Austin Delivers Keynote at 2014 Canada-U.S. Cybersecurity Conference

News | March 03, 2014

In his speech at New York's Consulate General of Canada, Austin advocated an international treaty protecting financial exchanges in cyberspace. 

EWI's Professorial Fellow Greg Austin was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Canada-U.S. Cybersecurity Conference on February 28, 2014. Co-hosted by the Consulate General of Canada in New York and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the theme of this year's conference was Securing our Financial Infrastructure. Event discussions focused on the interconnected nature of governmental policy, economic competitiveness and cybersecurity. Austin also participated in a Cybersecurity Working Group. 

In his keynote speech–International Protection of Exchanges and Clearing Houses from Systemic Shock in Cyberspace–Austin stressed the need for the private sector and governments to work together in addressing threats to global financial infrastructure. He highlighted key issues and risks in cyber financial regulation.

Austin stated: "The [financial services] sector has been a consistent focus of attention at the EastWest Institute, from our earliest work on the reliability of underseas cables in 2009, to more recent work on priority international communications. Our interest in international protection of the financial services sector in cyberspace is directed at systemic threats, not enterprise-level threats. What threats are there in cyberspace that may cause a global economic shock and what can be done about them at the international level?"

In his remarks, Austin recommended a treaty to ensure absolute protection of designated exchanges and clearing houses in cyberspace, in the same way that states now commit to absolute protection of diplomats or embassies abroad. While admitting the idea may sound novel, Austin suggested that it is an innovation in keeping with today’s cyber Zeitgeist. More importantly, it offers an essential pathway to help secure a global economy wholly dependent on the functioning of information systems and networks that support currency, stock and derivatives trading, as well as clearing house operations. His proposal recognizes that data integrity is the new frontline of global economic security.

Read the full text of Austin's speech on EWI's Policy Innovation Unit blog.