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The International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) is a not-for-profit, comprehensive global public-private partnership alliance against cyber threats. IMPACT is the cybersecurity executing arm of the United Nations' specialized agency for ICTs, the International Telecommunication Union. IMPACT brings together governments, academia and industry experts to enhance the global community's capabilities in dealing with cyber threats.
Based in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, IMPACT is the operational home of ITU's Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA). IMPACT offers ITU's Member States access expertise, facilities and resources to effectively address cyber threats, as well as assisting United Nations agencies in protecting their ICT infrastructures.
IMPACT is now formally part of the ITU-IMPACT coalition. IMPACT is a politically neutral platform, bringing together governments, academia, industry leaders, international organizations, think tanks and cybersecurity experts to enhance the global community's capacity to prevent, defend against and respond to cyber threats.
The IMPACT initiative was officially announced during the closing ceremony of the 15th World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2006, in Austin, Texas. IMPACT was known initially as the "International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Terrorism," but later the word "Terrorism" was changed to "Threats."
IMPACT's global headquarters was launched on May 20, 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. Modelled after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IMPACT operates a comprehensive Global Response Centre (GRC) designed to be the foremost cyber threat resource center in the world. GRC plays a pivotal role in securing the objectives of the International Telecommunications Union's Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) by placing the technical measures to combat newly evolved cyber threats.
Through the GRC, IMPACT provides a network early warnings system (NEWS), expert locator, team management, remediation, automated threat analysis system, trend libraries, visualization of global threats, country-specific threats, incident and case management, trend monitoring and analysis, knowledge base, reporting, and resolution finder, among others.
Collaboration with the ITU
On September 8, 2011, IMPACT formally became the cybersecurity executing arm of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). IMPACT provides cybersecurity assistance and support to ITU's 193 Member States and other organizations within the UN system.
IMPACT is also the home of the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA), a framework for international cooperation initiated by the ITU. The GCA is aimed at finding strategic solutions to boost confidence and security in an increasingly networked information society.
In addition, during the 2011 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the ITU and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which will see IMPACT playing a pivotal role in supporting both organizations in their collaboration to assist UN member states mitigate risks posed by cybercrime. IMPACT's Global Response Centre (GRC) acts as the cyber threat resource center for the global community and provides emergency responses to facilitate identification of cyber threats and sharing of resources to assist ITU-UNODC Member States.
Partner countries of ITU-IMPACT have access to a host of specialized services including monitoring, analysis and alerts on cyber threats. IMPACT's Global Response Centre (GRC) hosts one of the world's most comprehensive databases on cyber threats. The GRC provides partner countries and other UN organiations access to a comprehensive global view of the current cyber threat landscape.
IMPACT's Electronically Secure Collaborative Application Platform for Experts (ESCAPE) enables real-time collaboration between experts and officials around the globe. ESCAPE also provides countries with cyber crisis management tools and coordination support services within the ITU-IMPACT framework.
The other three centers are the Centre for Policy & International Cooperation, Centre for Training & Skills Development and Centre for Security Assurance & Research. These centers provide consulting and training services, scholarships, reports and expertise to governments, industry and academia in partner countries to enable stakeholders to take command enhance national cybersecurity.