Principles
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Principles

Industry Botnet Group

 Principles for Voluntary Efforts to

Reduce the Impact of Botnets in Cyberspace

The proliferation of botnets and malware in cyberspace threatens to undermine the efficiencies, innovation, and economic growth of the Internet and diminishes the trust and confidence of online users.  Every participant has a role in helping to reduce the impact of malicious cyber attacks, such as botnets.  As such, an ad hoc group of companies, trade associations, and non-profit organizations has formed the Industry Botnet Group (“IBG”) (www.industrybotnetgroup.org) to share expertise and resources for the common purpose of taking collaborative action to combat botnets. 

In the short term, the IBG set a goal to develop high-level principles to heighten awareness of the threat of botnets, encourage prevention measures, provide a path to notification when botnets are detected, and increase the availability of remediation and recovery tools to end users. 

These principles are intended to support efforts that are voluntary and led by the private sector, allowing industry to respond nimbly to dynamic cyber threats. They do not prescribe any particular means or method and allow for flexibility in application by a wide range of participants and business models.  The IBG recognizes that no one entity or subset can combat the botnet problem alone, and efforts may vary depending on the role of the participant in the Internet space, its business model, and its relationship to online users and enterprises. 

Principles

The Internet is a shared resource and all participants in cyberspace benefit from a safe, trusted online environment:

  • Share cyber responsibilities.  Participants should employ reasonable technologies and sound practices, appropriate in the context of their business, to thwart the effectiveness of botnets across the phases of the lifecycle: prevention, detection, notification, remediation and/or recovery;
  • Coordinate across sectors.  To better analyze, prevent and combat threats, participants should share information about botnet incidents and other malicious activities among public, private, and non-profit stakeholders;
  • Confront the problem globally.  Cybersecurity, and specifically the proliferation of botnets and malware, is a global problem requiring global attention, and participants should foster greater cooperation and cross-border collaboration between and among industry and government;
  • Report lessons learned.  In the appropriate manner and context, participants should share lessons learned, particularly their view of the effectiveness of various tactics, technologies, sound practices and other tried measures to thwart the effectiveness of botnets across the lifecycle;
  • Educate users.  Participants should make available access to resources to help educate customers to defend against and remediate from infections by botnets and malware, and to illustrate the relationship between staying safer online and making the Internet more secure for everyone;
  • Preserve flexibility.  There is no single solution to address the dynamic threat of botnets and malware and efforts should remain flexible, allowing participants to undertake activities as appropriate to their core competencies, resources, and customer needs;
  • Promote innovation.  Efforts to reduce the impact of botnets and malware should promote innovation and support the inclusion of new technologies, strategies, approaches, and participants to better combat threats and protect customers;
  • Respect privacy.   While working to further trust and confidence online, participants should address privacy and security in the appropriate manner and abide by applicable laws and practices;
  • Navigate the complex legal environment.  Barriers to addressing cyber threats may exist in today’s complex global legal and regulatory environment, and any initiatives undertaken by participants to reduce the impact of botnets should comply with applicable laws and regulations.

These principles are neither exhaustive nor exclusive.  Other efforts are underway to address the proliferation of botnets and malware, and the IBG will work to reflect and complement existing work. 

The IBG welcomes all players to participate in the group, and encourages a broad spectrum of industry and a variety of business models to incorporate these principles.  The IBG will invite government participation as needed to enhance the public-private partnership in combating threats to cybersecurity.  Participation in the IBG and implementation of these principles or other efforts to address botnets are voluntary.

 Download a PDF of our Principles