21 Aug 2017

Cyber Security Knowledge-Sharing might not work for Trump and Putin, but what about the rest of us?

President of the United States Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that the US and Russia could work together to form an ‘impenetrable’ cyber security unit before backtracking on the idea several hours later.

President Trump made the remarks following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. There was immediate criticism of the idea from within the President’s own party, with Russia’s alleged cyber interference in the 2016 US presidential election cited as a reason that it could not be trusted in such a venture.

While the idea of working together to improve cyber security with the country that is alleged to have hacked your election has been met with a mostly negative response – Republican Senator Lindsey Graham ridiculed the idea, saying: “It’s not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s pretty close” – the concept of international cyber cooperation itself might not be without potential.

While Trump and Putin’s conversation in Hamburg may have stolen the headlines, over in Berlin Singapore and Germany have been looking to embark on new areas of cooperation around cyber security. This article states the benefits that both nations are looking to gain:

“Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and Germany’s Federal Foreign Office yesterday signed a joint declaration on cyber security cooperation, which covers key areas such as regular information exchanges, joint training and research, as well as sharing of best practices to promote innovation in cyber security.”

Singapore, Germany to work together in new areas such as cyber security: PM Lee

BERLIN – Singapore and Germany will embark on new areas of cooperation including cyber security and financial technology, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (July 6) before a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

With cyber attacks on the rise the concept of nations sharing information and best practice to deal with incoming cyber threats doesn’t seem like the worst idea in the world. Cyber attacks are a shared problem, and as the hacking of Emmanuel Macron’s campaign during the recent French presidential election shows it’s not just the United States that is being targeted in this way.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Daniel Selman, Head of Data Privacy and Information Management at Direct Line Group, states that while there is understandable nervousness about collaboration:

“The bad guys are working together to make their threat more potent, so if we don’t collaborate we will continue to be at a disadvantage.”

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