Publication Title

International Lawyer


e-commerce. Internet

Document Type



The sudden emergence of the Internet as a global network threatens to eclipse the importance of the global information infrastructure painstakingly built by financial institutions and their regulators over the past three decades. The open public nature of the Internet threatens the value of the closed proprietary networks developed by financial institutions that now face serious problems in integrating their legacy systems and new Internet systems.

Information system security, once a dreary back office matter, is now central to the success of e-commerce business plans. Before financial institutions can capitalize on their expertise in information system security, they will have to overcome problems that have recently emerged in security of their existing legacy systems and translate their existing expertise into terms that are relevant to "e-business" security. The challenges posed to regulated financial markets by the sudden democratization of the global information architecture may be offset by competitive opportunities only if regulated institutions can adapt quickly and effectively to the rigors of this new environment.

Regulators will have to find a middle path between stifling regulated entities, permitting unregulated competitors to steal the show, and not maintaining the necessary prudential oversight of financial markets within which investors are exposed to rapidly rising levels of risk.



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