In this exclusive interview with Lavy Stokhamer, we explore the paradigm shifts reshaping cybersecurity in the banking industry and improving online safety education for young girls in Malaysia.
As the Managing Director of Global Cyber Security Operations and Technology at Standard Chartered Bank, Lavy opens up about his journey in cybersecurity, from leading national cyber initiatives in Israel, to steering an advanced cybersecurity team at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.
Don’t miss Lavy’s upcoming session at the Cyber Security World Asia on 12 October.
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You’ve had a storied career, spanning both public and private sectors in cybersecurity. What fuelled this journey?
My cybersecurity foundation was laid at the Israeli Security Agency, then my four-year stint as the head of the Israeli National Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) allowed me to catalyse national and global cybersecurity partnerships.
Both were invaluable experiences that drove me into the private sector, specifically banking, because I found passion in merging national cyber capabilities and industry needs. It steered me towards leading teams that propelled cybersecurity innovations.
Today, at Standard Chartered in Singapore, I lead one of the most elite cybersecurity teams. It is the environment of talent and skills, as well as the constantly evolving cybersecurity landscape, that keeps me fully engaged.
You’ve identified three paradigm shifts in banking cybersecurity. Can you elaborate on what this means?
The three paradigm shifts are:
- Fintech Revolution: The growing fintech landscape has pushed the industry to develop agile cyber security solutions
- Cloud Adoption: While cloud technology has been beneficial for most, it has also ushered in a new era of security responsibilities
- Artificial Intelligence Onslaught: The rise of AI is a double-edged sword, offering both powerful security solutions and new vulnerabilities
The exciting but unpredictable advancements in AI and quantum computing echo past tech revolutions. For us to navigate this progression, we need to be proactive with our strategies, devise new regulatory frameworks, and focus on skill development in cutting-edge technologies.
How does the concept of ‘fusion’ play into the future of cybersecurity?
Fusion is crucial for operations these days. It goes beyond traditional siloes to encourage holistic collaborations.
In banking, it allows for robust and adaptive security frameworks, and different sectors can converge to tackle complex cyberthreats as a group. Banks also benefit from a shared defense strategy and intelligence pooling.
Internally, fusion demands a re-architecture of organisational structures and data analytics to ensure an integrated risk landscape. The result is a resilient, nimble security posture ready to tackle the multifaceted risks that most modern banks face.
Your team’s work in Malaysia is focused on online safety education for young girls. Can you elaborate on its importance?
The initiative is in partnership with WOMEN:girls, a non-governmental organisation that aims to help women realise their potential as role models and to develop children to become agents of change.
Our local cybersecurity team members hosted a series of Cyber Safety sessions for over 70 girls in Malaysia. This is also part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered – Goal, a global initiative to tackle inequality and promote economic inclusion through sports and life-skills education to transform the lives of girls.
Ultimately, what we are doing is not just about fostering diversity, it is mainly about future-proofing our cyber environment. By educating girls about cyber safety at an early age, we are creating a ripple effect of cyber hygiene that will influence their families, friends, and wider communities.
It also contributes to a cultural shift towards valuing and prioritising online safety, which can ideally lead to impactful policy changes and societal norms that support cybersecurity.
What advice do you have for aspirants in banking cybersecurity?
It is important to have a balance of tech expertise with business acumen. In banking, cybersecurity isn’t just a problem for IT, it is very much an integral part of the business strategy.
If you can harness both perspectives, it will amplify your impact in this industry. With a comprehensive approach and great teamwork, you can transform potential vulnerabilities into unmatched, innovative security that is hard to rival. To me, the future of banking cybersecurity is as challenging as it is promising.