ICSPA launched to fight global cyber crime

Cyber war

A new body bringing together businesses, governments and law enforcement has been launched to fight cyber crime on a global scale.

The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) was announced today, with a host of major security companies getting involved, including McAfee and Trend Micro.

Europol is the only major law enforcement body officially signed up, whilst the UK Government has given its backing to the ICSPA too.

The not for profit body wants to improve security by establishing a more collaborative approach, saying it would provide help to those nations which needed most assistance.

There is quite a lot of money out there that isn't providing the best results.

It will also seek to improve training across the world, with standardised accreditation and training programmes.

Where's the money coming from?

The body will attempt to raise funds from both governments and any private companies wishing to help out. The body will also look to squeeze some money out of the EU.

"We are not looking for new money here. There is quite a lot of money out there that isn't providing the best results," said John Lyons, chief executive of the ICSPA.

"We're looking at diverting some funds to provide a better framework. If I could get 5 million in next 18 months, I'd be delighted."

Former Home Secretary and chairman of the ICSPA, David Blunkett, offered an example of how businesses can help with funding.

"I've helped organisations in the Yorkshire and Humber region, who've been awarded 4 million to help fight crime," Blunkett told IT Pro.

Security, for those who need it most

As for how the body would decide on which countries will benefit from special attention, Lyons indicated it would go through Europol to determine who was most in need.

Symantec and Kaspersky are notable omissions certainly they are conspicuous by their absence.

Little talk went on discussing how communication channels would be opened up with nations where cyber crime is a serious issue, such as China.

"You've got to go beyond Europe. We need to make sure make this doesn't turn into an all English club," said Rik Ferguson, director for security research in EMEA for Trend Micro.

"With countries like China you have to go through official channels... For a country like China, where infrastructure is being abused, there's no reason why they would not become a big part of ICSPA."


There were some notable absentees from the sponsors list. In particular, of the security industry's big four, Symantec and Kaspersky were not on the list.

"Symantec and Kaspersky are notable omissions certainly they are conspicuous by their absence," Ferguson added.

"But the more who join, the more the merrier."

Organisers said they would continue to work on adding more sponsors and partners in the future.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.