Cybersecurity and digital trade: Getting it right
Trade and cybersecurity are increasingly intertwined. The expansion of the internet globally and use of data flows globally by businesses and consumers for communication, e-commerce, and as a source of access to information and innovation, is transforming international trade. The spread of artificial intelligence, the “internet of things,” and cloud computing will work to increase global connectivity of businesses, governments, and supply chains.
This brief discusses how trade policy can be an instrument to support good cybersecurity practices and to build cooperation on cybersecurity among governments. It explores ways that trade agreements and trade policy can be used to unpack meaningful cybersecurity from artificial trade barriers. In particular, it looks at the extent to which these can differentiate between cybersecurity and more restrictive measures in the name of national security. The challenge of adapting trade rules developed in an analog era to today’s digital world economy is an ongoing project, and managing cybersecurity effectively needs to be part of that project.