Siemens, and eight partners are signing a joint charter for greater cybersecurity at the Munich Security Conference, currently going on in Germany. Initiated by Siemens, the Charter of Trust calls for binding rules and standards to build trust in cybersecurity and further advance digitalization.

In addition to Siemens and the Munich Security Conference (MSC), the companies Airbus, Allianz, Daimler Group, IBM, NXP, SGS and Deutsche Telekom are signing the charter. The initiative is welcomed by Canadian foreign minister and G7 representative Chrystia Freeland as well as witnessed by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, according to a statement released by Siemens.

“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 charter delineates ten action areas in cybersecurity where governments and businesses must both become active. It 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 chief information security officer at companies.

The charter also calls for companies to establish mandatory, independent third-party certification for critical infrastructure and solutions – above all, where dangerous situations can arise, such as with autonomous vehicles or robots.

According to the ENISA Threat Landscape Report, cybersecurity attacks caused damage totaling more than €560 billion worldwide in 2016 alone. For some European countries, the damage was equivalent to 1.6 percent of the gross domestic product. According to Gartner, 8.4 billion networked devices were in use in 2017 – a 31-percent increase over 2016. By 2020, the figure is expected to reach 20.4 billion.

[Image courtesy: Siemens]