Major tech companies sign Cybersecurity Tech Accord

On April 17th, 34 of the world’s biggest names in tech, including Microsoft, Oracle, and Facebook, signed the ‘Cybersecurity Tech Accord,’ which TechNewsWorld describes as “an agreement aimed at defending against cyberattacks, whether coming from rogue hackers or nation-states.”

Part of the promise that these companies made when signing the Accord was committing themselves to “stronger defenses, no offensive attacks, capacity building, and collective action.” The Accord aims to protect the trillion connected devices that are anticipated to impact the globe for the next 20 years.

These 34 companies will be holding a first round of meetings in San Francisco, focusing on capacity building and collective action.

Perhaps one of the most important pledges to come out of this accord, was the promise not to help governments launch cyberattacks against “innocent citizens or enterprises.” Part of that pledge was to protect their products and services from “any tampering or exploitation that could enable their use in such attacks.”

Other promises include doing “more to empower developers, as well as the people who use technology products, to improve their capacity to defend against attacks,” and taking “collective action to establish formal and informal partnerships with industry, civil society and security researchers, to improve collaboration that will ensure the disclosure of vulnerabilities and other threats.”

This Accord is not a legally binding agreement enforced by any jurisdiction. As TechNewsWorld describes, the companies “have the option to adhere to some or all of the principles” and “still could do what is in their best interests.”

Jim Purtilo, associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, told the publication that “It will be very interesting to see how this plays out, since many devils lurk in the details. Some companies signing this accord actively collaborate with governments in development or manipulation of technologies that are commonly part of cyberattacks.”

Some view this timely Accord as a public relations move, in the light of many tech companies falling under scrutiny during the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Source: – Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle Among 34 Firms to Join Cybersecurity Tech Accord
Published: April 18, 2018