Andreas Sandre


The New Global Center for Cybersecurity

January 24th 2018

Launched by the World Economic Forum during the 2018 Annual Meeting in Davos.

The world is more connected than ever; digital systems have become physical systems; $445 billion a year is lost to cybercrime… To better understand the risks and the opportunities ahead, the World Economic Forum has officially launched the Global Center For Cybersecurity during the Davos 48th Annual Meeting currently taking place in Switzerland.

The launch follows a comprehensive global report by the WEF in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group, as a way “to facilitate capacity-building, policies and processes necessary to support collaboration, safeguard cyberspace, and strengthen cyber-resilience”.

The report “encourages all actors to move past absolute and rigid positions towards more nuanced discussions aimed at solving key challenges, and presents the implications of policy choices on five key values: security, privacy, economic value, accountability and fairness.”

The report doesn’t seem however to mention blockchain, which many are now including in conversations and strategies related to cybersecurity — blockchain was, for example, in a bill passed by the US Senate that would “require a report on cyber applications of blockchain technology.”

The WEF explains that “cyber-resilience will continue to be a top-of-mind topic for decision-makers.”

And for this reasons, the organization intends to continue leading future efforts in this space through its new Global Center for Cybersecurity under the leadership of Alois Zwinggi, Member of the WEF Managing Board.

“If we want to prevent a digital dark age, we need to work harder to make sure the benefits and potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are secure and safe for society,” Zwinggi said. “The new Global Center for Cybersecurity is designed as the first platform to tackle today’s cyber-risks in a truly global manner.”

Zwinggi added that new technologies, including artificial intelligence, the Internet Ff Things (IoT), and robotics and their application in sensitive areas such as finance, healthcare, telecommunications and mobility make it all the more important to keep up with the increasing speed and sophistication of cyberattacks.

The newly-established Center will focus on the following aims:

  • Consolidating existing cyber-security initiatives of the World Economic Forum;
  • Establishing an independent library of cyber best practices;
  • Helping partners to enhance knowledge on cyber-security;
  • Working towards an appropriate and agile regulatory framework on cyber-security;
  • Serving as a laboratory and early-warning think tank for future cyber-security scenarios.

But the new Center is not the only global player in the cybersecurity field.

As mentioned on Hackernoon in February last year, the government of the Netherlands, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), and the EastWest Institute (EWI), with principal supporters including the Internet Society (ISOC) and Microsoft, launched the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace.

The Global Commission, which was announced on the sidelines of the 2017 Munich Security Conference, represents the first initiative that brings together key voices representing government, industry, academia and civil society. It aims to create policy recommendations and norms of responsible behaviors that are coherent and broadly supported by all stakeholders to enhance the stability and security of cyberspace.

“Cyberspace is becoming increasingly exploited,” said on that occasion Bert Koenders, former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. “It requires greater coordination among us all. It needs the development of norms to provide a stable and secure environment. So we can all benefit.”

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