Multi-stakeholder Workshop Launches Common Good Cyber to Fund Organizations that Secure the Internet

Washington DC, 28 February 2024. On February 26-27, 120 people from around the world met at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to launch Common Good Cyber, a collaborative effort aimed at building sustainable funding models to support those who secure the Internet for everyone. Esteemed speakers, representatives from nonprofit organizations, key funders, and policymakers convened to delve into the critical role of under-resourced organizations in safeguarding the cybersecurity capabilities of the Internet. 

“The organizers of Common Good Cyber convened a workshop, not a conference, and a workshop is what we got. Active participation enabled tangible, concrete steps towards solving the challenge of funding cybersecurity for the common good. My thanks to everyone who contributed, in person or online. This is a big tent effort, and we look forward to engaging with those who can help drive it forward,” said Philip Reitinger, president & CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance, a member of the Secretariat of Common Good Cyber. 

The workshop kicked off with a thought-provoking keynote address by Kemba Walden, President of Paladin Global Institute, emphasizing the indispensable nature of the Internet in delivering vital services, protecting human rights, and supporting the critical infrastructure that protects our civil society. Throughout the first morning, representatives from organizations such as the Shadowserver Foundation and MITRE ATT&CK shared the challenges faced by nonprofits in maintaining a safe online environment and delivering key threat data to support critical infrastructures globally amidst budget constraints and uncertain funding. 

Key discussions emphasized the need for collaboration and alignment in funding efforts to sustain cybersecurity initiatives for generations to come. Notable figures like Craig Newmark– philanthropist and founder of the classifieds ad site craigslist, with his Cyber Civil Defense initiative–underscored the importance of philanthropic support for cybersecurity endeavors. Funders like Ron Gula, President at Gula Tech Adventures, provided key insights into the traits of successful grantees and the importance of narrowing focus, while a representative from Google emphasized the role of the private sector in funding cybersecurity. It was evident from these key funders’ perspectives that more concerted efforts are required to streamline funding mechanisms and articulate a compelling narrative to attract resources effectively.

Participants outlined the necessity of defining cybersecurity challenges with clear metrics, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and exploring innovative funding models. Break-out sessions explored the strengths and weaknesses of  joint funding initiatives, building the “business case” for funding, and a resource hub/accelerator for cybersecurity nonprofits working for the common good. 

As the workshop was coming to an end, participants shifted their focus to brainstorming actionable strategies for future collaboration and alignment. The closing panel spotlighted the need to refine existing structures and foster trust among stakeholders to drive meaningful progress. The workshop concluded by identifying the key next steps to translate these models into reality, with a commitment to continued collaboration, transparency, and accountability in tackling cybersecurity challenges. 

Moving forward, the Common Good Cyber Secretariat comprised of the Global Cyber Alliance, the Cyber Threat Alliance, CyberPeace Institute, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams, the Institute for Security and Technology, and the Shadowserver Foundation, will publish a report, and establish a working group to design and actively champion a joint effort that transcends borders and sectors to build a resilient and sustainably funded cybersecurity ecosystem. 

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About Common Good Cyber

Common Good Cyber is a global initiative with the goal of identifying sustainable models for supporting groups, organizations, and individuals involved in critical cybersecurity functions for the broader Internet community.

The Internet powers our global life, but its security is at stake. To ensure a safe and lasting digital future, we need to support those tirelessly safeguarding it. From fortifying infrastructure to empowering users, join us in understanding, appreciating, and sustaining the cybersecurity efforts that keep our online world secure for all.

The Global Cyber Alliance is coordinating Common Good Cyber as part of its commitment to Cyber Civil Defense, a coalition dedicated to moving the whole of society forward in ensuring cybersecurity.

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