Tech giants combine to protect civilians from cyberattack

At RSAC 2018 today 34 major technology companies announced the formation of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, a commitment to protect civilians online and to improve the security, stability and resilience of cyberspace.

The Accord covers four specific points that will have the signatories work together to stop malicious actors from both nation-states and the criminal world to inflict economic harm, put human lives at risk, and undermined the trust that is essential to an open, free, and secure internet, the Accord states.

The Accords signatories include Microsoft, Facebook, Dell and Oracle. (Click here for the complete list.) The group remains open to other companies who wish to join. So far Apple and Amazon have not signed on.

The need for the Accord was discussed by Microsoft President Brad Smith during his Tuesday morning RSA keynote address. He noted how the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks in 2017 directly endangered people's lives by shutting down medical equipment and canceling desperately needed medical treatments. And since these were nation-state attacks Smith said the incidents were akin to a country directly attacking civilians during a time of peace.

Those who signed the Accord agreed to:

1.       We will protect all of our users and customers everywhere.

2.       We will oppose cyberattacks on innocent citizens and enterprises from anywhere.

3.       We will help empower users, customers and developers to strengthen cybersecurity protection.

4.       We will partner with each other and with like-minded groups to enhance security.

“The companies may have adhered to some or all of these principles prior to the accord or may have adhered without a public commitment but this agreement represents a public shared commitment to collaborate on cybersecurity efforts,” the group said in a statement.

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