7th, as part of the State of Open Con 2024, industry experts convened to explore the evolving landscape of open source security. The session titled "The Future of Open Source Security" featured Rebecca Rumbul, Executive Director/CEO of the Rust Foundation, Stephen Augustus, Head of Open Source at Cisco, Victoria Ontiveros from CISA, and Omkhar Arasarantnam, General Manager of OpenSSF. This diverse panel brought together perspectives from leading organizations and government to address the current challenges and chart a path forward for securing the open source ecosystem.

The complete discussion can be viewed here:

Current State of Open Source Security

The panelists began by assessing where the open source community currently stands in terms of security. It was a consensus that while there have been significant advancements in security practices, the community often finds itself oscillating between confidence in its security measures and being blindsided by vulnerabilities. This highlights an ongoing process of maturation where successes in implementing technologies like Sigstore or SBOMs are occasionally marred by emerging vulnerabilities.

The Evolving Dialogue on Security

A key theme discussed was the shift towards a more proactive approach to open source security. This involves a collaborative effort among software consumers, open source developers, and government entities to not only address vulnerabilities as they arise but to prevent them through secure design and development practices. The panel underscored the importance of this tripartite engagement in fostering a more secure open source ecosystem.

Government and Open Source Security

The role of government, particularly through agencies like CISA, in securing open source software was highlighted by Victoria Ontiveros. The focus is on understanding the open source software utilized within federal systems and critical infrastructure, ensuring their security, and fostering a productive relationship between the government and the open source community. This relationship is crucial for the protection of national security and public health, given the pervasive use of open source software in critical infrastructure.

Successes and Challenges Ahead

The panel shared their organizations' successes in enhancing open source security, from Cisco's comprehensive approach to vulnerability management to OpenSSF's role in promoting collaboration across the tech industry and government. However, as technology continues to evolve rapidly, the panel recognized the ongoing need for adaptation and proactive measures to address future threats.

The Future of Open Source Security

Looking ahead, the panelists emphasized the importance of community involvement, transparency, and education in advancing the security of open source software. They called for a collective effort to prioritize security as a core value within the open source community, advocating for individual and organizational responsibility in risk assessment and mitigation.


The "Future of Open Source Security" panel discussion at State of Open Con 2024 offered valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the open source community in securing its ecosystem. As the dialogue between software developers, consumers, and government continues to evolve, it is clear that a collaborative, proactive approach is essential for the future of open source security.

For more details on the event and speakers, visit the event schedule: State of Open Con 2024 - The Future of Open Source Security.

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