Multi-sector working group shows how industry can address common threats without regulatory intervention from government
Washington, DC — May 30 —
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and a diverse group of industry partners today at the White House unveiled a set of voluntary principles for combating the growing cybersecurity threat posed by botnets, which occur when hackers commandeer networks of computers for malicious purposes such as sending junk email, attacking websites, or distributing infected software.
“Nearly 5 million computers around the world have been conscripted surreptitiously into botnets,” said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman, citing research from McAfee. “This undermines the Internet economy by eroding users’ trust and confidence in cyberspace.”
To confront the botnet scourge, a diverse group of corporations, trade associations, and non-profit advocacy organizations came together in January to form the Industry Botnet Group. BSA serves on the group’s steering committee.
“In a very short period of time, the Industry Botnet Group has been able to coalesce around a set of actionable principles that will spur voluntary efforts to reduce the impact of botnets in cyberspace,” said Holleyman. “This is an important achievement because it underscores how the private sector can address common threats without regulatory intervention from government.”
“I applaud the Administration, especially outgoing Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt, for encouraging industry to take the lead on this issue,” Holleyman said. “In the months ahead, we expect to see a wide range of organizations adopt the principles we are releasing today. BSA is committed to staying closely engaged as the Industry Botnet Group monitors the progress of this effort and measures results to determine next steps.”
Among the featured speakers at today’s White House event on building cybersecurity partnerships and promoting voluntary action were Michael DeCesare, CEO of BSA member company McAfee, who was scheduled to speak about coordinating cybersecurity solutions, and Brad Smith, General Counsel of BSA member company Microsoft, who was scheduled to speak about the challenges of botnet remediation.
The principles that the Industry Botnet Group unveiled today include steps to share cyber responsibilities, coordinate across sectors, act globally, report lessons learned, educate users, preserve flexibility, promote innovation, respect privacy, and navigate legal and regulatory environments.
The full text of the principles is available on the group’s website at www.industrybotnetgroup.org/principles.
Along with BSA, the steering committee of the Internet Botnet Group includes BITS/Financial Services Roundtable, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Online Trust Alliance, the Software Information Industry Association, the National Cyber Security Alliance, the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group, StopBadware, TechAmerica, the US Internet Service Provider Association, and USTelecom.
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.