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Siemens, Airbus and Others Ink Charter on Critical Infrastructure, IoT

A group of nine industrial giants have signed a charter on cybersecurity, focused on developing binding rules and standards around critical infrastructure and the internet of things (IoT).

Siemens, Airbus, Allianz, Daimler Group, IBM, the Munich Security Conference, NXP, SGS and Deutsche Telekom have signed the Charter of Trust. The group outlines 10 action areas, and it has agreed to pioneer independent certification for infrastructure. It’s also calling for dedicated government ministries and CISOs to be put in place.

“Confidence that the security of data and networked systems is guaranteed is a key element of the digital transformation,” said Siemens president and CEO Joe Kaeser. “That’s why we have to make the digital world more secure and more trustworthy. It’s high time we acted – not just individually but jointly with strong partners who are leaders in their markets. We hope more partners will join us to further strengthen our initiative.”

The initiative calls for responsibility for cybersecurity to be assumed at the highest levels of government and business, with the introduction of a dedicated ministry in governments and a CISO at companies. It also calls for companies to establish mandatory, independent third-party certification for critical infrastructure and solutions – especially where dangerous situations can arise, such as with autonomous vehicles or the robots of tomorrow, which will interact directly with humans during production processes. In the future, security and data protection functions are to be preconfigured as a part of technologies, and cybersecurity regulations are to be incorporated into free trade agreements. The charter’s signatories also call for greater efforts to foster an understanding of cybersecurity through training and continuing education as well as international initiatives.

“Secure digital networks are the critical infrastructure underpinning our interconnected world,” said Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland. “Canada welcomes the efforts of these key industry players to help create a safer cyber-space. Cybersecurity will certainly be a focus of Canada’s G7 presidency year.‎”‎

Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, added: “Governments must take a leadership role when it comes to the transaction rules in cyberspace,” said. “But the companies that are in the forefront of envisioning and designing the future of cyber-space must develop and implement the standards. That’s why the charter is so important. Together with our partners, we want to advance the topic and help define its content.”

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