In the world of Cyber security, and in fact, even security in general, there are many groups and consortiums that have been formed. Many of them are created so that new ideas can be shared with one other, which in turns fuels the innovation process. I am not for sure about all of the industries that are out there, but I can vouch for mine, which is the Biometrics one.
There are many alliances and groups that have been created throughout the last few decades. Many of these have been started up by the Federal Government in efforts to help streamline the bidding process for private companies to land government contracts, as well as to create a set of common standards. These include the establishment of best practices, even for developing software code for the various Biometric applications that are out there.
Well today, that theme has carried over to Cyber security, and trying not only protect Corporate America, but our borders as well. In this regard, it was just announced that the major tech firms here in the United States, which includes the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, Facebook, and 31 other vendors have formed a rather informal pact called the “Cybersecurity Tech Accord”. More specific details about this can be seen here at this link:
According to Juniper Research, the financial losses that are expected to come from Cyber security attacks are expected to be a staggering $8 Trillion by the year of 2020, and that there will be well over 1 trillion connected devices worldwide (mostly due to IoT).
The first actual meeting of this loose knit coalition is supposed to occur sometime this week or next week in San Francisco. It is important to note that this coalition has not been formed just to protect these titans of tech, but rather, it will reach to all levels of society that include scientists, the US government, and even every day common folks like you and me.
Interestingly enough, there is just one primary objective for this coalition: Stop the spread of malicious code. In fact, this is the most common way that most Cyber attacks are carried out today, via the use of malformed code, and injecting them into vulnerable applications (one of the best examples of this is the SQL Injection Attack).
But despite the good intentions of this coalition, there are also some inherent weaknesses with it as well, as critics are very quick to point out. One of the biggest ones is that the member companies do not have to adhere to all of the binding principles which have been set forth. So, this has instilled a certain level of fear that in the end, some of these companies may only do what is in their own best interests:
“Some companies signing this accord actively collaborate with governments in development or manipulation of technologies that are commonly part of cyberattacks . . . will they no longer participate in those projects, on the theory that their efforts could result in deployment of an attack? Or will they out the white hat (ethical) hackers who help friendly governments understand the digital battle space?” (SOURCE: https://www.technewsworld.com/story/85283.html).
It is also interesting to note that the coalition of these 34 companies are not seeking outside funding per se to help fund their intitaves. Rather surprisingly, they are actually digging deep into their own pockets in order to get things moving ASAP. Also in this regard, there is yet another hole that the critics are quickly pointing out: Would this coalition assist the Federal Government in actually thwarting off a Cyber attack? The answer:
“If Putin unleashes an overtly hostile action in cyberspace, then most Americans would be happy for corporate assistance in quashing it, but I doubt most would appreciate corporate interference with our military’s countermeasures.” (SOURCE: https://www.technewsworld.com/story/85283.html).
In fact already, there are already three tech titans that have failed so far to formally sign their membership into this coalition (even though they verbally agreed that they will do so). These are: Amazon, Apple and Google. And yet, the finger pointing has already started: “The agreement is probably best seen as a blend of PR, marketing and corporate vision . . . The accord may not be fully thought through . . . The accord itself is fairly bland.” (SOURCE: https://www.technewsworld.com/story/85283.html).
My thoughts on this? Just like the critics pointed out in these quotes, I do have my serious doubts that this coalition will even take fruition to the vision it was created for. It has already started out on a bad footing, when members are not even present to formally sign on board when they have verbally agreed to do so. Also, keep in mind that these are the biggest of the big corporations in Corporate America. What do they have to lose if a few hundred customers have been lost because of a Cyber attack?
Nothing really, because they have deep corporate pockets. In the end, this coalition may just turn to be nothing more than a public façade to get notoriety and some free attention. But hey, I like to keep an open mind. Only time will tell if this thing even works out at all.