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P-Cubed: Elevating the Power of Partnerships

Public-private partnerships are referred to as P3s. At Concordia, we believe that collaboration is the key to solving the world’s greatest challenges. “P-Cubed: Elevating the Power of Partnerships” is a series by Concordia providing insight into our programs and lessons learned about partnership building.

by Thomas Dudley

As global society continues to grow increasingly dependent on the internet for data transmission, cyber security has never been more important. The recent uptick in malicious cyber-attacks has become a source of international concern for corporations and governments alike, as such activity threatens some of the most fundamental elements of modern industry including finance, media, and infrastructure. Cyber-crimes can be perpetrated without regard for legal jurisdictions or national borders and often remain undetected until after they’ve taken their toll, making them a top international security priority.

eBay, Target, Home Depot, and JP Morgan are just a few examples of major companies that have been targeted by cyber criminals in recent years, and evidence is mounting that the private sector is rather under-equipped to deal with external cyber threats.

Perhaps even more daunting is that the public sector appears equally vulnerable. In February of this year, cyber criminals nearly stole almost $1 billion in one of the most audacious heists in history by hacking into the network of Bangladesh’s central bank and sending fake payment orders to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Although their plan was foiled before it fully materialized, the perpetrators still made away with approximately $81 million, raising serious questions about whether enough is being done on an international level to combat cyber-crime. A public sector vulnerable to malicious cyber-attacks puts our most sensitive data at risk of being compromised, and given heightened tensions surrounding international security, such a threat is one we cannot afford to ignore.

Concordia knows that in order to effectively deter cyber-crime, transnational collaboration is paramount. Thus, to advance the conversation surrounding the issue, Concordia has placed cyber security among the forefront of the agenda for the 2016 Concordia Summit, where global thought leaders across sectors will convene to discuss the world’s most pressing problems. Speakers such as Concordia’s Leadership Council members Frances Townsend (National Security Analyst at CBS News) and General David Petraeus (former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency) are slated to provide insight on the current state and future of cyber security, highlighting the importance of collaboration between businesses and governments in reducing vulnerability online and minimizing cyber risk.

One organization that has already taken the public-private partnership model in stride in combating illegal cyber activity is the Global Cyber Alliance. Founded in 2015 by the New York County District Attorney’s Office, the City of London Police, and the Center for Internet Security, the GCA is comprised of partners across sectors and borders and provides an exemplary model for the type of collaboration necessary to ensure the security of our increasingly interconnected world going forward. Coalitions such as the GCA that work together to share attack data and persecute cyber-criminals are essential to neutralizing the rapidly evolving threat of cyber-crime. Through our Summit, Concordia hopes to foster the development of coalitions similar to the GCA, as combatting a global issue like cyber-crime demands a universal, collaborative approach that produces borderless solutions for a sustainable future online. In the coming years, as emerging markets continue to drive the number of internet users upward, cyber security is set to become an even more crucial requisite for engagement in the global economy. By providing a platform for collaboration, Concordia is doing our part to facilitate advancements in global cyber security.