By Klara Jordan
Since its inception in 2015, the Global Cyber Alliance’s (GCA) mission has been to unite global communities. This has been done in a practical, organic way, where partners from now 32 countries and 18 sectors have agreed to bring financial, technical, and intellectual resources together to build Quad9 (a protective DNS service), to drive global implementation of DMARC (an email authentication protocol that prevents spoofing of domains in email, stopping the most virulent kind of phishing), and to devise two cybersecurity toolkits to date (effective ways to deploy security controls to protect small businesses and elections).
Thanks to the roots and strong relationships of GCA’s founding organizations – City of London Police, New York District Attorney’s Office, and the Center for Internet Security – the organization has developed most of its projects in the UK and the US. Naturally, this is also where most of our current partners come from.
Since this spring, however, GCA is intensifying its efforts in the EU, with the aim of enriching its current coalition with European stakeholders in the uphill battle against cybercrime.
For the organization, being a global alliance means that our projects must have global impact and reach. And that is impossible without a strong engagement and participation of EU-based stakeholders.
With an office space in the heart of Brussels’ European Quarter, now occupied by two new staff members, GCA’s initial focus is to understand the specific needs of the region and how our tools and projects can support local communities and bring European government, industry, nonprofit, and academic stakeholders to join our mission.
GCA’s engagement in the EU for the foreseeable future is three-pronged:
- Work with the public sector: As an organization, we have had several successes to date working with public administrations around the world, such as the collaboration with New York City to deploy free cybersecurity across its existing free Wi-Fi networks, our alignment with the UK National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) general recommendations to implement DMARC and DNS-filtering services (such as Quad9), or the work with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement DMARC across all federal email domains.
On a varying scale, European countries are being ravaged by cybercrime. DDoS attacks continue to plague public and private institutions alike, and the recent Eurobarometer report on Internet security and cybercrime shows that Europeans are increasingly concerned about cybercrime, with 79% of them believing that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime is greater than in the past.
It is our strong belief that GCA can help national, regional, and local governments put forward EU-wide regulations that highlight the importance of adopting proactive tools to increase their cybersecurity.
- Work with industry and nonprofits. GCA’s industry partners have been the backbone of our projects and tools, from the ideation stage to creation and dissemination. Industry partners, large and small, have provided expertise, financial resources, and tools to populate our toolkits. They have also shared and exchanged data in the growing AIDE’s IoT threat intelligence feeds and AIDE’s honeyfarm infrastructure. And perhaps most importantly, they have served as invaluable ambassadors of our mission and as dissemination channels of our tools.
GCA’s effort now is to forge partnerships with EU-based organizations that will help us adapt our products to European realities (so is the case of our election and small Business toolkits, for instance). We are looking for organizations willing to serve as distribution partners and sponsors of our toolkits with the final goal to support their local communities and to protect their supply chains, small business and elections, that is, the core of all European economies and democracies.
- Engagement with the larger community: GCA has been enjoying a strong public-facing engagement in the media and by participating in conferences and workshops around the world (we even have our own YouTube channel!). The opportunities to be present and visible on these platforms helped disseminate our message and were a great vehicle for all our advocacy efforts but, more importantly, allowed our team to meet with passionate individuals who make up our community.
This fall in the EU, we are looking forward to meeting the community and sharing our vision for security at a series of upcoming events. GCA will be represented at the following events in six different European countries (we are still waiting for others to be confirmed; stay tuned at @EMEA_GCA):
Also, we will be supporting the European Cyber Security Month with a series of actions in the social media aimed at disseminating our efforts in the field of global cyberhygiene.
Step by step, we expect to increase the reach of our mission in the EU and in Europe in general. We count on your active help for that. If you are European, you share our values and mission, and are ready to make an active contribution, join us at https://www.globalcyberalliance.org/partner-with-us/.
See you across Europe!
The author, Klara Jordan, is the Director, EU at the Global Cyber Alliance. You can follow her on Twitter at @JordanKlara or connect with her on LinkedIn.