Cyber Resilience Act, WordPress & Expectations

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Let’s take a dive into the exciting world of the Cyber Resilience Act and its effects on WordPress! I know, I know, pleasing as a root canal, right? Stick with me. It might not be as teeth grinding as it sounds.

Cyber Resilience Act

First things first, what is this Cyber Resilience Act?

Well, it’s a piece of legislation created by the EU to enhance cybersecurity. Optimizing the security of hardware and software products is its primary goal. Now, does this tech law saga affect WordPress? Why yes, yes it does!

WordPress, as we know, is in fact a main character in this CRA story. So much so that it was discussed at the Community Summit in the US recently. Highly recommend you check out those notes!

The CRA stirs up a mixed bag of effects for open source projects like WordPress, though. Yes, strengthening security is all well and good, but there’s always the flip side of the coin. Why? Well, the Act may unintentionally hamper effective software practices. This concern has united open-source communities like Drupal, Joomla, TYPO3, and of course, WordPress.

To get a clearer picture, WordPress and other open-source projects are working on assessing the Act’s potential impact on their operations (at said WP Community Summit for instance). Potential drawbacks include undermining the way open-source projects operate, which might lead to stifling innovation.

Impact of CRA

The Act could impose new responsibilities, leading to adverse consequences. Could. I don’t see it that way, but it could. How? Well, let’s explore an example. Imagine, you’re at a concert, enjoying your favorite band (which is obviously Pearl Jam, but I digress 😏), but a strict new noise ordinance has been passed. The band can still play, but they need to tone down their music and adhere to a strict timetable. While you’re technically still at a concert, it’s not really a preoper concert anymore…

The open-source community is worried about the same thing. While they absolutely endorse the need for improved cybersecurity (who doesn’t, right?), they don’t want to lose their essence – their open-source spirit – in the process. It’s like knowing you have to jump off the cliff into the unknown. And that’s where WordPress is right now, standing at the edge, looking at the vast unknown. But there’s hope!

WordPress & CRA

It’s great to see topics like these were discussed at the WordPress Community Summit in DC. One of the consequences discussed is the creation of a “legal team” of sorts.

The most important part, as I see it currently, is that the Cyber Resilience Act and its impact on WordPress will mostly force everyone to get a better understanding of *everything* security and WordPress. That’s things like I mention in this tweet, and most certainly the other layers of security as well.

It’s both a mentality change with regard to the principle of security as well as the actual technical changes needed.

The Good that the CRA will bring

While there are doubts and uncertainties about how the CRA will play out exactly, I’m very bullish on it resulting in us getting better security for our favorite CMS.

Here’s what I think will happen for the better:

  • Regular security audits will become the norm for WordPress plugins & themes.
  • Education push! The Act promotes cybersecurity awareness. Expect WordPress to launch more tutorials & resources on safe web practices.
  • Innovation time!With the Act’s incentives for cybersecurity research, WordPress might see a surge in security-focused plugins & tools.
  • The Act mandates stricter security protocols for open-source projects. Expect WordPress to roll out enhanced security features soon!

Security has always been incredibly important, but it’s going to kicked up a couple of notches come 2024. Are you ready?

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