Cybersecurity Tech Accord launches Year Six Annual Report

The Cybersecurity Tech Accord is proud today to launch our Annual Report highlighting the most important initiatives of our coalition from our sixth year in existence.

Over the past six years, the Cybersecurity Tech Accord has grown into the world’s largest coalition of technology companies focused on improving cybersecurity through multistakeholder cooperation. Today it serves as the voice for our industry on matters of international peace and security online.

At this pivotal moment of global digital transformation, our mission is more critical than ever. New technologies continue to improve lives and connect people around the world, while at the same time escalating conflict online threatens to undermine and destabilize the digital ecosystem. Artificial intelligence is transforming the capacity of organizations to counter cyber threats at unprecedented scale, while malicious actors are exploring how to use this technology to improve their attack methods. And as geopolitical tensions and rivalries continue to drive state-sponsored cyberattacks of increasing severity – including in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine – it is clear that we need more cooperative efforts to improve security and raise expectations for responsible behavior online.

These concerns have driven us to step-up our engagement in relevant dialogues at the United Nations (UN) over the past year, to drive greater recognition of international norms for states. Most notably, we called for UN member states to recognize a new norm to prohibit cyberattacks that could compromise the integrity of the ICT supply chain. We continue to push for more inclusive multistakeholder processes at the UN, including in the working group responsible for improving the application of international law and norms online. The efforts of these working groups would greatly benefit from regularized input from the industry responsible for developing and maintaining the majority of the digital ecosystem.

Another area of pressing concern this past year has been the ongoing proliferation of cyber mercenaries, firms that develop and sell malicious tools and services, largely to governments. The existence and growth of this market undermines security by incentivizing the retention and exploitation of vulnerabilities instead of responsible disclosure. This is why our coalition has worked over the past year to support responsible industry practices to push back on cyber mercenary operations, and began tracking government-led efforts to start placing meaningful boundaries on the cyber mercenary market itself.

We also stepped up our advocacy in the negotiations of the first UN cybercrime convention. Throughout successive rounds of negotiations, we have urged member states to remove fundamentally harmful provisions and provide explicit protections for security researchers at risk of being inadvertently criminalized for their vital work discovering and responsibly disclosing vulnerabilities.
This important work continues ahead of the expected conclusion of negotiations this summer.

Last year we launched our annual State of International Cybersecurity Thermometer, an assessment made by our community taking stock of the current state of conflict and security online. This year, our assessment found that peace and security online has continued to deteriorate, despite some progress, inching the International Cybersecurity Thermometer one degree higher to 101 degrees.

Over the past year, our signatories have showcased their commitment to our coalition’s mission – leveraging their knowledge and thought leadership through several initiatives. This report takes stock of a year of work advancing our shared principles for a more secure, safe, stable and trusted online world. We hope you enjoy it and welcome your comments at [email protected].

The Cybersecurity Tech Accord Secretariat