The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) was officially launched in London on Tuesday 5th July. Backed by the UK government, the non-for-profit body which brings together business, government and law enforcement, aims to combat the growing threat of cyber crime by supporting international law enforcement bodies.
ICSPA is a global organisation which has been established to channel funding, expertise and assistance to law enforcement cyber crime units in both domestic and international markets. The business-led group has the support of several members including McAfee, Cassidian, Visa Europe, Trend Micro and law enforcement organisation Europol.
Former home secretary and chairman of ICSPA, David Blunkett, said he was “pleased that this government is taking information security seriously”. He insisted that the ICSPA would not “step on the toes” of any other organisations working in the cyber security space.
Blunkett argued that those who had previously believed that the potential for cyber attack was exaggerated, had been “dealt a blow” in the last six months. He listed espionage, commercial damage and disrupted business as some of the effects of increasing cyber crime. “We need to make sure that Britain is the best place to do business online, and that Britain is a leader in defending against cybercrime”, he said.
The ICSPA will focus on areas such as information sharing between public and private sectors and law enforcement, and lobbying for agreed standards and accreditation for cyber security training.
Chief executive of ICSPA, John Lyons, admitted that “increased cyber crime will likely be the result of reduced public investment and spending.” He also added that there is currently “very little prospect of cyber criminals facing prosecution”.
ICSPA, will, he said, will work with foreign governments and law enforcers, concentrating on supporting cyber crime agencies which face the most challenges, admitting that many law enforcement cyber crime units “don't have sufficient capacity or capabilities to handle the volume of cyber crime."
The body’s funding will come from member companies and business organisations. Lyons also expressed an ambition to win “diverted resources” and funding from existing cyber security projects through the UK government, and approach the EU for funding.
Home Office minister for crime and security, James Brokenshire, gave a keynote at the launch. He offered his profuse support for the ICSPA, arguing that "We are facing a global problem needing a global response. We need common agreements between countries ... an effective law against cyber crime is something every country needs.
“We have a responsibility to ensure the internet is as safe as possible”, he continued. “Governments can’t deliver a safe online world alone – they need to work with industry. There is a renewed focus on tackling this serious crime. Working together, our response to cyber crime will be stronger.”