He says cooperation among all players is essential and that corporate pride shouldn’t interfere. He cited cooperation last year among Microsoft, Google and Facebook to fight dissemination of terrorist propaganda online.
“Governments need national and global IT infrastructure it can trust,” Smith says, and this tech organization needs to restore that trust.
The burden should fall to private security practitioners, not governments, he says. “Cyberspace is us. It’s owned and operated by the private sector… Nation-state hacking in times of war has evolved into attacks on civilians in times of peace,” he says. When the internet is attacked by nation-sponsored actors, it’s almost always against private assets, he says. “We are the world’s first responders.”
He also calls on governments to sign agreements about what is acceptable in cyber conflict, just as the 4th Geneva Convention in 1949 spelled out protection of civilians in times of physical war.
He cited the U.S.-China agreement last fall that they would no longer use cyber espionage for gaining economic advantage through stolen corporate secrets. The agreement was later endorsed by the G20.
Smith called for using the tech industry as an example of the good that can come of inclusive societies that tap the talents of everyone regardless of their nationality. He says Microsoft has employees from 151 countries. “Let’s use that inspiration and build on what we share with each other,” he says, “and show the world what we can be when we are our best.”