Columbia-based cybersecurity company Tenable joined 33 other tech companies signing onto a pledge that’s making headlines for a promise not to help governments carry out cyber attacks.
The Cyber Tech Accord, announced during this week’s RSA conference in San Francisco, is a pact among companies to mount stronger defense against cyber attacks regardless of origin, and take action together to protect against threats and share information. They also vowed “no offense,” pledging not to assist any government launching a cyber attack against innocent citizens and enterprises, as well as opposing attacks on said groups.
According to Reuters, the accord followed a series of devastating attacks in 2017, including the global WannaCry. Companies signing on include Microsoft, Facebook and Oracle. The latter also has a large office in Columbia. As CNN pointed out, Apple, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet did not sign on.
“The devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cybersecurity is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement. Last year, Smith called for a “digital Geneva Convention” to protect civilians from cyber attacks by nation-states.
In a blog post, Tenable CEO Amit Yoran wrote that the company has always sought to help companies understand and prepare for potential threats, but “we realize that no one company or technology will secure cyberspace.”
“As cybersecurity professionals, we have a social responsibility to protect everyone online and support foundational cyber hygiene practices among private citizens and organizations of all sizes,” Yoran wrote. “We’re committed to empowering organizations everywhere to understand and reduce their cybersecurity risk.”
It’s notable to see such a statement at a time when tech companies are facing scrutiny for how their tools are influencing public life.
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