The British government has joined other nations and individual companies in a World Economic Forum initiative to prevent cyber-attacks.
Called the Partnering for Cyber Resilience, it involves over 70 companies and governments across 25 nations. The United Kingdom signed a key document this week related to the initiative.
It includes several principles on technology risks. Some of these relate to: cooperation against cyber threats; more risk management to increase cyber security; and getting partners and suppliers to adopt the principles.
The principles include such statements as:
1- There is an interdependent nature of the hyperconnected world and it has a role in contributing to a safe, shared digital environment.
2- We each contribute to the safety of our hyperconnected world.
3- An open, secure and resilient online space is a public good.
4- The executive management recognizes its leadership role in setting the tone and structure for cyber resilience. In line with its fiduciary and other leadership duties, the executive leadership recognizes the important nature of mitigating cyber-related risks as an essential element of the on-going viability and success of their institution, safeguarding its intellectual property and protecting the information it holds in order to deliver products or services to its customer or constituent base, consistent with the applicable sector and jurisdiction law.
5- A specific program geared toward managing known cyber risks should be continuously pursued by the entity that can take account of guidance and standards relevant to the sectors and regions in which it operates.
The Partnering for Cyber Resilience initiative was set up last year. Several companies have signed the document, such as Gemalto (News - Alert), which provides digital security, TMCnet said. Some other business members are: ABSA, BT, HSBC, TATA consultancy services, Thomson Reuters (News - Alert) and Visa.
“Cyber resilience is no longer an afterthought and a cost,” the World Economic Forum said in a cyber-security document. “It is an essential component of any business or national strategy that seeks to be successful and sustainable.”
Speaking at the current World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude identified cyber-security as one of the top four threats to the United Kingdom.
"Only by working together can we ensure the world can continue to realize the benefits of the Internet," Maude was quoted by The BBC. Maude’s statement came just a few weeks after other UK leaders warned the nation that it was too complacent about the threat of a cyber-attack on the armed forces.
It was William J. Hague, the UK foreign minister, who signed the World Economic Forum's Partnering for Cyber Resilience initiative.
“We hope that signing the World Economic Forum Principles on Cyber Resilience will encourage business leaders all over the world to lead the way in creating shared principles for a resilient and thriving internet,” Hague was quoted by Computer Weekly.
Hague pointed out too that the Internet is important for economic growth and requires openness.
“The Internet has a critical role to play as an engine and facilitator of economic growth,” he added in a report carried by 4 Traders. “Cyberspace must be secure and reliable so that it is trusted as a medium for doing business but at the same time free and open to evolve and innovate naturally. Governments should support the key role of the private sector in creating a trusted and open place to do business both at home and abroad. The WEF principles will help us all – individuals, companies and governments – in our shared aim to promote a safe and secure digital environment to do business."
It was also reported that Neelie Kroes, the European Union’s commissioner for digital matters, said measures will be introduced in February to “require EU member states to cooperate with each other.”
Meanwhile, Jolyon Barker, who works at Deloitte (News - Alert) and advises the World Economic Forum on cyber threats, said employees need training on how to stop hackers from getting access to networks, companies need to come up with plans to inform other companies of a cyber-attack, and plans need to be made on keeping a business continuing even with an attack, The BBC reported.
"Everything is becoming connected,” John Herring, founder of the company which makes the mobile app Lookout, was quoted by The BBC. “There are devices you wear that keep track of your heart rate and thermostats that connect through Wi-Fi – so cellular infrastructure has become critical.”
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Edited by Brooke Neuman