In this episode, Dani and Ned discuss the importance of simplicity for wealthtech platforms and chat with Geoff Leeming about issues of cybersecurity that plague these systems.
Ned shares that for users, the simplicity of the platform is significant. While firms in other industries such as Netflix or Spotify have created simple and intuitive platforms, wealth management firms have yet to do the same. To conduct their daily operations, much information is required, such as a client’s risk capacity or ability to invest. Apart from simplifying existing platforms, wealth management firms need to be concerned with security since finances are involved.
Geoff explains that every year, security threats only grow bigger. Whenever there is money involved, someone will be attempting to steal it. As a result, when the financial sector moved online, thieves followed it and innovated new methods to steal. Against the backdrop of cybercrimes, it is essential for companies, big and small, to invest in security. Geoff suggests two steps to achieve this. Firstly, it is essential to hire someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to security. Secondly and more importantly, companies need to listen to their security hires. Security should be planned for from the start and cannot be casually tagged on after a project is completed. However, institutional friction gets in the way of large companies trying to adjust their security measures. It becomes just as much about politics and organisational behaviour for these large companies than it is about the technology itself. Most of these organisations have people that know about security, but trying to get the financial backing and political support to change the company is a slow process.
Understanding that cybercrime in the financial sector is a cause of concern for users, Geoff recommends that we as consumers start asking about security. Whether it be through a phone call or by looking through their website, a company should provide convincing information about their security measures. From a business perspective, companies thus need to be transparent and provide accessible information about their security measures.
Finally, Geoff remarks that cybersecurity is an aspirational career and is one of the highest-paid disciplines in IT. Those passionate about cybersecurity tend to think differently and delight in pulling things apart and stitching them back together again to produce something more resilient. Because it is a lucrative career, it is challenging to find the right people. While many graduates have the proper credentials, only a few are genuinely passionate and understand what they are doing. It is those who are passionate and skillful that wealthtech companies will be interested in.