UK signs up to WEF cyber resilience plan

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UK signs up to WEF cyber resilience plan

Warwick Ashford

The UK has signed the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) new set of principles on cyber resilience.

The WEF Partnering for Cyber Resilience initiative was set up in 2012 in order to promote awareness, understanding and action on cyber resilience and to tackle global cyber risk challenges.

More than 70 companies and government bodies in 25 countries have signed up to the plan to demonstrate their commitment to taking a responsible and collective approach to ensuring secure, resilient digital global networks.

The move is aimed at enabling the global economy to benefit from a digital environment which is safe yet open for all.

“We hope that signing the World Economic Forum Principles on Cyber Resilience will encourage business leaders all over the world to lead the way in creating shared principles for a resilient and thriving internet,” said William Hague, UK foreign secretary.

Hague said the internet had a critical role to play as an engine and facilitator of economic growth, and that cyberspace must be secure and reliable so that it is trusted as a medium for doing business.

“But at the same time free [it must be] open to evolve and innovate naturally,” said Hague.

He called on governments to support the key role of the private sector in creating a trusted and open place to do business.

“The WEF principles will help us all – individuals, companies and governments - in our shared aim to promote a safe and secure digital environment to do business,” he said.

In response, the WEF has highlighted the UK Government’s guidance for the industry on meeting cyber security challenges as an excellent example of putting the principles in practice.

Last September, the UK government issued guidelines on cyber security to a number of the UK’s largest companies, setting out how to adopt a comprehensive risk management approach to cyber security to safeguard valuable data assets.

A month later, the UK government announced a new Global Cyber Security Capacity Building Centre, which will be hosted within the UK’s network of centres of excellence for cyber security.

Currently eight universities which have been awarded this status based on their world-class research capability in this field.

Francis Maude, minister for cyber security at the Cabinet Office, is participating in a number of events at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, aimed at bringing industry and governments together to tackle the global issue of cyber resilience and security. 

“Cyber security is a shared, global challenge - our companies operate in a global marketplace," said Maude. "The cyber threat knows no geographical boundaries and it matters that those we connect to are secure as well.” 

“In the UK, we have put in place a transformative National Cyber Security Programme which hinges on a real and meaningful partnership with industry,” he said.

Alan Marcus, senior director for information and communication technologies at the WEF said the UK has been a leading voice in the cyber debate in recent years.

“Cyber resilience is a shared challenge for all parts of society. In 2013, we will continue to drive leadership awareness and understanding and support multi-stakeholder collaboration across the globe,” Alan Marcus said.


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