By Jacquelyn Lumb
Commissioner Kara Stein spoke at the Eurofi financial forum in Tallinn, Estonia, about developments in technology, the challenges of cybersecurity, and their impact on internationally connected markets. She emphasized the importance of working together to solve market problems, including cyber threats, which can spread rapidly due to interconnected computer systems. We live in an age of internationalism as well as nationalism, she said, in which countries and continents are bound together.
Stein said that technology was once merely a tool but now it has reshaped some traditional financial firms. She cited, for example, one major financial firm that has reportedly reduced its equity traders from 600 to two, and one-third of its 9,000 employees are computer engineers. Another major firm has reported spending $9.5 billion on technology in 2016 alone. Many financial firms are now technology firms, she advised, and that has a powerful impact on the markets.
As technological developments have redefined the markets, Stein said the exploitation of technology has increased, particularly in the area of security breaches. In her view, this challenge cannot be addressed alone given how the markets are intertwined. One cyberattack victim can affect the entire marketplace. She called for collaboration in finding solutions that make the global financial markets more secure.
Technological changes and challenges are affecting economies, markets, and financial institutions, Stein said. She called on institutions to work together in thoughtful and creative ways for the benefit of all.