Nine global entities including Allianz signed a cybersecurity charter last week at the Munich Security Conference (MSC), calling for government and business action in ten key areas to create trust and boost cybersecurity in a world where threats are steadily growing.
Alongside Allianz and industrial conglomerate Siemens--which initiated the "Charter of Trust"-the other signatories are aircraft manufacturer Airbus, automaker Daimler Group, tech firms IBM and NXP, testing and certification company SGS, German telco Deutsche Telekom and the MSC. The MSC is a leading international forum on security policy which draws a wide range of decision makers, in particular senior politicians, and is the largest gathering of its kind.
The Charter delineates 10 action areas in cybersecurity where governments and businesses must both become active:
- Ownership for cyber and IT security
- Responsibility throughout the digital supply chain
- Security by default
- Innovation and co-creation
- Certification for critical infrastructure and solutions
- Transparency and response
- Regulatory framework
- Joint initiatives
It calls for, among others, responsibility for cybersecurity to be assumed at the highest levels of government and business, with the introduction of a dedicated ministry in governments and a chief information security officer at companies.
It also calls for companies to establish mandatory, independent third-party certification for critical infrastructure and solutions – above all, where dangerous situations can arise, such as with autonomous vehicles or the robots of tomorrow, which will interact directly with humans during production processes. In the future, security and data protection functions are to be preconfigured as a part of technologies, and cybersecurity regulations are to be incorporated into free trade agreements.
The Charter also calls for greater efforts to foster an understanding of cybersecurity through training and continuing education as well as international initiatives.
“Confidence that the security of data and networked systems is guaranteed is a key element of the digital transformation,” said Siemens President and CEO Joe Kaeser. “That’s why we have to make the digital world more secure and more trustworthy. It’s high time we acted – not just individually but jointly with strong partners who are leaders in their markets. We hope more partners will join us to further strengthen our initiative.”
“Secure digital networks are the critical infrastructure underpinning our interconnected world,” said Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, who added that “cybersecurity will certainly be a focus of this year’s G7 presidency".
“Governments must take a leadership role when it comes to the transaction rules in cyberspace,” said Mr Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference and a senior German diplomat. “But the companies that are in the forefront of envisioning and designing the future of cyberspace must develop and implement the standards. That’s why the Charter is so important. Together with our partners, we want to advance the topic and help define its content,” he added.