34 technology and security companies vow to defend their technology against misuse and promise to protect their customers against cyberattacks.
All industries and their customers are being exposed to growing cyber threats, making companies and people more vulnerable online. Digital value chains are becoming more complex and, as the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, billions of new entry points and consumer devices need to be protected from cyberattacks. As a result, new cybersecurity breaches could happen with increasing frequency and severity in the future.
Governments and businesses have a shared interest in improving cybersecurity and should cooperate to keep the Internet stable, open and secure. Actions from all stakeholders (public and private) will be needed to protect people better in cyberspace and guarantee a reliable Internet which is essential for consumers´ trust and digitalization of business.
The technology sector has a specific responsibility to make the digital experience of people safe and secure. This is why Telefónica has joined more than thirty leading technology and security companies in founding the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which was presented today during the RSA Conference in San Francisco. This statement is a watershed agreement among the largest-ever group of companies agreeing to defend all customers everywhere from malicious attacks.
These companies, which include Microsoft, BT, Facebook, SAP, HP, ABB, Oracle, CISCO, Nokia or Symantec, among others, together represent key operators of technologies that power the world’s internet communication and information infrastructure and have committed to cooperate in in four areas:
1) Stronger defense
The companies will mount a stronger defense against cyberattacks. As part of this, recognizing that everyone deserves protection, the companies pledged to protect all customers globally regardless of the motivation for attacks online.
2) No offense
The companies will not help to launch cyberattacks and will protect against tampering or exploitation of their products and services through every stage of technology development, design and distribution.
3) Capacity building
The companies will do more to empower developers and the people and businesses that use their technology, helping them improve their capacity for protecting themselves. This may include joint work on new security practices and new features the companies can deploy in their individual products and services.
4) Collective action
The companies will build on existing relationships and together establish new formal and informal partnerships with industry, civil society and security researchers to improve technical collaboration, coordinate vulnerability disclosures, share threats and minimize the potential for malicious code to be introduced into cyberspace.
The Tech Accord remains open to consideration of new private sector signatories, large or small and regardless of sector, who are trusted, have high cybersecurity standards and will adhere unreservedly to the Accord’s principles.
The victims of cyberattacks are businesses and organizations of all sizes, with economic losses expected to reach $8 trillion by 2022*. Recent cyberattacks have caused small businesses to shutter their doors, hospitals to delay surgeries and governments to halt services, among other disruptions and safety risks.
Companies that signed the accord plan to hold their first meeting during the RSA Conference and will focus on capacity building and collective action. Future actions may include jointly developed guidelines or broadly deployed features, as well as information sharing and partnering to combat specific threats to make the online world a safer place for people and businesses everywhere — and uphold the promise and benefit technology offers society.
This new initiative complements the ongoing efforts of Telefónica to make the digital experience of our customers safe and secure. Telefónica has been actively supporting international cooperation between the private sector and governments in that area and is committed to develop and deliver solutions to help keep everyone safe online. The most recent example is that Telefonica recently signed a leading agreement with Etisalat, Singtel and SoftBank to create the first Global Telco Security Alliance to offer enterprises a comprehensive portfolio of cyber security services.
The alliance will be one of the world’s biggest cyber security providers, with more than 1.2 billion customers in over 60 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Through their combined resources and capabilities, the group can protect enterprises against the rising cyber security risks as the information security environment becomes increasingly complex.
Telefónica understands that, in order to avoid an Internet that people fear to use due to cybersecurity threats, it is necessary to define more comprehensive and strategic solutions and to cooperate across the private sector and with public authorities. The Tech Accord is another important step into that direction.