Thales e-Security Blog

Technology foresight is rarely 20/20

Alan Kessler
Alan Kessler | President and CEO More About This Author >

You would be hard-pressed these days to find someone willing to disagree with Marc Andreesen’s oft-cited decree that software is eating the world, but it’s an open question as to which industry is being most impacted.

Certainly some of the most exciting innovation is happening in the financial sector where technology is revolutionizing digital payments, lending and borrowing, investing and the retail ecosystem in general.

The digital currency craze may currently be getting the most media attention with China cracking down on bitcoin trading and the wildly fluctuating cryptocurrency markets.

But the evolution of new types of digital and mobile payments as well as their increased adoption continues unabated. At the same time, as previously noted, the regulatory climate around the world is only becoming more complex.

Technology foresight is rarely 20/20

Global enterprises must push the envelope of innovation to stay competitive while remaining compliant in a world of fragmented data security regulation. They are being tasked to prepare for the upcoming enforcement of Europe’s GDPR which requires compliance from any company handling the data of EU citizens – regardless of its headquarters location. This international regulatory patchwork is echoed in the U.S. at the state level. The recently implemented 23 NYCRR 500 imposes penalties for New York based financial services companies deemed to have an inadequate cybersecurity strategy, which includes a requirement for 2018 that they also rollout an encryption strategy.

U.S. internet technology and services companies must also expect further government involvement and regulatory oversight in light of the recent breach of the Equifax consumer credit reporting agency. Even against a backdrop of seemingly never-ending security incidents, this one was staggering in scope and fallout. With data on 143 million people exposed, heavy scrutiny from lawmakers and class action lawsuit filings, the full impact to both consumers and businesses is far from tallied.

The event is one more reminder that it has become even more mission critical for every organization to secure its financial and payment transactions and to encrypt its financial data – and it’s one of the reasons why my colleagues and I are excited to catch-up with other companies on the front lines of financial technology at the upcoming Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas.

We’re extremely proud that Thales e-Security secures more than 80% of the world’s payment transactions. We’ll be visiting with partners such as Chain and Accenture who we’ve worked closely with to integrate our hardware security modules (HSMs) into blockchain technology to offer a true root of trust. While there’s certainly some hype around the technology worth dispelling, the disruptive potential of blockchain is hard to underestimate, especially in the financial sector. It has been described simply as a “triple entry” ledger with the third entry being a cryptographic receipt of any transaction and as significant as the renaissance invention of double-entry bookkeeping.

With our new 2017 Financial Data Threat Report coming out later this month, we’re looking forward to seeing and sharing some insight with the industry. Our survey of over 1000 IT security professionals examines their experiences with data breaches, how vulnerable they feel to cyberattacks, the threats they most fear, and the roles of compliance and advanced technologies in their security approach among other topics.

If you are attending Money 20/20, I encourage you to stop by Thales’ booth #1650 to share your thoughts on financial technology trends, and meet with one of our payment experts to hear how we securely deliver mobile and advanced payment solutions.

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