The Great Reset requires FinTechs – and FinTechs require a common approach to cybersecurity

Fin Tech

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Seán Doyle, Project Lead, Industry Solutions, Centre for Cybersecurity, World Economic Forum


  • Financial Technology (FinTech) providers are key to the structural enhancement of financial services during the Great Reset.
  • Cybersecurity is critical to ensuring consumers and businesses can leverage the benefits of FinTech and bounce back from the crisis.
  • The World Economic Forum’s FinTech Cybersecurity Consortium released recommendations for a common approach to cybersecurity controls.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to reduce the world’s reliance on central points in the financial system – facilitating value creation everywhere and supporting trade from periphery to periphery, not just from hub to hub.

And key to this structural enhancement of the financial system are Financial Technology, or FinTech, providers.

FinTech innovations deliver tremendous economic and social benefits, connecting unbanked and underbanked populations to the digital economy, contributing to small business growth and empowering consumers in new and exciting ways.

—Sunil Seshadri, Chief Information Security Officer, Visa

Trust and security are essential.

To help the economy bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis, citizens and small businesses need innovative ways to access financial services. And if new FinTech services are to be adopted at the speed necessary for economic recovery, citizens must be able to trust that the technologies are secure and that their assets are protected.

Cybersecurity, then, is essential to ensuring that consumers and businesses can leverage the benefits of FinTech.

As our digital landscape expands along with our dependence on it, our expectations of cybersecurity need to be continuously considered and refined. Cybersecurity must never be an afterthought.

—Adam Sommer, Vice President, Industry Standards, Mastercard

The Challenge: Fragmentation

Cybersecurity is not a problem just for FinTechs. The FinTech revolution in financial services links organizations with varying degrees of cybersecurity maturity levels. The threat posed by cybercriminals and fraudsters creates shared risks across the financial system and must be managed collaboratively.

There are many approaches FinTechs can take to make themselves cybersecure. Yet it is not always clear which control frameworks best allow a FinTech to secure its assets, create trusted commercial partnerships with established firms and ensure compliance with relevant regulations in the jurisdictions in which it operates.

Established financial services providers have a number of frameworks, standards and industry-driven initiatives available to test the security of FinTechs and other third parties. However, the volume of industry initiatives – driven by the pace of technological change and the multiplication of regulations – is now creating “noise”. This makes it difficult for FinTechs to direct their resources in a way that allows for security while also facilitating commercial partnerships.

Requirements placed on FinTechs sow confusion, increase costs and may incentivise “security through obscurity”, in which less well-resourced firms play a game of chance, betting that they’re too small to be targeted by attackers and setting themselves up for problems in the future.

 

The Solution: Collaboration

The sector needs a mutually understood and widely accepted base level of cybersecurity controls. Clarity at the base level of security will support effective protection of business and client assets across the wider supply chain. This can accelerate the speed at which FinTechs can come to market and create commercial partnerships – and, in turn, incentivise good cyber hygiene and cybersecurity techniques among the least-resourced companies, improving cyber resilience systemwide.

Today, the World Economic Forum’s FinTech Cybersecurity Consortium released recommendations for a common approach to cybersecurity controls. This provides a pathway for the private sector and public agencies to build on existing control and assessment frameworks, such as the Center for Internet Security Critical Security Controls.

To support the implementation of these recommendations, the Forum has joined the Management Board of the Cyber Risk Institute, where it will provide input on the development and scaling of the Financial Services Cybersecurity Profile.

What is the World Economic Forum doing on cybersecurity

The World Economic Forum Platform for Shaping the Future of Cybersecurity and Digital Trust aims to spearhead global cooperation and collective responses to growing cyber challenges, ultimately to harness and safeguard the full benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The platform seeks to deliver impact through facilitating the creation of security-by-design and security-by-default solutions across industry sectors, developing policy frameworks where needed; encouraging broader cooperative arrangements and shaping global governance; building communities to successfully tackle cyber challenges across the public and private sectors; and impacting agenda setting, to elevate some of the most pressing issues.

Platform activities focus on three main challenges:

Strengthening Global Cooperation for Digital Trust and Security – to increase global cooperation between the public and private sectors in addressing key challenges to security and trust posed by a digital landscape currently lacking effective cooperation at legal and policy levels, effective market incentives, and cooperation between stakeholders at the operational level across the ecosystem.Securing Future Digital Networks and Technology – to identify cybersecurity challenges and opportunities posed by new technologies and accelerate solutions and incentives to ensure digital trust in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.Building Skills and Capabilities for the Digital Future – to coordinate and promote initiatives to address the global deficit in professional skills, effective leadership and adequate capabilities in the cyber domain.

