US-Led Quad Launches New Cyber Group

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The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) has signaled its commitment to cybersecurity by announcing a dedicated new group that will promote best practices and shared standards.

The announcement came after the first-ever in-person meeting of the Quad, which comprises the US, India, Japan and Australia in an alliance of democratic nations designed to counter Chinese aggression.

A White House briefing on the leaders’ summit detailed multiple areas of cooperation between the four nations, from COVID-19, climate change and infrastructure to emerging technologies, space and cybersecurity.

“Building on longstanding collaboration among our four countries on cybersecurity, the Quad will launch new efforts to bolster critical infrastructure resilience against cyber threats by bringing together the expertise of our nations to drive domestic and international best practices,” it noted.

The newly announced Quad Senior Cyber Group looks set to be the key driver of new initiatives in this space.

“Leader-level experts will meet regularly to advance work between government and industry on driving continuous improvements in areas including adoption and implementation of shared cyber standards; development of secure software; building workforce and talent; and promoting the scalability and cybersecurity of secure and trustworthy digital infrastructure,” the briefing claimed.

There was also progress on critical and emerging technologies which may have cybersecurity implications, most notably a new dialogue designed to promote Open RAN deployment.

The open standard is seen as a critical way to reduce democratic nations’ reliance on 5G infrastructure from China, which has raised significant security concerns in the West.

The Quad also announced it would establish new “contact groups” focused on standards development and research for AI and advanced communications. This could be viewed in the context of concerns that Chinese engineers have been instrumental in setting 5G standards, providing the nation with a potential geopolitical advantage.

The Quad news comes just days after the US, UK and Australia announced a new AUKUS pact that will see close cooperation between the Anglophone nations on AI, quantum, cybersecurity and more.

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