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 Speech Preview: Excerpts of Secretary Lew's July 16 Remarks on Cybersecurity at the 2014 Delivering Alpha Conference Produced by CNBC and Institutional Investor


As Prepared for Delivery

“Without a doubt, the Internet has revolutionized the way we conduct our lives and the way we do business—from making a bank deposit, buying a book, and providing a medical diagnosis to restocking the shelf of a grocery store, filing taxes, and trading stock. But this transformation—which has spawned incredible waves of innovation and entrepreneurship—has also given rise to new dangers. And the challenge for businesses and governments to fortify their defenses against these dangers will be a central test for all of us going forward.

“The consequences of cyber incidents are serious. When credit card data is stolen, it disturbs lives and damages consumer confidence. When trade secrets are robbed, it undercuts America’s businesses and undermines U.S. competitiveness. And successful attacks on our financial system would compromise market confidence, jeopardize the integrity of data, and pose a threat to financial stability.

From the outset, the President directed his Administration to improve our nation’s digital defenses as a matter of national and economic security. We forged strong partnerships across government agencies with very different missions.

“The Obama Administration strategy is to collaborate with the private sector to establish cyber security best practices and improve information sharing. While companies have the primary responsibility to protect themselves from cyber threats, government also has an important role in helping companies enhance their protections. It is a public responsibility to prosecute cyber criminals, hold state-sponsored attackers accountable, provide critical intelligence about specific threats and share best practices.

“Far too many hedge funds, asset managers, insurance providers, exchanges, financial market utilities, and banks should and could be doing more. In particular, it is imperative that firms collaborate with government agencies and with other firms. Disclosing security breaches is often perceived as something that could harm a firm’s reputation. This has made many businesses reluctant to reveal information about cyber incidents. But this reluctance has to be put aside.​"


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