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CISQ Announces New Measures for Software Quality

Automated Quality Measures Manage IT Risk

Needham, MA, September 15, 2015 – The Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ) today announced new measurement specifications based on detecting weaknesses in the reliability, security, performance efficiency and maintainability of software applications. These quality measures can be used to evaluate the risk in software-intensive systems from such sources as unauthorized penetrations, outages, data corruption, degraded performance, and excessive complexity. 

CISQ was chartered to create specifications for automating the measurement of software size and structural quality. “Recent IT disasters in the news are entering the era of nine-digit defects, where incidents can pass the $100 million mark in damages,” said Dr. Bill Curtis, Executive Director of CISQ. “These incidents have escalated beyond the CIO to the boardroom. Today’s announcement will enable the C-suite to better manage IT risk by giving them measures of the structural quality of their systems.”

The Object Management Group® (OMG®), an international, open membership, not-for-profit technology standards consortium, will approve these specifications as OMG standards this year. “Automated quality measurement based on standards will help customers and suppliers of IT application software speak the same language, which is a major reason why OMG sponsored the CISQ metrics,” said Dr. Richard Soley, Chairman and CEO of OMG. ”When used effectively in governance and contracts, these measures will help reduce the cost and risk of IT applications.”

After five years of hard work from industry and government stakeholders, CISQ is making these quality metrics available for use in evaluating and governing the quality of IT systems whether the software is developed in-house or acquired.

The CISQ measures are developed from counting violations of good architectural and coding practice that are severe enough to be prioritized for remediation. For instance, the security measure is derived from the top 25 violations of good coding practice such as SQL injections, buffer overflows, and cross-site scripting that allow unauthorized intrusions and data theft. This list comes from the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) repository which is managed by the MITRE Corporation. The reliability measure incorporates empty exception blocks, unreleased resources, circular dependencies, and other violations that cause outages and slow recovery times. Performance efficiency includes coding weaknesses such as expensive loop operations, un-indexed data access, and unreleased memory that degrade response-time and overuse resources. The maintainability measure includes coding weaknesses such as excessive coupling, dead code, and hard-coded literals that make maintenance and enhancements overly expensive and defect-prone.

Dr. Bill Curtis will present a webinar, The Standard Is Here! CISQ Quality Characteristic Measures on September 22 to provide an overview of these measures and software quality measurement. Registration is available at http://it-cisq.org/cisq-webcast-the-standard-is-here-cisq-quality-characteristic-measures/

On October 15, CISQ will host a second webinar, Latest Advances in Cybersecurity and the NEW CISQ Security Standard, with Robert Martin who manages the CWE repository at the MITRE Corporation and co-wrote the CISQ security measure to detect cybersecurity issues in software. Registration is open at http://it-cisq.org/cisq-webcast-latest-advances-in-cybersecurity-and-the-new-cisq-security-standard/

CISQ is working on an individual knowledge exam to certify structural quality knowledge. CISQ is also exploring a conformance assessment program for service providers that want to certify the quality of software according to the CISQ standards.

For more information about CISQ standards, visit http://it-cisq.org/standards/.To become a CISQ sponsor, visit http://it-cisq.org/become-a-sponsor/.

About CISQ

The Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ) is an IT industry leadership group comprised of IT executives from the Global 2000, system integrators, outsourced service providers, and software technology vendors committed to introduce a computable metrics standard for measuring software quality and size. Founded by the Object Management Group (OMG) and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon, CISQ is a neutral, open forum in which customers and suppliers of IT application software can develop an industry-wide agenda of actions for improving IT application quality and reduce cost and risk. CISQ is sponsored by Accenture, Atos, Booz Allen Hamilton, CAST, Huawei, and WIPRO. For more information, visit www.it-cisq.org

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