WEF consortium aims to address fintech cybersecurity

March 13, 2018 04:00 AM


In the current era of increased data-sharing across the financial services industry – driven by PSD2 and open banking – one of the biggest potential issues providers and their customers need to be aware of is cybersecurity.


With a growing number of firms handling, storing and sharing sensitive data, is there an increased risk this information could fall into the hands of fraudsters?


The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently announced that it is taking steps to address these concerns, with the establishment of a new consortium to strengthen cybersecurity for fintechs and data aggregators.


Atlanta-based fintech lender Kabbage is one of the founding members of the group, along with global bank Citigroup and Zurich Insurance Group.


Working in consultation with the WEF’s new Global Centre for Cybersecurity in Geneva, the consortium’s first tasks will be to create common principles for cybersecurity assessments, guidance for implementation and a points-based scoring framework.


It will also provide guidance for organizations on how they can improve their assessment scores.


The WEF created the new body after a number of leading experts identified the growing threat of cyberattacks on financial services providers as a major concern for the global financial system. Their assessment and proposed solutions were published in a whitepaper.


Mario Greco, chief executive officer of Zurich, said the consortium will help to establish cybersecurity best practices and reduce the complexity of differing regulations around the world. He also noted that the estimated cost of cybercrime for the next five years is $8 trillion.


Matthew Blake, head of the Financial and Monetary System Initiative at the WEF, said: “Fintechs can only deliver on their customer experience promises if the financial system is able to manage the risks adequately.


“This consortium will offer technology companies a clear goalpost and thus enable them to implement sound cybersecurity measures at the product design stage.”