Protecting the Digital Economy

Event Report | January 10, 2011

On January 10, 2011, the EastWest Institute released a report detailing the results of the First Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit: Protecting the Digital Economy, and outlining the cybersecurity initiative’s next steps as it prepares for the Second Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in London on June 1-2.

At the summit, held from May 3 to 5, 2010 in Dallas, Texas, EWI brought together over 400 technical experts, policy elites and national security officials from the Cyber40, an informal grouping of the world’s most digitally-advanced countries—among others, the United States, China, India, Russia and Estonia. Participants worked to identify problems facing crucial sectors of the Internet, such as financial services and essential government services, and forge concrete solutions to protect the world’s digital infrastructure.

“We left the conference with a confirmed conviction that voluntary agreements, private sector leadership, and urgent attention define the avenue to positive change, but not cumbersome regulations,” said Karl Rauscher, EWI’s Chief Technology Officer.

As the report details, EWI’s cybersecurity agenda grew in part out of small, intensive working groups that met at the summit. Currently, EWI’s cybersecurity team is building private-public partnerships to protect the undersea fiber-optic cables that carry intercontinental financial internet traffic, developing policies to assure international priority communications, and facilitating bilateral processes to create “rules of the road” for cyber conflict, among other steps.

The summit drew participants including: Randall Stephenson, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of AT&T; Byeong Gi Lee, President of the IEEE Communications Society; Jody Westby, CEO of Global Risk, LLC;  and Michael Dell, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Dell Communications, who spoke at the opening ceremony. The participant list reflected the rapid growth of EWI’s cybersecurity initiative which, a year after its founding, has already gained the support of 300 companies including AT&T, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs.

“EWI is filling a necessary niche, providing leadership and bringing together resources and expertise from different sectors around the world,” said Terry Morgan, EWI Vice President. “Clearly, protecting the Internet is a job too big for one company or country alone.”

What’s next for EWI’s cybersecurity initiative? The Second Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit, to be held June 1-2, 2011, in London.

Click here to download the report

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Click here to read Franz Gady's piece on the Huffington Post