Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace: Cybersecurity Tech Accord Renews Calls for a New Norm on ICT Supply Chain

As the United Nations community convenes in New York for the seventh session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Information and Communication Technologies (OEWG), the Cybersecurity Tech Accord finds itself once again at the forefront of critical international discussions surrounding cybersecurity and responsible state behavior in cyberspace. This week UN member states, industry leaders, civil society representatives, and non-governmental bodies come together to discuss the escalating challenges posed by state-sponsored cyberattacks and the malicious use of cyberspace by state and non-state actors. Despite commendable efforts by the OEWG Chair to foster inclusive dialogues, the Cybersecurity Tech Accord and several other non-governmental organizations and industry representatives continue to face accreditation hurdles for participation in formal meetings.

Amidst these challenges, on 28 February 2024, the Cybersecurity Tech Accord had the opportunity to participate in a informal multistakeholder consultation organised by H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations in New York and Chair of the Open Ended Working Group on ICT. In a statement, the Cybersecurity Tech Accord renewed its call for the establishment of a new voluntary international norm to ensure states refrain from targeting the ICT supply chains. The statement also called on states to promote responsible behavior in cyberspace through transparency and accountability measures. Additionally, the Tech Accord reaffirmed its commitment to sharing crucial cybersecurity information with governments and stakeholders through initiatives like its recently launched Threat Intelligence Newsletter, aimed at fostering collaboration and sharing real threat intelligence from industry leaders.

The Cybersecurity Tech Accord also voiced deep concern over the surge in state-sponsored cyberattacks targeting the ICT supply chain, emphasizing the humanitarian, social, and economic ramifications of these indiscriminate attacks. Tech Accord signatory companies have observed a troubling trend of attacks aiming to compromise IT vendors and disrupt essential services like education, healthcare, and financial systems.

The full statement can be found below.