The world just took another step along the path of creating a more secure global Internet environment. Many more steps remain on this journey, but it was good to read that the US has signed a cybersecurity agreement with India (read the DHS press release). A memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and Indian Department of Information Technology Secretary R. Chandrashekhar was signed July 19 in New Delhi.

In the domain of a shared, global Internet, Microsoft believes that collective action is necessary to ensure a healthy Internet for all global Internet citizens.  No single nation can effectively design and implement the processes and technologies necessary to create a safer Internet experience when the infrastructure is shared and distributed across nations around the world.

An article in Hillicon Valley notes that the agreement establishes best practices for sharing critical cybersecurity information and expertise between the two nations through the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which serves as the operational arm of DHS's cyberdivision.

Computer security is a global issue, and so we need the US, India, and all the other responsible and interested organizations from around the world working together to create a safer environment. The Telegraph of Calcutta reports India already has cybersecurity pacts, primarily for the exchange of information, with Japan and Korea and is planning to develop one with Finland. Similarly, when U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn announced July 14 the Defense Department’s new strategy for defending U.S computer networks, he noted existing international partnerships, including with Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and NATO.

Scott Charney, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing, recently wrote about the need for creating collective defense of the Internet, along the lines of public health models. “Microsoft is committed to advancing the idea of collective defense, and now is the time for action,” Charney wrote. “As more of the world’s people, computers and devices come online, threats also become more sophisticated. As the number of reported cybercrime victims grows, protection becomes not just an individual concern, but more of an ecosystem or societal concern.”

As more countries work together to enhance cybersecurity across borders, we can begin to treat the Internet more like the big, shared neighborhood that it is and address cyber threat as a societal concern, in defense of everyone.

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