The United Kingdom is the latest signatory to join a global initiative which helps countries and companies fend off cyber attacks.

By linking with the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Partnering for Cyber Resilience project, which aims to build secure, resilient digital networks, the UK now joins more than 70 companies and government bodies across 15 sectors and 25 countries.

At the forum’s recent annual meeting in Switzerland, Secretary of State for foreign and commonwealth affairs of the UK, William Hague, signed and agreed to the initiative which commits to a set of principles designed to ensure secure and resilient digital global networks.

‘Cyber hygiene’

The scheme aims to raise awareness and understanding of cyber issues among leaders across all industries and policy domains, and to encourage organizations to practice good ‘cyber hygiene’ to reduce the risks to their organizations and customers.

“We hope that signing the WEF principles on cyber resilience will encourage business leaders all over the world to lead the way in creating shared principles for a resilient and thriving internet.

“The internet has a critical role to play as an engine and facilitator of economic growth. Cyberspace must be secure and reliable so that it is trusted as a medium for doing business, but at the same time free and open to evolve and innovate naturally,” Hague said.

Protecting national infrastructure

The WEF says that as the importance of cyber resilience is growing, the initiative is needed as it creates an environment for companies and governments to come together in a safe, trusted and neutral space to tackle issues of common concern – such as protecting national infrastructure or individuals’ personal information across shared networks or physical borders.

WEF’s senior director for information and communication technology Industries, Alan Marcus, said: “The UK government has been a leading voice in the cyber debate in recent years. It recognizes that cyber resilience is a shared challenge for all parts of society.”

[Image via WEF]