Everyone can develop software, and the resulting quality can vary considerably. There is no single ‘right way’ to write code and reach a given goal. Numerous technologies exist with increasing complexities. Like in all disciplines, ‘mistakes happen’, and software development is no exception.
What are vulnerabilities? Many of us are probably used to the all too frequent messages like ‘Update in progress, don’t turn off your computer.’ We see this not only on our laptops but also on our mobile phones, game consoles, fridges, cars, lightbulbs, fish tanks, and egg cookers.
Exploiting vulnerabilities in digital products and services is an - if not the - essential component of sophisticated cyberattacks. Well-resourced threat actors, including state-related actors, increasingly seek to exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems and applications for economic, political, or military gain, causing destabilisation in cyberspace. The Sony hack, NotPetya ransomware, ICRC cyberattack, 2021 breaches exploiting vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Exchange Server … this list will most likely expand in the coming years amidst growing militarisation and geopolitical tensions in cyberspace.
Welcome back to the Geneva Dialogue! Since 2018, this international process has been focusing on responsible behavior in cyberspace and exploring ways to enhance cyber stability. Over the years, we've built a community with partners from diverse industries and who are leading in digitisation, including the manufacturing of digital products. This year, the Geneva Dialogue is going to the next level. Led by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and implemented by Diplo with the support of C4DT, the Dialogue will focus on the implementation of cyber norms related to reducing vulnerabilities in digital products and supply chain security.
It’s been five years since the launch of an important dialogue in Geneva: the Geneva Dialogue on Responsible Behaviour in Cyberspace. Since then, the dialogue has managed to gather a global multistakeholder community motivated to increase the security of our digital space, collect numerous good practices, and achieve political recognition, both globally and back home, in Switzerland – by becoming part of our national Digital Foreign Policy Strategy. Therefore, now is a convenient moment to outline the next steps – and initiate the next phase of the dialogue.