Data Hunters: In FinTech, what are the core security challenges that are top of mind?

Paras Shah: Security challenges are not dissimilar from any other industry – ransomware, spear phishing, software security, cloud, etc., but the risks are for more consequential. Reputational damage for a Fintech start-up can be the difference between success and failure. A security breach for a DeFi start-up can be fatal.

Data Hunters: FinTech is a data-dependent business.  What is the role of data security in both FinTech and Financial Services in general?

Paras Shah: Data is the lifeblood of Fintech businesses and application. Quantity, quality and accessibility are all critical characteristics – this means data security solutions have to support and promote the business, not impede or restrict in any way. It’s about matching the needs of the business with the right security strategy.  The dog wags the tail. 

Data Hunters: Should security be framed as a business issue and not just a technology issue?

Paras Shah: Security is not a business or technology issue. Information technology IS the business and there is no functional information technology without security.  Put differently, Security, Business and Technology are a singularity.

Data Hunters: How do we create a culture of security in Financial Services organizations?

Paras Shah: A security culture has already been created and it will be different in each organization. The challenge is to create/ mold a culture that permeates every aspect of the enterprise and makes it obvious what role/ responsibility each employee has in maintaining and strengthening the culture. This can be done the same way enterprises create any other kind of culture – objectives/ metrics/ incentives/ training.

Data Hunters: In the area of Payments, with all the data transport, what sort of frameworks need to be developed to ensure ongoing focus on security, compliance, privacy, and governance?

Paras Shah: Frameworks already exist – multiple frameworks in fact. The challenge is not building a new framework. The challenge is making a commitment to a selected framework and diligently increasing enterprise wide adoption and maturity. Enterprises know what to do – the challenge lies in the execution.

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