34 Tech Giants Led by Facebook, Microsoft Sign First-Ever Cybersecurity Accord

An entire collective of thirty-four major technology companies including the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, HP, ARM, Cisco, Oracle and Dell have signed a Cybersecurity Tech Accord, pledging to never help governments launch cyberattacks.

First reported by the New York Times, the new accord sees the signers pledge to protect against cyberattacks as well as not help governments, including the United States, “Launch cyberattacks against innocent citizens and enterprises”. The accord sees a set of principles commonly agreed upon, underlining Silicon Valley’s concentrated effort to steer clear of government cyberwarfare.

There are notable exceptions in this list, however, with the likes of Google, Apple and Amazon abstaining from signing the accord, for now.

The coalition has been described by Microsoft president Brad Smith as a goal toward creating a “digital Geneva Convention”. Four areas where the companies have pledged to improve upon include a refusal to assist governments in launching attacks, working to improve the ability of developers and customers to protect themselves, help protect customers from future attacks and collectively collaborate to share vulnerabilities and threats.

“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,” stated Kevin Simzer, Chief Operating Officer, Trend Micro.

The cost of cyberattacks on businesses of all sizes is expected to reach a staggering $8 trillion by 2022.

“The Tech Accord will help to protect the integrity of the one trillion connected devices we expect to see deployed within the next 20 years,” added Carolyn Herzog, General Counsel, Arm. “It aligns the resources, expertise and thinking of some of the world’s most important technology companies to help to build a trusted foundation for technology users who will benefit immensely from a more security connected world.”

Companies who have signed the accord are to hold their first meeting during the upcoming RSA conference in San Francisco to focus on capacity building and collective action.

Image credit: LIFARS Archive.