Event Report | August 03, 2011

Mobilizing for International Action

Against the backdrop of new revelations about cyber attacks and espionage, the EastWest Institute released a report on the Second Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit: Mobilizing for International Action, which drew more than 450 government, industry and technical leaders from 43 countries to craft new cybersecurity solutions.

“Cyber threats have taken on a new dimension over the last year, from Wikileaks and Stuxnet to large-scale theft of customer data,” said EWI Vice President Greg Austin, who leads the initiative. “At the summit, government and business leaders emphasized that, despite new countermeasures, we are not winning the war on cyber crime. We need stronger policies to protect our digital economy.”

Held in London on June 1-2, the summit was a part of EWI’s ongoing worldwide cybersecurity initiative, which builds international, private-public partnerships to protect cyberspace.

The report details the work of small international “breakthrough groups” of experts pursuing practical steps for everything from securing the undersea cables that carry over 99% of intercontinental Internet traffic to ensuring emergency communications after disasters. 

“These groups have made concrete progress towards innovative cyber solutions,” said EWI’s Chief Technology Officer Karl F. Rauscher. In particular, he says, he is encouraged by private sector commitments to explore the default inclusion of software in network equipment that would enable government-authorized users to make priority calls.  

The report also outlines the direction of EWI’s cybersecurity initiative in the months leading up to the Third Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit, to be held in New Delhi in October 2012. In addition to follow-up meetings of the breakthrough groups, bilateral dialogues will continue between Russian and U.S. experts on charting “rules of the road” for cyber conflict (the group has already produced an attention-getting report). Talks will also continue between Chinese and U.S. experts, whose report on reducing spam was released at the summit.

“EWI’s China-U.S. bilateral report on Fighting Spam to Build Trust is a rare breakthrough in international cooperation,” said IEEE Communications Society President Dr. Byeong Gi Lee. IEEE was the summit’s technical co-sponsor.

The summit report shares insights from a range of high-profile participants, including Sir Michael Rake, Chairman BT Group plc, who warned about cyber technology arms race, and Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney, who spoke about the challenges of securing the global cyber supply chain.

Founded in 2010, EWI’s cybersecurity initiative has gained the support of the United States, Chinese, Russian and Indian governments, among other members of the Cyber40, an informal grouping of the world’s most digitally-advanced nations. Its corporate sponsors include AT&T, Microsoft, Deloitte, BAE Systems, Goldman Sachs, Huawei and Vodafone.

EWI President John Mroz credits this unusually high-level, diverse international participation to a recognition of the urgency of the cybersecurity threat and the need for the policy, business and technology communities to forge solutions.

“The largest roadblock to cyber solutions is a lack of trust,” says Mroz. “EWI’s trademark for three decades has been bringing the people who need to work together into the same room to craft solutions to particular issues of common concern. Nowhere is this needed more than in the cybersecurity arena.”

Click here for more information on the 2011 Second Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in London

EWI’s Worldwide Cybersecurity Initiative is made up of a diverse group of professionals, ranging from top government and military advisors to business and technical consultants. If you are interested in contacting one of our cybersecurity experts, please e-mail us at communications@ewi.info