The FinTech space this past week has again been pretty much dominated by news about Blockchain technologies. For now however – I want to draw your attention to another, equally if not more important branch of FinTech, namely, cybersecurity.

[easy-tweet tweet=”No matter the future possibilities and allure of #Blockchain – #cybersecurity is a genuine threat” hashtags=”FinTech”]

No matter the future possibilities and allure of Blockchain and its derivatives – cybersecurity is a real threat in the here and now.

It’s been said many times – but in my humble opinion it is nonetheless worth repeating – that as far as a security breach is concerned – it’s not a matter of if it happens – but rather when it happens.

It seems surprising to me that given the bad press, loss of business and regulatory fines that result from data losses and websites being effectively taken off-line, that these types of threat are not getting as much attention as the future/game-changing possibilities of Blockchain.

Given the above – I was therefore happy to discover that IBM have published a Whitepaper which focuses on cybersecurity and the effective steps that firms can take to minimise their exposure – even when dealing with a workforce which insists upon using their own mobile devices for both work and for pleasure purposes.

This “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) approach is far more realistic than trying to force employees into only using an “enterprise” and/or in-house computer. It’s what they’re used to using throughout the day – and for many, the prospect of using some “boring old-fashioned pc terminal” can be a real turn-off.

This is why I found the IBM paper so interesting, focusing as it does on the real world issues of firms who want to balance their employee’s need to be reasonably happy versus the firm’s needs and obligations to protect sensitive data and generally keep systems up and running.

This approach further got me thinking that perhaps FinTech companies that up until now have provided good, solid enterprise systems should now consider how they might modify the front-ends of their products to mimic the most popular front-ends of the most popular apps out there.

Think about it – we’ve all witnessed the incredible speed with which (particularly younger) smartphone users check their email, Twitter, Facebook et al feeds – share images/videos – send texts – seemingly without any real conscious effort.

If enterprise product engineers could improve their somewhat boring front-ends and generally increase the “User Experience” (UX) – think about the likely effects on the employees productivity levels – and more importantly, the firms’ bottom-lines.

In adopting this approach – firms would still of course have to be mindful of exactly how they mitigate any possible cybersecurity threats.

The aforementioned IBM whitepaper sets out in some detail various options in this respect.

One other “Non-Blockchain” trend I’ve noticed is how tech companies and even some governments are creating “sandboxes” and/or “garages” where firms can test out new apps, services, products etc., in safe environments to assess their effectiveness and suitability before being unleashed to the public.

[easy-tweet tweet=” A recent #FinTech trend is the creation of sandboxes to test new apps & services in safe environments”]

You can find some more background reading on this trend here.

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Kevin J. Davis, Researcher & Analyst, Compare the Cloud Kevin has worked continuously in the Financial Services Industry (primarily on the IT side) for over thirty years. During this time he has worked first-hand on major Industry Initiatives both in the U.K. and the USA – such as TALISMAN, TAURUS, CREST, (the Bank of England’s) CGO, Counterparty/Client/Settlement Risk Reporting, CHAPS, Model A and B type Clearing, Intra-Day Payment Netting, Capital Gains Tax Reporting, Regulatory Reporting, Trading Interfaces (from DOT through to FIX API’s and beyond), Multi-Instrument and Multi-Currency systems, Direct Market Access and Custodian Services. As a result, Kevin boasts a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding the latest FinTech innovations.