Have you heard of TIM? The Trustworthy Internet Movement is a new initiative launched a few weeks ago at the 2012 RSA Security Conference. The goal of TIM is to bring together experts, industry stakeholders, and others to cooperate and collaborate in an effort to build a safer and more secure Internet.
TIM was founded by Philippe Courtot, chairman and CEO of Qualys. But, TIM is a non-profit organization that is entirely independent of Qualys.
I spoke with Courtot a few days before the official unveiling of TIM at RSA. He described to me how TIM was borne over time from countless conversations he’d had with other security professionals. Courtot believes that there are fundamental issues with Internet security that can not be resolved by any single tool, or even any single company.
Courtot is dedicated to ensuring the reliability, privacy, and security of the Internet, and he feels that the best way to meet that goal is to create an environment where security experts, cloud providers, and other Internet stakeholders can cooperate to find innovative solutions to defend against the rising tide of threats on the Internet. Courtot believes strongly enough in this initiative that he pledged $500,000 of his own money to get the project off the ground.
There is definitely something to be said for this approach. In the wake of the attacks against Google and others in China, various affected parties worked together collaboratively with Internet security providers and law enforcement agencies. The key lesson from that effort was that sharing information cooperatively lets all involved see the bigger picture and helps to identify issues and develop resolutions faster.
Various companies and security experts are already hard at work on different solutions to address problems with privacy, reliability, and security on the Internet, and many of those solutions will succeed on some level. But, rather than developing competing or conflicting approaches to the same problem, TIM might be able to harness those efforts to develop innovative solutions that are greater than the sum of the individual parts.
Obviously, the companies or individuals involved in a collaborative effort like TIM all have a vested interest in their own success and profit. But, the Internet is essential to business, news, entertainment, and mainstream culture in general, and there is something to be said for working together for the greater good.
If you’re interested in learning more about TIM, or you’d like to join the cause and contribute your skills and resources, visit the site.