In less than two weeks time, it’s the London Conference on Cyber, hosted by the FCO and William Hague.
It’s a big deal this one and the cast list is stellar: Hilary Clinton, the President of Estonia, Swedish Foreign Minister and a ton of delegates from around the world. The aims of the Conference are wide but are focused on trying to draw together some high level principles for the operation of Cyber space
Sophos will be in attendance, and I am looking forward immensely to being there, as I suspect it will be serious but very different from the usual sort of conference I attend. The downside of such high-level events is that in general the outcomes can be woolly and hard to translate into anything tangible. From my perspective, I’m looking to see the application of pragmatism to any outcomes. Agreements on operating principles are great, but UK private and public sectors should be able to draw guidance from the outcomes.
So what are the outcomes I’d like to see?
1. An acknowledgement that Security = Prosperity. The internet enables businesses to transact more cheaply, and public service transaction costs to drop. This can only be done on a stable, long-term basis if people have confidence, and confidence requires security
2. Pressure put on the ‘you know who’s’ of this world that conduct major cyber attacks, and increased penalties for those that are convicted of being active threat actors
3. Walking away from regulation. I’m constantly involved in arguments with peers in the industry that see regulation as the way forward. I am convinced this is a bad thing. Regulation will naturally favour the larger players, pushing out SMEs. SMEs are where the innovation comes from: the majority of economies depend on the SME sector for the vast proportion of their GDP, and frankly, both Google and Facebook were SMEs once.
Fingers crossed that consensus can be reached and we can move this topic along.