By Kevin Campbell, Southeast Market Leader for Advisory and Cybersecurity, PwC
As one of the nation’s largest hubs for the financial technology (fintech) industry, Atlanta and the surrounding region have a unique opportunity to play a major role in shaping innovation around payment transactions across traditional and crypto currency. It’s a growing community of educational institutions, talent and innovative companies leading the way to a dramatically different landscape driven entirely by technology.
At the intersection of financial technology and cybersecurity is trust.
With fintech developing rapidly, cybersecurity solutions are moving from the back office to the forefront of the brand to help drive customer loyalty. Companies now proudly advertise the type of encryption they use and the certified strengths of their cybersecurity programs. Now part of the overall marketing strategy, cybersecurity is even helping financial technology companies differentiate their service offerings – i.e., using your fingerprint to log in to your mobile banking app or receiving a prompt on your smartphone to authorize certain transactions/ATM withdrawals.
New technology is changing how we bank and the world around us. We can split a restaurant bill with our friends by sending a text message. We can use a whole new form of currency that spans traditional borders with blockchain technology. We can even pay for our groceries with a smartphone. While exciting, these innovations don’t come without risks and skepticism. Changes to the way we make payments and manage our finances are personal to consumers; adoption demands that their most private information is secure.
But the continued threats are real. In our recent study, Global State of Information Security Survey, 43 percent of financial services respondents noted that they have been impacted by phishing attacks in 2016. And in the U.S., identity fraud hit a record high with 15.4 million victims in 2016, up 16 percent from 2015.
Both metropolitan Atlanta and the state of Georgia have increasing cybersecurity assets that exist today–a footprint that continues to grow annually. In fact, Georgia ranks third in the nation for information security, generating almost $5 billion in revenue. Further, state and federal governments, universities, the startup community and corporations continue to make additional investments. Next year, the state is opening a cyber innovation and training center to provide targeted education, training and research. These investments, combined with Georgia’s rapidly growing fintech workforce, place Atlanta in a prime position to address the ever-evolving cyber risks.
Advancements in cybersecurity and fintech technology are contributing to consumer behaviors. For those of us in the greater Atlanta area, it’s exciting to be part of an innovative community focused on serving and growing the mobile on-demand economy.
Join us on October 3 during Atlanta Cyber Week for a CISO meetup event featuring a CISO Fintech panel that will discuss cybersecurity issues relating specifically to payment processing. Learn more about the event and register for it here: https://www.atlcyberweek.com/baker-donelsons-cybersecurity-accelerator-meetup/
Registration for Atlanta Cyber Week events, including Cybercon, will close very soon. We encourage CISOs, startups and others involved in the cybersecurity community to sign up for the events they plan on attending ASAP. Spaces are limited. Visit http://www.atlcyberweek.com and cybercon.us for more information.