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The Cybersecurity Tech Accord

Protecting Internet users everywhere from evolving cyber threats

The Challenge: the need for inclusive solutions & openness in cybersecurity

The online world has become a cornerstone of global society, important to virtually every aspect of our public infrastructure and private lives. As we look to the future, new online technologies will do even more to help address important societal challenges, from education and healthcare to agriculture, business growth, job creation, and environmental sustainability. The sharp increase in malicious online activity, however, has jeopardized online security, notably due to geopolitical risks that cause economic harm, put human lives at risk, and undermine the trust that is essential to an open, free, and secure internet.

The Cybersecurity Tech Accord, a coalition of more than 150 cybersecurity and technology companies, was set up to protect our online environment. Four years after its launch, APCO was asked to provide strategic guidance and support to evolve the group from a platform that drew an audience of policy makers and industry peers into an open space for dialogue, directly engaging consumer audiences. Since 2018, the coalition of over 150 technology companies has worked to serve as the voice of the technology industry on matters of peace and security online.

The Approach: fostering partnerships and multistakeholder consultation

APCO acts as the Tech Accord’s Secretariat, managing announcements, thought leadership content development, media relations, social media assets as well as organizing events. Our team also forged a partnership with the consumer umbrella organization, Consumers International, around a campaign on consumer IoT security. “Stay Smart. Stay Safely Connected” was launched in May 2020. The initiative included the launch of a microsite and a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #StaySmart, raising users’ awareness around the risks stemming from IoT products and ways to protect from cyber threats.

The Result: greater impact, reach and influence

The announcement on the launch of “Stay Smart” received media interest from several countries with notable coverage in The Washington Post and Politico. Overall, the campaign generated over 70,000 views and 3,000 likes. During the launch period the Twitter account’s followership increased by 93%, attracting consumer engagement from around the world.

Since December 2019, APCO has represented the Cybersecurity Tech Accord as a Spokesperson at informal intersessional consultative stakeholder meetings of the United Nations’ Open-ended Working Group on ICT, and the Ad-Hoc Committee on a Convention on Cybercrime, as well as at multilateral forums including the United Nations’ Conference on Disarmament, at multistakeholder forums like the Internet Governance Forum, and at international digital policy conferences like RightsCon, helping raise awareness and stakeholder engagement on these important issues.