Trust, security and stability


The borderless nature of the Internet, the digital economy, the increased cyber-physical interdependency through the Internet of things, and the increased use of the Internet in processes such as elections and in the response to global crises such as the pandemic paint a complex policy, legal and operational picture for cybersecurity and stability. Almost all sectors utilise ICTs and rely on the Internet for anything from the simplest to the most strategic tasks. Global supply chains are increasingly interconnected, and the ICT systems supporting them comprise numerous internal and external devices and applications. Managing these issues, mitigating cybersecurity concerns and addressing risks requires cooperation between the public and the private sectors, the technical community, the academic and research sector, and civil society. Collaboration is needed to build awareness of vulnerabilities and  increase resilience. An Internet that is trusted by its users requires combatting online gender-based violence, child safety online, cyberbullying, and misinformation, among other challenges. 

Discussions on trust, security and stability of the Internet should cover norms, voluntary standards, guidelines, best practices and capacity building to manage cybersecurity-related risks and foster collaboration between countries, institutions and stakeholder groups.

Policy questions 

  1. Cybersecurity practices and mechanisms: What are the good cybersecurity practices and international mechanisms that already exist? Where do those mechanisms fall short and what can be done to strengthen the security and to reinforce the trust?
  2. Ensuring a safe digital space: How should governments, Internet businesses and other stakeholders protect citizens, including vulnerable citizens, against online exploitation and abuse?
  3. International standards: How should international standards address the different requirements and preferences of governments and citizens in different countries?
  4. Roles and responsibilities in protecting against cyber-attacks: Which stakeholders hold responsibility for protecting national governments, businesses and citizens against cyber-attacks?
  5. International rules and state accountability: How should international rules be strengthened to protect national sovereignty and citizens against attack by malicious state and non-state actors? What can be done to better hold nation-states accountable for cyber-attacks?
  6. Private sector accountability: What can be done at the national and international level to tackle private sector companies that aid and abet nation state attackers?

Related issues

  • Cybersecurity, cyber terrorism, cyber criminals, national strategy, global strategy, cyber mercenaries, COVID-19 security, privatisation of attacks, nation-states, global organisations, accountability mechanisms, cybersecurity and critical infrastructure