Like most aspects of modern existence, more and more of our financial lives have migrated to the digital realm. With the benefits of ease that our Internet allows us, that transition also raises numerous – and dangerous – threats to national security, our money, and the systems we use to store and transfer it. In TheUnhackable Internet, financial services and technology expert Thomas P. Vartanian exposes the vulnerabilities of the many networks that we rely on today as well as the threats facing the integrity of our national security and financial services sector.
From cyberattacks by foreign adversaries like China and Russia, the explosion of cryptocurrency, the advancement of ransomware, phishing, surveillance apps, spying software, and logic bombs, along with the increasing savvy and daring shown by Internet hackers, the next financial panic is likely to be delivered to us through use or abuse of technology. The Unhackable Internet describes how society can remake an Internet that was never conceived as a secure environment and badly tainted by the original sin of substandard coding. Vartanian argues for increasing the use of private and offline network infrastructures, controlling the ownership of Internet infrastructure, and imposing enhanced authentication, governance, and enforcement standards. This online universe would look more like our analog lives, authenticating all digital traffic to a real person and removing any virtual traveler that violated the new rules of the road.
The Unhackable Internet poses a challenge to America: take the lead and create a coalition of democratic nations to implement financial cyber strategies or be left with no counterweight short of military power to respond to those who weaponize technology. This comprehensive and compelling book makes it clear that nothing less than the control of global economies is up for grabs, and that how we use technology is our choice.
Thomas P. Vartanian leads the Financial Technology & Cybersecurity Center today, having previously chaired the financial institution’s practices at two international law firms, Dechert LLP and Fried Frank LLP. He also has served as General Counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and the FSLIC during the S&L crisis, and as Special Assistant to the Chief Counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Vartanian was the Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Cyberspace Law Committee and is a Fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Law. He has represented either the government or private parties in a majority of the financial disasters over the last five decades and worked on technological advancements from the development of ATMs to the tokenization of financial instruments on blockchain networks.
Vartanian has appeared on Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox News,Newsmax, and PBS, among others. He is the author of 200 Years of American Financial Panics. For more, visit www.thomasvartanian.com.
"The Unhackable Internet offers comprehensive and insightful cybersecurity solutions that just may change the Internet forever. It should be required reading for every executive, and policymaker.” – Forbes
“The greatest threat to today’s global financial system is not financial risk or geopolitical uncertainty, but the danger of cyber-attack through a poorly defended Internet. In TheUnhackable Internet, Tom Vartanian describes in detail how we got to this point and suggests practicable steps that could make us safer. Most important, he makes clear that our openness to such attack is a choice, and one we can change. Governments and markets should listen.”–Randal K. Quarles, Chairman and Founder of The Cynosure Group, former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve System for Supervision, Chairman of the G-20’s Financial Stability Board, member of the Federal Open Market Committee, and Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury
“The UnhackableInternet brings order to the digital wild west. Data is the world's most valuable economic asset and yet we live in the age of eternal breach. Hindsight has proved the folly of Mark Zuckerberg's mantra ‘move fast and break things.’ We ignore the lessons of history at our peril; a less hackable Internet is the imperative of our time. Vartanian's compelling vision – achievable if we pull together – puts the adults back in charge of the Internet.”
– James Dever, Co-Founder and Principal at Lockhaven Solutions LLC and former U.S. Air Force Professor of Cyber Warfare and U.S. Army Cyber Warfare Judge Advocate
“TheUnhackable Internet is a painstaking dissection of the threats of a virtual financial life. Its detailed history of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and official responses over the last 25 years is unparalleled. Vartanian’s creative presentation of the path that can lead to a more secure Internet and avert future financial calamities is grounded in his five decades of practical, real-world experience and is sure to spark a discussion of new ways to recreate the Internet.” – Brian P. Brooks, CEO, Bitfury, former CEO of Binance US and Acting Comptroller of the Currency
“For anyone interested in the future of the internet, this book is a tour de force. ‘Security’ is the word that comes to mind for anyone developing a business over the internet. The Unhackable Internet provides an experienced and creative approach to dealing with the risks and threats to financial infrastructures exposed by internet growth. Vartanian clearly presents the past and present of online banking, engaging in a very much needed debate on the possible paths for the future of internet security. The Unhackable Internet leaves readers not only informed, but willing to move ahead with viable alternatives to keeping the internet in the boundaries of law and order without killing its creativity drive.” – Sylvia Elaluf-Calderwood, PhD,Professor of Information Systems and Business Analytics, Florida International University College of Business
“Vartanian’s tour de force analyzes a continuum of solutions to make the Internet safer and more unhackable. It lays out a sober assessment of the financial Armageddon, however unthinkable, that could be avoided but for the demoralizing and dispiriting failure of leadership which has followed a predictable cycle of attack, rinse, and repeat. The Unhackable Internet offers comprehensive and insightful cybersecurity solutions that just may change the Internet forever. It should be required reading every executive and policymaker.” – Roslyn Layton, PhD, Aalborg University, Department of Electronic Systems, National Security Institute, George Mason University