Why Manufacturers Support the Paris Peace Forum’s Industry-Led Commitment to Cybersecurity

This article was written by the NAM’s Stephanie Hall and Ryan Ong.

Last week, several American manufacturers joined governments, civil society groups and other private sector companies in committing to a set of cybersecurity norms during the Paris Peace Forum. This effort, known as the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, marks a commitment and shared principles to establish norms to boost stability in cyberspace.

Malicious cyber-attacks and theft of intellectual property through cyber means continue to represent a challenge for manufacturers in the United States. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats underscored the urgency of the threat to our industry earlier this year, noting that “the warning lights are blinking red” in cyber space as actors attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure to infiltrate not only manufacturers, but also energy, water and nuclear companies. Cybercrime continues to have significant economic impact on industry, with studies estimating the total global cost of cybercrime to be a staggering $600 billion.

The NAM has long supported industry-led efforts to improve security in cyberspace and called for common approaches among governments that draw on industry-driven best practices and engagement with the private sector. Discussing the Paris Call, Microsoft’s President Brad Smith stressed the role of industry and the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration in cybersecurity, noting “[w]hile the tech sector has the first and highest responsibility to protect this technology and the people who rely upon it, this is an issue that requires that governments, companies and civil society come together.”

The private sector has driven solutions to cybersecurity challenges, collaborating across sectors to share threat information, develop advanced technologies to secure systems and spread best practices to respond to cyber threats. This spirit of industry leadership is reflected in the Paris Call, where signatories “recognize the responsibilities of key private sector actors in improving trust, security and stability in cyberspace and encourage initiatives aimed at strengthening the security of digital processes, products and services.”

Such an industry-led approach must be a part of solutions moving forward, as cyber risks around the world only continue to grow. The NAM applauds the leadership of Microsoft and other members companies on this initiative.

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