Citi’s latest cybersecurity bet veers from the usual model
Financial technology trends come and go but three are here to stay: everyone has a mobile phone, large businesses are moving their data to cloud systems — and threat to cybersecurity are evolving with and around both behaviors.
As the threat cybersecurity poses for financial services – or any company, since they’re all collecting customer data – isn’t going away, these companies are heavily invested in analytics firms that monitor breaches, defenses and other activity to try to make sense of user behavior and identify patterns to help prepare for the next attack. That space is getting kind of crowded though, which is part of why Citigroup’s startup venture capital arm just invested in a newer cryptographic solution by a company called Dyadic.
“There are established vendors of hardware security models and systems we all buy from. They’re trying to prevent or detect threats. We’ve invested in that,” said Arvind Purushotham, global head of venture investing at Citi Ventures. “The Dyadic opportunity came along and was fairly unique, there are not 10 startups in their area.”
Dyadic is a software company that helps companies manage their cryptographic keys, a long string of numbers required to encrypt private information. Citi Ventures participated in a $12 million growth investment in Dyadic along with Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.
In many current systems, there is a key to encrypt and one to decrypt. Dyadic’s solution effectively splits each key into two and allows them to be stored in different places – one half on a company server and the other on a mobile phone, for example, or one half in the cloud and the other in a data center. This way, even if a hacker somehow obtained the part of the key stored in the cloud, it couldn’t use it to decrypt information without finding its pair. The solution isn’t completely unhackable, but it creates an additional challenge for nogoodniks.
The technology is also easy to implement at the types of large financial institutions that would benefit from the product, he added, which counts for a lot when deciding to invest in a company. It’s rarely ever about how innovative an idea is. Most companies using Dyadic’s solution probably already employ cloud storage and have an increasingly large mobile customer base.
“[Dyadic] plays to the trends of cloud, mobile and enables us to make mobile offerings even more powerful not just at Citi but at any enterprise,” Purushotham said. “It is lowering the complexity and cost of a cryptographic system and if you can make it cheaper and easier to use, enterprises will use it more, and more commerce can happen online more securely.”
However, defending a bank and its customers against cyberattacks is as much – if not more – about how companies identify and verify their customers when asking them to hand over sensitive information as it is about identifying the attackers. Many websites now require numbers, capital letters and special characters of their users’ passwords, in order to make their accounts harder to breach. Some have employed fingerprint authentication and let customers store credit card information so they neither have to enter their credit card information or their password.
But financial services is one of the most highly regulated industries, and it has many reasons for requesting certain sensitive information. Some are business-related, but many come back to regulatory compliance.
“Security is sort of a murky problem,” Purushotham said. “We need to collect what we need to collect for a variety of reasons but it’s also our job to ensure the data stays secure inside the enterprise and make it simple for customers to use our services while still making it secure.”
‘Looking to grow with it’: How TikTok is becoming a staple in Dr. Squatch’s social spend
As TikTok makes itself more advertiser friendly, with improved ad offerings and shopping capabilities, Dr. Squatch sees opportunity to grow that share of its budget.
TV, CTV now the ‘biggest single channel’ of advertising for alcohol delivery service Drizly
In previous years, Drizly’s advertising focus was mainly on paid search and paid social with measurement in mind. As the privacy landscape has changed, especially over the last year, the company began to test out other channels like TV and podcasts. After seeing promising results on TV and CTV, the company has moved more ad dollars there.
The connector: How UTA’s gaming boss is reconciling discrepancies between the attention games attract and the revenue they make
If you’re into gaming then chances are you’ve come across Ophir Lupu’s work.
SponsoredHow advertisers are shifting mindsets to succeed amid iOS 15 and other identity challenges
On top of the impending cookie deprecation, Apple’s recent iOS 15 changes are causing concern for many advertisers by affecting pixels, IP addresses and email addresses. While these upcoming changes may be concerning for many, shifting mindsets and getting away from a binary way of thinking with solutions being 100% contextual or 100% universal IDs […]
Why Fiverr believes it’s finally time to bring back OOH advertising next year
After the delta variant brought more uncertainty to the pandemic, Fiverr is reconsidering its 2022 media mix.
The Rundown: How up-and-coming esports organizations are separating themselves from the pack
Marketers should look to partner with esports organizations competing in newer or smaller esports that boast loyal and growing communities.