Using the 2018 RSA Conference as a backdrop, Microsoft has joined 33 other IT companies in signing the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, a pledge to protect users from cyber-attacks, which are increasingly being staged by criminal organizations and nation states, according to Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft.
Participating organizations will adhere to four principles, including one that calls for improved collaboration and coordination on information involving security threats.
"We'll work with one another to establish formal and informal partnerships with industry, civil society and security researchers, across proprietary and open source technologies to improve technical collaboration, coordinated vulnerability disclosure and threat sharing, as well as to minimize the levels of malicious code being introduced into cyberspace," stated Smith in an April 17 announcement.
"In addition, we will encourage global information sharing and civilian efforts to identify, prevent, detect, respond to and recover from cyber-attacks and ensure flexible responses to security of the wider global technology ecosystem," Smith added.
Microsoft and the other tech firms also pledged to oppose government-backed efforts to launch cyber-attacks on "innocent targets and enterprises." They also promised to protect all their users and customers by delivering products and services that prioritize security. They also plan to furnish users, developers and enterprises with the information and tools they need to protect themselves against evolving threats.
RSA is among the many data security technology companies that are onboard. Others include Avast, Bitdefender, FireEye, Symantec and Trend Micro.
Mobile chip designer Arm and enterprise software makers Oracle and SAP are lending their support, as are computer networking companies Cisco and Juniper Networks. Enterprise IT providers Dell and HPE are also pitching in. A complete list appears at the end of this article.
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is one of two social networks that have signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord. The other is Facebook, which is still reeling from a data privacy and security scandal involving millions of user profiles.
In March, it was revealed that data mining company Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested data on 50 million Facebook users as part of a political ad targeting operation during the 2016 election. That figure would later grow to 87 million users.
The breach drew scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and sparked a class-action lawsuit U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committees called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on how so many user profiles were compromised and what the company planned to do about it.
In a March 21 Facebook post, Zuckerberg outlined the steps his company is taking to prevent similar occurrences in the future, including restricting developer access to user data on the platform.
"While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn't change what happened in the past," wrote Zuckerberg. "We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward."
Cybersecurity Tech Accord Companies
- CA Technologies
- HP Inc.
- Juniper Networks
- Trend Micro