This week business and government leaders around the world gathered in Davos for the 50th World Economic Forum to discuss critical issues facing our societies this year and the coming decade. While geopolitics and climate change continue to dominate the conversations and associated headlines, cybersecurity continues to be close on their heels as one of the risks that most concern decision makers. This was highlighted both in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report, as well as at events designed to address the issue – one of which the Cybersecurity Tech Accord was proud to organize.
Over 500 senior representatives gathered to hear the pioneering perspectives the Cybersecurity Tech Accord signatories bring to the critical issue of cybersecurity, as well as to network and build connections with others across the industry, civil society, and government affairs communities. The conversation was moderated by Carlos Moreira, the founder and CEO of WiseKey, who also hosted the gathering. Industry leaders that joined him in the discussion included Renaud Deraison, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Tenable; Tom Patterson, Chief Trust Officer, Unisys; Sanjay Poonen, Chief Operating Officer, VMWare, Alissa Starzak, Head of Public Policy, Cloudflare; and Amy Weaver, President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary Salesforce.
The goal of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord is to promote a safer online world by laying out foundational cybersecurity principles and fostering collaboration among global technology companies. This clearly came through in the conversation, where the different signatories not only highlighted some of the initiatives that they have undertaken as a group – for example the endorsement of the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, or the Apps 4 Digital Peace contest – but also examples of the work they have undertaken on their own, as a result of their commitment to the Cybersecurity Tech Accord principles.
The panel covered industry efforts to drive greater transparency and understanding of the threats we face online, to increase the individual company focus on promoting security and privacy in their offerings, and on development and promulgation of cybersecurity best practices. All participants emphasized the importance having regular industry inclusions, engagements, and partnerships to collectively address the cybersecurity issues.
As mentioned by Tenable’s Renaud Deraison: “Efforts like the Microsoft Cybersecurity Tech Accord are an important step toward fostering a cyber-savvy future for organizations around the world. None of these issues can be solved in a vacuum. As with climate change, addressing the existential threat of cyberattacks requires a concerted and sustained effort across the public and private sectors”. The fact that the group has grown fourfold to over 130 signatories since its inception a mere two years ago echoes that sentiment.
This was not the only event that the Cybersecurity Tech Accord will organize or participate in the coming weeks. Numerous signatories participated in the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) consultation on vulnerability disclosure earlier this week, and we are hopeful that we can continue the conversation on the importance of partnership in cybersecurity with the broader technology community at our annual event at the RSA Conference in San Francisco at the end of this month. We firmly believe that building communities of like-minded actors is the only way to help us tackle the challenges that lie ahead.