34 companies sign accord to defend everyone from cyber attacks

cyber attacks defence
Image credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek / Shutterstock.com

Thirty-four global technology and security companies have signed a Cybersecurity Tech Accord, under which they agree to defend all customers everywhere from malicious attacks by cybercriminal enterprises and nation-states.

The 34 companies include ABB, Arm, Cisco, Facebook, HP, HPE, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, and Trend Micro, and together represent operators of technologies that power the world’s internet communication and information infrastructure.

The companies made commitments in four areas under the accord:

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.

No offense: The companies will not help governments launch cyberattacks and will protect against tampering or exploitation of their products and services through every stage of technology development, design and distribution.

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 will include joint work on new security practices and new features the companies can deploy in their individual products and services.

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.

A statement from the group notes that the signatories individually already adhere to some or all of these principles prior to the accord, whether privately or publicly. However, this agreement represents a public shared commitment to collaborate on cybersecurity efforts.

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 devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cybersecurity is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith. “This tech sector accord will help us take a principled path toward more effective steps to work together and defend customers around the world.”

“The real world consequences of cyber threats have been repeatedly proven. As an industry, we must band together to fight cybercriminals and stop future attacks from causing even more damage,” said Trend Micro chief operating officer Kevin Simzer.

The victims of cyberattacks are businesses and organizations of all sizes, with economic losses expected to reach $8 trillion by 2022, according to Juniper Research.

Companies that signed the accord plan to hold their first meeting during the security-focused RSA Conference taking place in San Francisco, 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.

The move by vendors to band together on cybersecurity comes after last week’s formation of the Global Telco Security Alliance, in which Etisalat, Singtel, SoftBank and Telefónica teamed up to offer enterprises a comprehensive portfolio of cyber security services.

Here is the full list of Cybersecurity Tech Accord signatories:

  • ABB
  • Arm
  • Avast!
  • Bitdefender
  • BT
  • CA Technologies
  • Cisco
  • Cloudflare
  • DataStax
  • Dell
  • DocuSign
  • Facebook
  • Fastly
  • FireEye
  • F-Secure
  • GitHub
  • Guardtime
  • HP Inc.
  • HPE
  • Intuit
  • Juniper Networks
  • LinkedIn
  • Microsoft
  • Nielsen
  • Nokia
  • Oracle
  • RSA
  • SAP
  • Stripe
  • Symantec
  • Telefonica
  • Tenable
  • Trend Micro
  • VMware
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