At the end of 2018, FINTRAIL Solutions and dozens of other security and technology firms made news by holding the first meeting of the U.S. chapter of the FinTech FinCrime Exchange, or FFE. A European chapter already exists, which makes the FFE’s Atlantic crossing something of a milestone in the financial sector of the cybersecurity industry.
FINTRAIL Solutions is a business consultancy specializing in the cybersecurity side of financial and regulatory technologies.
The founding of the FFE was a step toward a more global and organized effort to fight cybercrime in fintech and beyond. Now that the U.S. chapter is a reality, there are several advantageous implications for the future of combating financial cybercrime.
What is the FFE?
Put simply, the FFE is a free-to-join forum, or consortium, of fintech companies dedicated to fighting cybercrime together. According to FINTRAIL Solutions’ co-founder Julie Myers Wood, the goal of putting this group together was, first and foremost, collaboration.
“Currently, there is no platform in the U.S. where financial technology and regulatory technology firms can share information and learn from each other,” she said. “This new chapter of the FinTech FinCrime Exchange changes that.”
The FFE is designed to be a community and one that engages in ongoing information-sharing in the pursuit of common understandings, frameworks, standards and consultancy approaches to prevent cyberattacks in the financial and regulatory technology environments.
The Significance of FFE in Combating Cyberattacks
With a foothold in the United States, the FFE provides a platform and a voice for local companies dealing with financial and regulatory technologies and provides consulting to corporations and various levels of government.
These companies will share information in real-time about emerging cybercrime typologies and the technologies used by criminals, and come up with new best practices in fighting:
- Tax evasion
- Money laundering
- Financing of terrorists
The level of collaboration proposed by the FFE goes beyond merely creating a data exchange to study cybercrime. It’s also about assembling a network of global perspectives and resources that are as diverse and far-reaching as possible.
The call for a global collaborative framework in fintech cybercrime consulting comes at a good time. Reports claiming rises in cybercrime have reached “epidemic” levels aren’t hyperbolic.
The U.S. government estimates that cybercrime cost the U.S. economy at least $57 billion, and as much as $109 billion, in 2016 alone. Given that banks and financial institutions remain a favorite target of hackers everywhere, financial services represent many billions of dollars in losses, and potential losses, all on their own.
The current state of the threat landscape requires the following, each of which the FFE has committed itself to address:
- Pursuing uniform technology standards and security safeguards for data systems.
- Improving collaboration between law enforcement agencies from throughout the world.
- Drawing up formal international cybersecurity standards, up to and including formal treaties dealing with cybercrime.
Because regulatory and financial services cover a very broad range of service types and clients, both public and private, all across the world, it makes good sense to create a secure ecosystem where these entities can solve problems together and stay ahead of trends in cybercrime.
The Inaugural Meeting and Beyond
The first meeting of the U.S. branch of the FFE took place Nov. 8, 2018, in New York City. It included government and regulatory representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Treasury as well as prominent representatives from the cybersecurity industry. Notable speakers hailed from companies including FINTRAIL Solutions, Monzo, Guidepost Solutions, Tide, Tech Against Terrorism and more.
Fighting global cybercrime and financial fraud effectively requires regulators and lawmakers who understand how the internet works and where cybercrime threats come from.
That means building harmonious and open partnerships with companies that have thorough technological fluency and know how cybercriminals operate on the national and global stages. With the FFE’s U.S. chapter now in operation, security consulting, compliance monitoring and criminal investigations should have a new voice and a new sense of community.