The World Economic Forum announced plans Wednesday to launch a new coordinating group to counter emerging cybersecurity threats and help connect leaders from business and government to collaborate on various security issues as well as share best practices.
Named the “Global Centre for Cybersecurity,” the loosely defined, Geneva-based organization will act as a sort of independent, multinational cyberthreat information sharing platform for companies to improve digital security writ large, explained Alois Zwinggi, managing director for the WEF, which is holding its annual gathering for world leaders in Davos, Switzerland, this week.
The center will become fully operational in March. Its creation was first announced during a panel discussion Wednesday in Davos.
Broadly speaking, governments across the globe have struggled to form information sharing channels with private companies. The model described at Davos is intended to encourage participation on a voluntary basis and not be controlled by any single government.
“The new Global Centre for Cybersecurity is designed as the first platform to tackle today’s cyber risks in a truly global manner,” said Zwinggi. “We need to collaborate with the governments as well as international organizations. To begin with, we will reach out to key industry players and G-20 countries to make this platform a success for dialogue and real-time action on cyber threats.”
The Global Centre for Cybersecurity has already gained the support of multiple prominent businesses and law enforcement organizations, including British telecommunications giant BT Group, U.S. microchip maker Qualcomm, Russian financial institution Sberbank and international crime fighting agency Interpol.
“Interpol is a natural strategic partner for the World Economic Forum’s Global Cyber Centre,” Jürgen Stock, secretary general of Interpol, said in a statement. “Both are unique because their global dimension underpins our collective response against the cyber threat. Our partnership contributes to building effective security architecture against such global threats, bringing key interdependent actors together, including police and business.”
In addition to serving as a conduit for conversations between influential figures, Zwinggi said the center will effectively consolidate some of the WEF’s other cybersecurity-focused initiatives.
“As a truly borderless problem, cyber-attacks are surpassing the capacities and institutions that are currently dealing with this threat in an isolated manner,” a press release published by the WEF Wednesday reads. “Only through collaboration, information exchange and common standards can the global community successfully counter organized digital crime.”