WithSecure joins CyberPeace Builders Program

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The impact of cyber attacks on vulnerable populations serviced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is often overlooked, but they can affect communities already exposed to poverty, violence, and other threats/risks. WithSecure™ (formerly known as F-Secure Business) is now offering the support of their cyber security professionals to these groups through the CyberPeace Builders program.

The program, managed by the CyberPeace Institute, connects cyber security professionals with NGOs. According to information from the CyberPeace Institute, only 1 in 10 NGOs provide regular cyber security training to staff. 3 out of 4 do not monitor their networks, and 4 out of 5 do not have cyber security plans.

At the same time, these organizations can manage millions or even billions of dollars in donations, which draws the attention of cyber criminals.

“NGOs are increasingly targeted by criminal and state actors online, for the sensitive data they hold, for the funds they raise, and for the very operations they conduct on the ground. These precious resources are critical to the vulnerable populations that NGOs protect, yet NGOs have a hard time attracting and retaining cyber talent, said Stéphane Duguin, CEO of the CyberPeace Institute. “The CyberPeace Builders provides cyber security professionals with a platform to use their unique knowledge and skills to help protect some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

“As security professionals, we understand we have an important social role in helping keep people safe and secure from a variety of threats. Many of the brilliant minds working in our field understand this and want to use their skills in ways that have a genuine, positive impact on people’s lives. Participating in the CyberPeace Builders program is an excellent opportunity for us to help provide a safe, secure, and sustainable digital environment for everyone,” said WithSecure™ CEO Juhani Hintikka.

WithSecure’s participation in the CyberPeace Builders program represents an evolution of the cooperation between WithSecure™ and the CyberPeace Institute. The two organizations have worked together since 2021 in areas including intelligence gathering, reverse engineering malware, forensic analysis of cyber incidents, and cyber risk assessments.

With the CyberPeace Builders program, individual researchers, consultants, and other security professionals at WithSecure™ can connect directly with NGOs that require assistance. Assistance provided via the program covers a variety of services, including:

  • Pre-incident: vulnerability scanning, security audits, penetration tests, awareness raising, cybersecurity training, incident planning, exercises;
  • Post-incident: attack notification, security hardening, investigation support;
  • Non-technical: data protection consulting, cyber insurance advice, crisis communications training, design of internal awareness raising materials.

Participation in the CyberPeace Builders fits into WithSecure’s W/You program. W/You is an initiative intended to support WithSecure™ personnel’s participation in different projects related to sustainability and philanthropy – something that can prove crucial to the job satisfaction of cyber security specialists.

“The act of volunteering can also be personally rewarding for individuals involved. Contributing to a greater cause, such as helping to protect vulnerable organizations from cyber threats, can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment that may be lacking in one’s day-to-day work. Where any work in cyber security usually starts with the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, so too is the ‘why’ a crucial part into one’s personal motivation in order to find meaning and grounding,” explained WithSecure™ Principal Threats and Technology Researcher Tom Van de Wiele.

More information on WithSecure’s corporate social responsibility initiatives is available at https://www.withsecure.com/en/about-us/corporate-responsibility.