In recent years, we witnessed an inflection point for cyber conflict, triggered by the state-sponsored cyberattacks of WannaCry and NotPetya. These attacks represent a larger trend in which citizens, technology users, public entities, civil society, and corporations have all become targets of destructive digital weapons.
Bold measures are needed for a safe digital transformation in industry while also protecting civilians from indiscriminate cyberattacks. Therefore, Microsoft proposed the idea of a Digital Geneva Convention and helped establish the Cybersecurity Tech Accord with over 60 global tech companies. In parallel, converging initiatives such as the European company-led Charter of Trust were launched.
Last November, a multi-stakeholder dialogue took place during the Paris Peace Forum that led to the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace based on 9 pillars, supported by more than 500 signatories including all 28 EU Member States among 60 Governments and more than 450 NGOs and Private Sector entities.
It is unquestionable that cybersecurity will continue to be a top priority over the next 5 years.
Especially considering 2019 is a critical year for elections in Europe, it is urgent that we take measures to protect democratic processes from cyber-enabled threats.
In the years ahead, all Member States and the EU are in a unique position to move forward and develop a collective European multi-stakeholder action to effectively prevent cyber conflicts, in cooperation with civil society and Industry both on the provider and customer side, to reach the goals of the Paris Call.
More on Digital Peace:
- Elections under threat: securing democracy in cyberspace
- New steps to protect Europe from cyber threats
- Why we must fight for the future of digital peace
More Five Ideas for Five Years chapters: