Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the AustCyber National Fintech Cyber Security Summit in Sydney yesterday, co-panellist and Quintessence Labs founder Vikram Sharma said improved cyber security will help the financial services sector restore trust.
“Trust is at the core,” Mr Sharma said. “When you look at the fintech sector, it's particularly paramount there, but I think more broadly across enterprise, there is this current situation where the trust element is being eroded between enterprises and the customers.
“A very important area of engendering or fostering that trust is to be able to assure the customers that sensitive information that you're collecting from them, whether it's in your communication or whether it's being stored, that you're taking the appropriate measures around that to protect it and safeguard that,” he said.
As an example, Mr Sharma pointed to the dramatic fall in the share price of US credit reporting company Equifax throughout September following a data breach that affected 143 million US citizens.
“I was reading some analysis [that suggested Equifax] – which is one of the top three credit reporting agencies in the US – may actually file for Chapter 11 [bankruptcy] as a result of a class action [stemming from the data breach],” he said.
“So, to be able to support that trust, in our case, particularly through protection of sensitive information that each of these agencies that these enterprises hold, is a critical piece where we can contribute.”
Co-panellist and Haventec chief executive Robert Morrish said the sluggish effect of risk and compliance posed a major challenge to the nimbleness of financial institutions.
“The larger corporates have huge processes around compliance, risk, security management, and they often slow down the business agility that you would like to see,” Mr Morrish said.
“The speed to make a decision, to onboard it, to paper it, is often slowed down by these compliance and risk processes.
“Now, if we're able to better provide that transformative layer that protects the fintech and allows them to have a different conversation of trust with their customers, then that's going to allow them to move faster.”
If larger financial institutions worked together with cyber security organisations on compliance processes, according to Mr Morrish, then “all of the fintech and all of the security components that underpin the fintech ecosystem” could be “adopted very quickly”.
“We've kind of gone through one barrier as a group, and everybody else benefits from that transition,” he said.
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