ADR and the cyber-security

During the online session, either party or both the parties’ facets to keep the proceedings hidden but communicating through e-mail or through browser or other platforms is uncertain as the risk of hackers and pirated users deflect the information and communication will increase. Spoofing is the most easiest and common way to hijack the confidential information by the unauthorized users estimating the real person’s identity and then manipulating the data accordingly.

ADR has been in the growth from the last few years and restores the different platforms to the requirement of growing insecurity in the face of cyber threat. Platforms have adapted the constructive amplitude to administer and demonstrate some peculiar features proposed by 2020 protocol and International standards which are cyber-security machinery to obstruct hidden hackers from decoding and penetrating susceptible information which is conclusively detrimental to privacy, availability and accessibility[1].

Collecting and storing information

During the arbitration proceedings, meaningful aspect to be observed is ‘asset management’ under the process of collecting and storing information which is covered under the principal 7(a) of 2020 protocol. Information circulated to be analyzed, controlled and classified. From this view, elimination and retention is the crucial ingredient of this principle, in which data is fundamentally gathered but after the award delivery, data is being demolished in conformity of the applicable privacy regulations. Another principle covered is ‘communication security’ under 7(d) of 2020 protocol, under which a platform is being provided which is secured in interchange of information between arbitrator, parties and counsels.

Encryption of Data

It is a cyber-security regulation defined under 7(c) of 2020 protocol that safeguards the information by utmost exclusive and complex codes that merge the data and restrains the pirated users from decoding the susceptible information, averts the revelation of private and confidential information such as financial information, trade secrets, particular identifiable information etc. If encryption does not exist, then such delicate information reclines to attack results in violation of confidentiality which is the influential source of strength of arbitration. Also, there exists the procedure for audits, in which the certification of platform is done for security sensitiveness.

Multifactor authentication

Pertinent character of ODR is two-step verification that curbs the ability for data disclosure providing supplementary slab to legitimate users to access sensitive data. Meaningful aspect to be observed is ‘access controls’ which is covered under the principal 7(b) of 2020 protocol. Under this principle it is stated that in considering the particular information security, preventive measures are to be applied in arbitration, and also contemplation should be given to issues such as “asset management” “access controls” “encryption”, and “information security incident management. As ODR runs on browsers generally, it gives the hidden hackers the chance of accessing the digital footprints left from browser analysis. If E-arbitration entrenched two-step verification, then the parties firstly, get their unique ID named as token, and then the second step will be validated through email or phone, which means that the person can approach to that information exclusively which is confidential in nature and he/she supposed privy to. Platforms such as Zoom, presently engaged in various virtual hearing sessions, have been through various chapters of susceptivity, as various unauthorized users pervading the sessions with the intention to disrupt their safety protocols. A research was done by New York Attorney General that Zoom has implemented numerous safety and security protocols encompassing penetration-testing, which addresses to recognize and deal with sensitiveness in cyber security, other features are also added up such as default passwords, pre-entry waiting rooms and upgraded encryption to retain vicious users off.

Managing breach incidents

In the times of Covid-19, many online businesses has detected spike of malspam and fishing attacks, regardless of all safety protocols and security measures, confidential information ruptures sometimes, which is inescapable by them but they must act expeditiously to assuage the breach of data and get back the data taken. ‘Information Security Incident Management’ the principle defined under 7(h) of 2020 protocol aims to routine audits to counter the fishing attacks and potential threats which have been already adopted by Immediation and E-Arbitration.

Institutional concerns on cyber-security

In the face of Covid-19 era, many arbitration centres has adapted the digitization and further, online dispute resolution mechanism, so that disputes could be resolved accurately and expeditiously, which are the duties strives to be endure through ODR. Anyhow, these institutions have not appropriately addressed the fundamental security protocols required for virtual hearing. HKIAC, article 3.1(e) and AAA-ICDR, article 37.2, as per these rules, it is on the parties prudence to secure online repository to secure the private and confidential information Some of the institutions have addressed the safety measures such as SIAC, LCIA and ICC have introduced comprehensive protocols in regards to virtual hearings procedure ought to be regulated. As per these rules, parties are entitled to assimilate measures they consider necessary to ensure the proceedings safety, to secure the sensitivity and confidentiality of the information. However there are no regulations regarding the case management, virtual hearing procedure and mode of exchange of communication and also no measures are being determined for cyber-security in the online platform.


[1] Id. 11

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