Private Sector Cybersecurity Task Force Called for to Defend Democracies

Written by

As Russia and China plow millions, if not billions of dollars, into disinformation, blackmail and bribery campaigns, Western nations need to step up and realize they are under attack.

This is according to Jessica Berlin, an independent policy and security consultant, who called for Western nations to recognize that these adversaries are playing the long game and need to step up.

“We need, from our side, the free world side, to be willing to also invest in the defense of our democracies,” she said, speaking at WithSecure’s Sphere 2023 conference in Helsinki.

She noted that there is no international security without cybersecurity and called for a private sector task force to defend democracies in general elections and public information.

Read more: White House Shifts US Cybersecurity Strategy Towards International Cooperation

From a public-private perspective, Berlin called for the cybersecurity industry to be wagging the dog of international cybersecurity policy.

She said there is a need to see companies that can be agile, test and then scale and create a toolbox to defend democracy.

“This is your key to long-term survival as a company,” she said to the Sphere 2023 audience before adding that these efforts are key to “our collective long-term survival as democracies.”

She also said companies must consider helping secure more fragile, young democracies. She later noted that creating toolboxed resources and helping protect elections in these types of nations will “build a runway” for business development in those countries and markets.

Coming from Germany, she said that progress was slow and, in some cases, cumbersome. Whereas in countries like Finland, Estonia and Lithuania, the markets can be much more agile.

“You guys are smaller markets that really punch above your weight in tech,” she said. “There’s really an opportunity here in the region to get started on projects like this, especially if you collaborate with the Ukrainians.”

Read more: Cyber-Attacks on Civilian Infrastructure Should Be War Crimes, says Ukraine Official

Having spent a lot of time in Ukraine over the past 18 months, Berlin said that the community must also be willing to take the lead and learn from the example of Ukraine in its cybersecurity response since February 2022.

She noted that this is long-term funding available from governing bodies like the European Union.

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?