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Cybersecurity in the Age of RegTech

Sean Duca, Vice President and Regional Chief Security Officer, Asia Pacific, Palo Alto Networks | Sept. 16, 2016
Since the financial crisis in 2008, the annual volume of regulatory publications, changes and announcements has increased a massive 492 percent, according to a Business Insider Intelligence Report.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Sean Duca, Vice President & Regional Chief Security Officer for Asia Pacific

Regulatory compliance is not only a complex process but can also be time and resourceintensive. In PwC's 2015 Insurance Banana Skins report, insurance practitioners worldwide named over-regulation as their top worry, citing concerns that the volume of regulation would swamp the industry with cost and compliance problems, and in the process, distract from the running of healthy businesses. According to a Business Insider Intelligence Report, the annual volume of regulatory publications, changes and announcements has increased a whopping 492 percent from the 2008 financial crisis through to 2015.

For overwhelmed business, Regulatory Technology (RegTech) companies are a welcome reprieve. A subset of FinTech, RegTech provides solutions to help businesses - including financial institutions - navigate the extensive regulatory landscape and automate mundane compliance tasks, reducing time, manpower and resources invested. 

In its Innovating with RegTech report, EY identified the following short-term benefits brought on by the new kid on the block: reducing cost of compliance, providing sustainable and scalable solutions which allow for flexibility and growth, advanced data analytics which help firms better identify risks and issues, and enabling controls and risk frameworks to be linked together seamlessly. In the long-term, RegTech will not only drive positive customer experiences through enhancing consumer confidence, but also provide greater confidence on corporate governance, and of course, enhance regulatory reporting. 

Already we see RegTech gaining prominence in the region, with the ABS-MAS RegTech Forum, the first RegTech-focused conference in Asia, taking place in November this year. PwC Singapore has also recently launched VentureHub, a one-stop-shop that caters to innovations in disruptive technologies, with RegTech being one of the key areas of focus.

The RegTech buzz is real and it is growing. But while everyone is excited about the advantages that come with RegTech solutions, there can also be potential pitfalls if businesses are not careful. As with all new technologies, RegTech too, has its share of cybersecurity implications. The ability to pull, consolidate, and manipulate existing systems and data, and produce and report regulatory data in a more cost-effective, flexible, and timely manner, makes the RegTech industry a highly attractive target for cybercriminals. 

Cybersecurity needs to be in tandem with RegTech processes 

Businesses should take advantage of RegTech's significant benefits but should also ensure that their security can protect valuable information. As the systems increase in speed and the nature of the data becomes more dynamic, businesses will need to visualise all this in real time. Differentiation will be driven by how much more effective an organisation is at managing the risks of a cyberattack. Security will need to be just as dynamic as the processes it is protecting. 


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