The platform is working on a number of ongoing activities to meet these challenges. Current initiatives include our successful work with a range of public- and private-sector partners to develop a clear and coherent cybersecurity vision for the electricity industry in the form of Board Principles for managing cyber risk in the electricity ecosystem and a complete framework, created in collaboration with the Forum’s investment community, enabling investors to assess the security preparedness of target companies, contributing to raising internal cybersecurity awareness.

For more information, please contact us.

Where to start?

Low-maturity FinTechs need a common cybersecurity framework and assessment process, tiered according to cybersecurity maturity levels and provide guidance for companies on when they need to adopt and enhance cybersecurity controls as they grow.

The solution should start with baseline requirements for controls and assessment, but also provide increasingly complex controls as organizations develop and as their cybersecurity risk management requirements mature.

The tiered approach to cybersecurity controls
The tiered approach to cybersecurity controls
Image: World Economic Forum

Controls require regular adaptation as technology, threats and business models change. They are granular, specific to the assets they are meant to protect, and may have a limited shelf life.

We recommend that these controls should be defined by financial services providers, where the expertise and funding can be deployed at speed, in consultation with cybersecurity experts from other sectors, governmental agencies and relevant civil-society organizations.

FinTechs have the potential to be the engines of innovation we need during the Great Reset. The findings of the World Economic Forum’s FinTech Cybersecurity Consortium provide a starting point on the path to a security management system to get them there.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

New EU rules ensure better protection for 120 million holidaymakers this summer

European Border and Coast Guard: 10 000-strong standing corps by 2027

Google succumbs unconditionally to EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling

COVID-19 will hit the developing world’s cities hardest. Here’s why

Tributes for ‘role model’ former UN refugee agency chief, Sadako Ogata

The big five EU telecom operators in dire straights

AI can wreak havoc if left unchecked by humans

Clamp down on illegal trade in pets, urge Public Health Committee MEPs

As conflicts become more complex, ‘mediation is no longer an option; it is a necessity’, UN chief tells Security Council

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Hydrogen isn’t the fuel of the future. It’s already here

5 ways COVID-19 has changed workforce management

Terrorism and migrants: the two awful nightmares for Europe and Germany in 2016

EU job-search aid worth €2 million for 500 former shipbuilding workers in Spain

France pushes UK to stay and Germany to pay

Where EU air pollution is deadliest

China rare earth prices soar on their potential role in trade war

Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD – Updated: February 2020

UN spotlights wellbeing of seafarers on International Day

‘Much more’ can be done to raise awareness about the plight of persons with albinism: UN chief

UN-backed intercultural dialogue forum urged to keep working to ‘bridge gap between the like-minded’

EU joint response to disasters: deal reached with Council

Combatting terrorism: Parliament sets out proposals for a new EU strategy

This South Korean city once had the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside of China. Now it’s reported zero new cases

Commission moves to ensure supply of personal protective equipment in the European Union

5 crises that could worsen under COVID-19

Finland has just published everyone’s taxes on ‘National Jealousy Day’

ITU Telecom World 2017: exploring smart digital transformation

European Parliament calls on Russia to end occupation of Georgian territories

5 neuroscience hacks that will make you happier

RescEU: MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

All for equality – 2020 is a pivotal year for Gender Equality

Deeper reforms in Korea will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

Milk, fruits and vegetables distributed to schoolchildren thanks to EU programme

China’s cities are rapidly becoming more competitive. Here’s why

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

New EU-UK agreement is welcome but thorough scrutiny remains, insist lead MEPs

Coal addiction ‘must be overcome’ to ease climate change, UN chief says in Bangkok

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

How to get young people in Europe to swipe right on voting

This is Amsterdam’s ambitious plan to turn its transport electric

Reforms in Latvia must result in stronger enforcement to tackle foreign bribery and subsequent money laundering risks

Parliament boosts consumer rights online and offline

What is systemic racism, and how can we combat it?

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Powering a climate-neutral economy: Commission sets out plans for the energy system of the future and clean hydrogen

Marginalized groups hit hardest by inequality and stigma in cities

OECD joins with Japan to fight financial crime by establishing new academy

The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming

EU Parliament and Council: Close to agreement on the bank resolution mechanism

Poor quality is healthcare’s silent killer. Here’s what we can do about it

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Global trade is broken. Here are five ways to rebuild it

Intervene, don’t overthink – the new mantra of systems design

We need natural solutions to fight ocean and climate risk

EU Parliament: No EU-US trade agreement without safe data

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s