How FinTech Startups Tackle Cyber Threats With Agile Development

Privacy is not an afterthought with the “Privacy by Design” mindset, and FinTech startups may take a similar approach with data security. In that sense, they may incorporate data security every time they make an enhancement or a release. “It’s really built in by design,” DadeSystems CIO Mike Capote told in an interview.

When FinTech startups take a security “by design” approach, they take security into consideration when making updates. And they seek to ensure that they are not sacrificing security when they make software implementations. That is important because, in the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape, new challenges arrive daily.

“It seems like every day there’s a new exploit,” said Capote, who recently joined the firm as CIO after the company hired his former firm ProPrivatus to help with IT security and compliance. But there is an opportunity for FinTech startups when it comes to adapting to changing cyber threat landscape: They don’t have 20 years’ worth of code that they need to retrofit. Instead, startups are able to meet to this challenge as they go along – without having to address them with technology that is two decades old.

While development and response times tend to be long with the waterfall approach to releasing new or updating existing software, some FinTech startups are turning to agile development. In the latter case, Capote said that development is done in “quick spurts” that are also called sprints. That is, a FinTech startup may focus on only 10 items for its next release through the development process. And then the FinTech’s team works on getting those items right instead of trying to conquer the world before moving onto the next 10 items. But how does a FinTech startup decide what to focus on for updates and enhancements?

Those items may be developed by looking a customer requests for new functionality as well as the company’s own product roadmap. Either way, FinTech startups are able to make those developments into workable bites through agile development – and mature through subsequent releases as well. And, when it comes to FinTech, startups have to be mindful of a complaint-driven environment as the space is, of course, highly regulated.


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