Cybersecurity in international arbitration
Produced in partnership with Nicholas Peacock (Partner), Charlie Morgan (Senior Associate, Digital Law Lead (UK)), Vanessa Naish (Professional Support Consultant) and Rebecca Warder (Professional Support Lawyer) of Herbert Smith Freehills
Cybersecurity in international arbitration

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Nicholas Peacock (Partner), Charlie Morgan (Senior Associate, Digital Law Lead (UK)), Vanessa Naish (Professional Support Consultant) and Rebecca Warder (Professional Support Lawyer) of Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cybersecurity in international arbitration
  • An introduction to cybercrime and cybersecurity in international arbitration
  • The importance of cybersecurity in international arbitration
  • The targets of cyberattacks in international arbitration
  • The perpetrators of cyberattacks in international arbitration
  • The consequences of cyberattacks in international arbitration
  • Where does the responsibility lie for cybersecurity in an arbitration?
  • What steps may be appropriate for cybersecurity in an international arbitration?
  • Collaborative risk assessment and awareness of cybersecurity issues
  • Concluding remarks

This Practice Note considers cybersecurity in international arbitration.

An introduction to cybercrime and cybersecurity in international arbitration

A single arbitration can involve numerous participants from multiple jurisdictions, including parties, their funders and insurers, arbitrators, counsel, experts, witnesses, an arbitral institution or other administering organisation and third-party service providers (broadly referred to here as 'Participants'). Within the arbitral process, those Participants may share material which is not in the public domain. Access to this material may have the potential to cause commercial damage, influence share prices, corporate strategies or even government policy. The outcome of an arbitration could have significant repercussions in the financial markets. This means that obtaining a draft form of an arbitral award before release to the parties themselves could be very lucrative for cybercriminals. As such, the arbitral process is a target for cyberattacks, particularly if hackers can identify a weak link in the chain of custody.

As the speed and efficiency of arbitration depends on the electronic sharing of information between multiple parties, institutions, and organisations across a variety of platforms and jurisdictions, cybersecurity is integral to the viability of arbitration as the preferred mechanism for resolving cross-border disputes. There is therefore a growing consensus among the arbitration community that participants must give greater attention to cybersecurity in order to minimise the risks of a successful attack.

This