Cybersecurity digest (December 2018)

21 Dec 2018

This extract is taken from the December 2018 issue of The digest, GPD’s flagship newsletter. Sign up here.


One of the more striking trends in cybersecurity this year has been the reignition of debates at the global level around the future of cyberspace. A non-exhaustive list of some of the key developments in the debate:

  • The two separate cybersecurity resolutions sponsored by the United States and Russia respectively, which were adopted in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly;

  • The Paris Call, which sets out common principles for securing cyberspace and supported by a number of governments, businesses and civil society organisations;
  • Proposals from the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC) for six new norms on state and non-state behaviour in cyberspace;
  • The recently inaugurated UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, which is currently gathering input for a report on promoting cooperation on issues like digital trust and security (read GPD’s submission here);
  • The launch of Microsoft’s Tech Accord, a commitment by 34 global technology and security companies to promoting cybersecurity through their products, policies and services;
  • Greater prominence of regional cybersecurity normative and capacity building efforts – from the newly updated EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework, to renewed activity among ASEAN states on cybersecurity cooperation;
  • New commitments to human rights-based cybersecurity practices, in documents including the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration and the EU’s External Cyber Capacity Building Guidelines.

To help civil society keep up with this reinvigorated international space, we recently launched a new interactive hub – bringing together a calendar of key cyber events, a “radar” for relevant news, a range of tools to learn about cybersecurity and a blog featuring analysis of cybersecurity policy.

GPD continues to engage in the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) as one of its partners, and with Programme Lead Daniela Schnidrig in their Advisory Board, which has singled out stakeholder involvement as a priority in the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Singapore.

We’ve also been keeping a close eye on the development of national cybersecurity strategies (NCSS) around the world. (In 2018, strategies were agreed in Botswana, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, the US, Switzerland and Macedonia, with several additional countries currently at the drafting stage.) Our report on multistakeholder approaches to NCSS development brings together examples of best practice from around the world with the aim of informing future processes. And in our new podcast series, NCSS on the ground, we talk to people responsible for setting up these processes, to find out what works and doesn’t work.

Our wishlist for 2019? We’ve boiled it down to two items. First, we want more commitments to human rights based cybersecurity and multistakeholder approaches, in particular in the UN High Level Panel’s report as well as the two new UNGA processes. Second: we want to see focus in the cybersecurity space continue to shift away from development to implementation of national cybersecurity strategies, as well as capacity building efforts, building on encouraging trends we’re already seeing at the GFCE and other bodies.