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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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At Summit, Microsoft President Calls on Companies to Join Together to Enhance Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON (August 5, 2019) –– At the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Foundation Cybersecurity Summit, held July in Vancouver, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith delivered a video message that urged corporate cooperation, stronger laws, and better public policy to combat cyber threats, while leading general counsel shared lessons learned from data breaches and advice on building strong cybersecurity programs.

The program, which was the Foundation’s first Cybersecurity Summit in Canada, opened with a plenary on “the state of cybersecurity” for companies worldwide and included data and insights from the 2018 ACC Foundation: State of Cybersecurity Report. Smith’s video message was presented at the lunch plenary, before the session “How do GCs Forge an Alliance with the CISO and Board on Cybersecurity Issues?”

Other Summit speakers included U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center & School Commanding Brigadier General Patrick Huston; Microsoft Canada National Security Officer John Hewie; BMO Financial Group Chief Privacy Officer & Associate General Counsel; Jeff Metcalfe, Officer In Charge, Cyber and Technical Investigation Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police;  Jane Percival; BMO Financial Group Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Technology & Operations & Chief Knowledge Officer Richard Stewart; and Comscore Deputy General Counsel Amy Yeung.

Smith cited the statistic that by 2025, there will be 75 billion devices connected to the internet, and that “when anything can be connected, anything can be disrupted.” Smith went on to say: “As I look at these issues from the vantage point of a place like Microsoft, I fundamentally think about three things: How we use better technology to better advance cybersecurity, how we invest in more of what we call operational security, and how we drive forward with stronger laws and better public policy. It will take advances in all three of these areas coming together if we’re going to be successful, and all of it will need to be done on an international, or really global basis.”

He also warned the in-house lawyer attendees about cybercriminal organizations and the growing threat landscape in the decade ahead, even as companies develop and deploy better technology to combat these threats. Lawyers, engineers, investigators, and data scientists will have to work together to make progress in this space. Smith closed by urging partnerships, within the technology sector and beyond, as well as public policy progress.

The video is available here:

The next ACC Foundation Cybersecurity Summit will be held January 28, 2020 in Washington, DC, and the next ACC Foundation Cybersecurity Survey will publish in 2020.

About the ACC Foundation: The ACC Foundation – a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – supports the efforts of the Association of Corporate Counsel, serving the needs of the in-house bar through research, leadership and professional development opportunities, and support of diversity and pro-bono initiatives. The ACC Foundation partners with corporations, law firms, legal service providers, and bar associations to assist in the furtherance of these goals. For more information, visit

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