3 Questions With Aviram Jenik of Beyond Security

Aviram Jenik

FintekNews is pleased to offer our weekly feature column “3 Questions With”. Each week, we feature a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Aviram Jenik of Beyond Security, which develops tools that test networks, software and web applications for security weaknesses.  The firm is headquartered in Cupertino, California, and their customer base includes financial institutions, retail, hi-tech, ISPs, information security firms, cellular, telecom and e-commerce companies.

Aviram Jenik
Beyond Security

 What area/s of fintech do you believe will grow the most in the coming 5 years?

One obvious growth area is the alternative currency (“cyber-coins”). But a less obvious area that is about to become ubiquitous doesn’t have a name yet, so I will call it “alternative credit card” (for lack of a better term). Paypal is an early version of this service but it’s more accurate to look at Apple pay (and its competitors: google pay, Samsung pay, chase pay) and the various payment apps by all the banks, allowing you to transfer money to someone using only an email address.

The reason this is so notable is because in the not-so-distant-future you will be able to use any device (phone, watch, glasses) to pay at Starbucks and Safeway, to transfer your daughter her weekly allowance, or to split the bill with your date. For the financial institutions, this means checks, credit cards and debit cards all disappear. From a cyber security perspective, this means that hacking into any of these devices is equivalent to stealing your wallet!

This future is years, not decades, away

What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and what are the biggest problems facing the fintech industry in the future?

Completely branch-less banks, from non-financial institutes. In South Korea, the rival to brick-and-mortar banks is Kakao Bank (Kakao is the most popular messaging app) and in China credit cards are becoming obsolete as payment is done with we-chat pay (we-chat is… the most popular messaging app. Sounds familiar?).

In both cases, money transfers are done via the chat app, QR codes and other virtual means. No branches!

(With regard to the biggest problems the industry faces in the future), in the 20th century, size mattered. If I wanted to open my own national bank, I had to open thousands of branches to be considered a reasonable competitor. In the 21st century size is irrelevant; I can launch a virtual bank from my garage (literally) and get Millions of customers. How can Charles Schwab, Chase, or Bank of America compete with a couple guys in the garage?

What has been the biggest success in your firm to date?

Our success is measured by helping our customers find and mitigate their security vulnerabilities. Just recently,  prior to the  “WannaCry” ransomware attack, we sent an advanced notice to our customers, allowing them to patch their system thus protecting their businesses against such attacks and safeguarding vital data and resources.

Aviram Jenik is the co-founder and CEO of Beyond Security, a leading developer of automated security testing tools for networks and applications. He is also the co-founder of SecuriTeam.com, one of the largest security portals and vulnerability databases.