Microsoft and 33 other technology companies have signed on to the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, a pledge to work together to combat cyberattacks and refrain from assisting governments in launching them. The goal of the accord, the companies say, is to "defend all customers everywhere from malicious attacks by cybercriminal enterprises and nation-states."
In addition to Microsoft, the list of companies signing on to the accord includes major names like Cisco, Facebook, Dell, and HP. Security companies like Avast and Symantec are also on board, along with Telefonica, VMWare, Intuit, and many others.
Together, the companies say they have committed to help protect customers around the globe, "regardless of the motivation for attacks online." Each company has also pledged to not help governments launch cyberattacks against innocent citizens and enterprises, while also helping people to protect themselves through joint work on new security practices and features. Lastly, the companies pledge to act collectively to improve technical collaboration, share threats, and more.
"The devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cybersecurity is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together," said Microsoft President Brad Smith in a statement accompanying the accord's announcement. "This tech sector accord will help us take a principled path towards more effective steps to work together and defend customers around the world."
While the accord's signatories include a large number of notable companies, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Twitter are just some of the big names that haven't signed on yet. That said, the agreement is open to new signatories, so we could see those companies – among others – join in the future.
In a year that saw several high-profile cyberattacks, including the WannaCry outbreak, the Cybersecurity Tech Accord could represent a solid step forward for the tech industry in seeking to mitigate future attacks – particularly if more companies sign on. The group plans to hold its first meeting during the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week.