At the Paris Peace Forum on November 12 last year, French President Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders launched a global discussion on forging a new consensus for the post-Covid-19 world. This discussion is continuing through an ongoing debate, with contributions from leaders and experts from around the world. Below, explore the contribution of Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky.
International Cooperation Against Cyberthreats in the Post Covid-19 World
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the international community in the midst of a global crisis. It has also affected the speed at which digital technologies are being integrated into business processes and, of course, the landscape of cyberthreats.
Throughout 2020, we detected around 360,000 new malicious files per day. Meanwhile this year we’ve seen an almost 25% increase in digital crime worldwide (according to data provided by our KSN cloud infrastructure). Overall, the volume of new malware we detect daily has been increasing year-on-year in numbers, sophistication and reach: cybercriminals don’t hesitate to target industrial or critical infrastructure (as witnessed in the Colonial Pipeline hack), healthcare institutions, as well as research centers working on vaccine development.
Cyberspace has no borders. This is why one of the crucial aspects of the fight against cyberthreats – including complex, sophisticated ones at the global level – is building trust for international cooperation and sharing of expertise. To create a cyber-secure, cyber-resilient world, we must learn to join forces (just as the cybercriminals do). Relying on one’s own resources is no longer enough: governments, the cybersecurity community, industries and academia need to work side-by-side in order to be able to deal with cyberthreats.
International collaboration is key in making the vital steps in this battle, e.g., through sharing threat intelligence data to better identify, detect and counter ever-more advanced cyberthreats.
However, the current context of geopolitical tensions – growing mistrust leading to ‘balkanization’ of cyberspace – poses a significant challenge, while cybercriminals only benefit. I think we need a dramatic overhaul of the way the information and communications technology (ICT) industry functions – especially since we have a very important common global mission.
Joint effort is a key ‘ingredient’ to building greater trust. We at Kaspersky believe in international cooperation and for this, in particular, collaborate with global organizations such as INTERPOL, Europol and other police organizations around the world, as well as the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) and computer emergency response teams (CERTs). The NoMoreRansom project is one of the most successful examples of a continuous public-private effort to help victims of ransomware and make cyberspace safer, especially since ransomware operators are currently targeting the most critical and vulnerable organizations – our hospitals.
When it comes to building trust across wider communities and multi-stakeholder groups, important steps are being made such as the recently launched working groups by the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. The Paris Call, launched by French President Emmanuel Macron in November 2018, is today the largest multi-stakeholder initiative on cybersecurity in the world, uniting more than 1100 public and private supporters, companies and organizations representing civil society, across all continents. In this regard, the decision to launch six working groups paves the way for much closer international cooperation. As co-chairs of Working Group 6 (WG6), together with Cigref and with expert support from GEODE, we are aiming to propose practical tools to Paris Call supporters, and address the issue of ICT supply chain security to help them improve their cybersecurity levels. The results will be presented in November 2021 at the next edition of the Paris Peace Forum.
Another positive sign of greater trust being reached among states in cyberspace is the recent milestone in global cybersecurity negotiations and adoption of the consensus report by all countries at the UN level. Kaspersky supported the process and we shared our knowledge and expertise within public consultations. Hopefully, further progress is possible with the launch of the next UN working group in June of this year as well as the Program of Action (PoA) proposed to achieve more practical outcomes through regular working-level meetings at the UN and consultations with other stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society.
Achieving true cybersecurity in the new post-covid world is about more than just protecting devices. Being able to work together and build a more stable and trusted cyberspace requires more than just working on technical solutions. And this is why we invite the broader cybersecurity community and stakeholders to stay open to international collaboration projects, exchange information, and support each other in order to fight cybercriminals on a more holistic level. Cybersecurity not only requires this – it depends on it.
by Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky
Eugene Kaspersky is a world-renowned cybersecurity expert and successful entrepreneur. He is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Kaspersky, the world’s largest privately-held vendor of endpoint protection and cybersecurity solutions. Eugene began his career in cybersecurity accidentally when his computer became infected with the ‘Cascade’ virus in 1989. Eugene’s specialized education in cryptography helped him analyze the encrypted virus, understand its behavior, and then develop a removal tool for it. After successfully removing the virus, Eugene’s curiosity and passion for computer technology drove him to start analyzing more malicious programs and developing disinfection modules for them. This exotic collection of antivirus modules would eventually become the foundation for Kaspersky’s antivirus database. In 1997 Kaspersky was founded, with Eugene heading the company’s antivirus research. In 2007 he was named Kaspersky’s CEO.