Outlook 2019: Bart McDonough, Agio


Bart McDonough is founder and CEO of Agio.

Bart McDonough, Agio

How should the new year be known?

The new year will be known as “The Year of Financial Fraud.” Phishing and spear phishing, wire transfer fraud, and vendor payment fraud – all are on the rise as employees and vendors are successfully manipulated to provide bad actors access to capital and data.

Which hot topics should be left in 2018?

The hot topic that should be retired at the end of 2018 is the notion that technology alone is the solution to cybersecurity for financial services firms. To be sure, technology is essential. However, when employees are the source of almost half of data breaches (43%), and over 80% of breaches leverage either stolen and/or weak passwords, governance trumps technology. Ultimately, financial services firms must employ a great process and not just great technology.

What will be the skill sets most in demand in 2019?

The most in-demand skill sets for 2019 will be (a) hybrid cybersecurity and IT expertise and (b) proficiency in cyber compliance.

Over time, as cybersecurity has become an issue of increased concern, and academic cybersecurity and certification programs have become more popular, there’s been an inversion of the traditional background for cyber engineers.

In the past, we’d hire network and technology experts and train them on cyber protocols. Now, with the proliferation of cyber licenses and training, we’re encountering more cyber experts who lack foundational tech knowledge and experience.

In 2019, “The Year of Financial Fraud,” there will unquestionably be significant demand for hybrid cyber and tech experts to meet the rising industry demands.

Another challenge we’ve encountered is that chief compliance officers are taking on cyber-compliance and information security responsibilities as well, despite lacking critical insight into the ever-changing cyber compliance landscape. As it continues to change, I expect to see even greater demand for compliance professionals who are experts in cybersecurity as well.

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