World Economic Forum Insight Report: Partnership against Cybercrime

The public and private sectors must work together to fight cybercrime. To do so, each needs to embrace effective ways of working together and foster needed alliances.

Cybercrime impacts everyone, from individuals to global corporations and critical infrastructures or governments. It causes immense, though not always visible, damage to economies and societies. It drastically undermines the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, increases inequality and hinders international cyber stability efforts.

As in the case of any other crime, systematic containment efforts against cybercrime must
also include actions against the sources of the threat. This can only be achieved through stronger operational collaboration between the private and public sectors, leveraging private companies’ unique position and capabilities in this field. While various significant collaborative initiatives exist, they remain fragmented and insufficient for current needs and an ever-evolving cybercrime threat landscape.

Following the 2016 work on Recommendations for Public-Private Partnership against Cybercrime, the World Economic Forum’s Partnership against Cybercrime initiative was launched in January 2020 to explore ways to amplify public-private collaboration in cybercrime investigations and initiate a paradigm shift in the way to collectively deal with the growing impact of cybercrime. The initiative’s working group included more than 50 representatives from leading public and private organizations.

This report presents the recommendations of the Partnership against Cybercrime Working Group in three areas:


Promoting principles for public-private cooperation to combat cybercrime
The working group defined six principles, to be endorsed by both law enforcement and private companies, which can enable sustainable, repeatable and effective cooperation:

  • Embracing a shared narrative for collective action against cybercrime
  • Cooperating on the basis of long-term strategic alignment
  • Undertaking trust-building behaviours
  • Systematizing cooperation
  • Ensuring value for participation in the cooperation
  • Respecting concerns and challenges


Taking collaborative action to disrupt cybercrime ecosystems
The working group also emphasized the need to explore the full spectrum of possible courses of action to raise the costs and risk for cybercriminals, leveraging the respective expertise and capabilities of both the public and private sectors. Specifically, potential coordinated measures to disrupt and dismantle criminal activities at scale are insufficiently used. A decision to participate in such operations should not be made lightly, but organizations should not be paralysed by inaction. The Group highlighted key considerations for decision-makers in assessing these actions, to maximize the likelihood of success and minimize unnecessary risks.


Partnering to combat global cybercrime

To increase existing efforts and fully harness the power of the private sector, facilitating sustainable and effective cooperation, the working group recommends launching a three-level system comprised of:

  • A global partnership, building on the existing Forum initiative, to bring together international stakeholders to provide an overarching narrative and commitment to cooperate; foster interaction within a global network of entities that drive efforts to fight cybercrime; and facilitate strategic dialogues and processes aiming to support cooperation and overcome barriers in the long term.
  • Permanent Nodes, a global network of existing organizations that strive to facilitate public- private cooperation over time.
  • Threat Focus Cells, short-term, mission-driven groups of partners that engage in concrete, operational, cooperative efforts. These cells will be hosted and maintained by the Permanent Nodes.


For the full Report (PDF) Press Here


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