The fight to secure the world’s global IT infrastructure is about to get a big boost. F-Secure and 33 other tech companies have joined forces to create the Cybersecurity Tech Accord – a new pact that commits members to upholding principals that ensure protecting people remains the top priority when considering ways to improve the security, resiliency, and stability of cyberspace.
“We’re happy to be one of the first companies to join this accord. We have strong views on security, and it’s great to have connections like this with companies that share our commitment to protecting people and companies,” says Jyrki Tulokas, F-Secure Executive Vice President of Cybersecurity Products and Services. “F-Secure’s always worked toward the principals in the accord, but its great to see this many companies working with IT in different ways get on board with this effort to improve security for everyone.”
Broadly speaking, the four principals that the accord commits its members to are to strengthen users’ defense against cyber attacks, oppose attacks against people and companies, work to help users learn to protect themselves, and support collective action to secure cyberspace.
Some of these are aspects of cybersecurity work aren’t really apparent to people when their security software stops ransomware or blocks malicious websites. But there’s a lot of cybersecurity work that’s easy to overlook.
For example, F-Secure’s support for the accord continues the company’s track record of partnering with organizations to support and lead innovative approaches that address some of cyber security’s most pressing challenges. These range from helping launch initiatives like the CANVAS Consortium to help educate policy makers and the general public about the importance of ethics in cyber security, to supporting cybersecurity education with financial resources or expert input into curricula.
The accord is the largest group of companies to ever become involved in this type of initiative. And it comes at a time when cyber crime is evolving to become a bigger problem than ever before. Resources used by nation-state threat actors or even law enforcement are now being turned against people, companies, and even governments. WannaCry’s use of an exploit developed by the NSA is one well-known example from the past year about how tools developed by governments can fall into the wrong hands, but it’s not the only one. In fact, F-Secure Labs published a report last April about a threat actor conducting cyber attacks using tools developed for law enforcement purposes.
The evolving threat landscape demands new ways of addressing cybersecurity concerns. And the world’s increasing reliance on technology means the stakes are only getting higher. F-Secure’s Chief Information Security Officer Erka Koivunen says that the tech industry needs to step up their game by getting on board with initiatives like this accord.
“Tackling the cybersecurity challenges we see on the horizon won’t be easy. It’ll take courage, resources, and fortitude – more than any one company can muster on their own,” says Erka. “The accord basically says that ‘we won’t roll over and accept threats to the security of the people and companies that rely on our products and services. Period’. And I think that’s the kind of statement that everyone needs to hear from the tech industry right now.”