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We must end cyber warfare: RSA's Arthur Coviello

Hamish Barwick | July 24, 2014
Coviello says relationships between the United States and China/Europe are strained because of cyber espionage.

"Think of an incident like the assassination of the Austrian Archduke. Now think about how easy it would be today for extremists or terrorists to cause a kinetic cyber incident; in other words, a cyber incident that causes physical destruction."

According to Coveillo, people must develop the "same abhorrence" to cyber war as nuclear and chemical war.

"We must also cooperate internationally in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution of cyber criminals," he said.

"The only ones deriving advantage from governments trying to gain advantage over one another on the Internet are the criminals. Our lack of immediate, consistent and sustained cooperation, globally, gives them the equivalent of safe havens."

Thirdly, governments should ensure that economic activity on the Internet can proceed and that intellectual property rights are respected around the world.

"The benefits to all of us from productivity improvements in commerce, research, and communication are too valuable, to not achieve agreement on the rule of law. Rule of law must prevail over selfish national interests," said Coveillo.

Finally, people must "respect, and ensure the privacy of all individuals."

"Our personal information has become the true currency of the digital age and while it is important that we are not exploited, it is even more important that our fundamental freedoms are protected," he said.

However, he added that with personal freedom comes responsibility.

"Governments have a duty to create and enforce a balance that embraces individual rights and collective security." According to Coveillo, this balance must also be based on a "fair governance model and transparency."

"We have the power to secure the digital world if we choose to. For the sake of our collective future, we can do no less," he said.

Hamish Barwick travelled to RSA Conference APAC & Japan as a guest of RSA


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