by Bharat Mistry
Trend Micro has been protecting enterprises, consumers, governments, service providers and SMBs for 30 years, but the threats we’re facing globally today are on a scale never before seen. UK organisations are increasingly on the receiving end; whether it’s nation state operatives or financially motivated cyber-criminals attacking. Government figures from last year revealed nearly half of all UK businesses suffered a cyber breach or attack in the previous 12 months. In the face of this barrage, industry players must come together to advance our aims of improving cybersecurity and resilience for all.
That’s why Trend Micro is pleased to have joined the Cybersecurity Tech Accord: a ground-breaking new group of global technology and security companies. It’s our commitment to making the digital world a safer place for every user and organisation.
UK under attack
We live in challenging times. Even a few years ago it would have been unthinkable for GCHQ to issue cybersecurity advice for UK businesses. But the threats are such today that, thanks to the newly created National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), that’s exactly what our leading intelligence-gathering agency does. Last week it warned that cyber-criminals are “launching more online attacks on UK businesses than ever before”. This week, it stepped-up the urgency by issuing a joint statement with the US on Russian cyber-attacks targeting network device vendors, ISPs, public and private sector organisations and small-office/home-office users. Then it warned of the national security risk posed to telcos by a well-known Chinese infrastructure provider.
Whatever the source, the liabilities for UK firms are the same: get hit by a DDoS or ransomware attack, or suffer a data breach, and you could incur severe financial and reputational damage. We predict that cumulative losses from Business Email Compromise (BEC) alone will hit $9bn this year.
Given the acute nature of cyber-threats today, it makes sense for companies like Trend Micro to share their expertise with like-minded organisations which could benefit. That’s why we’ve historically had great partnerships with UK and global law enforcers, helping to train police, provide crucial threat intelligence and work side-by-side on investigations that have already led to cybercrime convictions.
But we need to go further still. That’s why we’ve joined the Cybersecurity Tech Accord as a founding member.
What can we achieve?
The pledge — signed by Trend Micro and 33 other major players including Microsoft, ARM, Cisco, Facebook, HP and Oracle — is built around four key commitments:
Stronger defence: For all customers globally, wherever they are.
No offensive action: We will not help governments launch cyber-attacks or tamper with our own products to make them less secure.
Capacity building: Empowering internet users, companies and developers to improve the security of their own systems, networks and products — in so doing raising the bar for baseline security to ensure even the ‘weakest link’ in the chain is pretty strong.
Collective action: We’ll build on existing relationships and establish new ones – with each other, researchers, civil society and other parties to improve coordination of vulnerability disclosures, technical collaboration and intelligence sharing.
This is just the beginning. We’re sure that more will join the group over time, and we welcome that, because the more of us there are, the greater the potential to make a real difference. Cyber is such a major part of our daily lives now, that online threats even have the potential to damage us in the real world. Just look at the impact of WannaCry on the NHS.
So when we say we’re working to make the digital world safer, in reality we’re focused on a much broader goal: to make the world a safer and more secure place.