International Cybersecurity Congress 2018: calling time on secretive banks
From 5-6 July 2018, Moscow welcomed cybersecurity professionals from all over the world in the first International Cybersecurity Congress (ICC), Sberbank’s conference with aims to become a global reference in the area.
With this conference, Sberbank is taking the first steps to get rid of an image of a closed Soviet and secretive bank. While the history is there, the bank wants to be transparent, open, and modern. And collaborations and events like these are the way to go.
In a conversation with Stanislav Kuznetsov, deputy chairman of the executive board of Sberbank, he told FinTech Futures: “People have realised our keenness for collaboration and have been very happy to open that door. This has allowed us to establish very good relationships with major vendors throughout all areas, and thus pick our tech very carefully.”
Its own core banking supplier, Sbertekh
However, Sberbank’s core banking systems are built in-house, and by a subsidiary of the bank that only provides the system to the bank itself, Sbertekh. Kuznetsov explained that for now, the bank decided that it would not diverge any resources in allowing third-parties to access this technology, but that it was a possibility that this may happen at some point in the future.
This company has been driving a lot of the transformation that has taken place throughout Sberbank. The app is a major highlight, present in most Russians’ smartphones, which incorporates financial management, including tax returns, a “marketplace” approach to other services etc.
In fact, this “ecosystem” or “marketplace” idea is something the bank plans on developing in the future, incorporating retail, insurance or security services that can be supplied remotely.
With 70% of retail banking, Sberbank’s tech transformation doesn’t just change a few transactions here and there. It has the potential of changing the face of Russia and the Russian lifestyle throughout the country.
Kuznetsov knows what the future for Sberbank and Russia will be: a reduction in the number of branches is bound to happen, with a very different design. Branches will focus on face-to-face meetings, consultations for more complex cases, as the business moves towards mobile.
While in ten years he believes we will see face and voice recognition incorporated in payments, branches will still be present in many parts of Russia. In more remote areas, where perhaps mobile tech will not catch on as quickly, Sberbank still has a social responsibility to provide services.
Cybersec experts, BI.ZONE
BI.ZONE is a total subsidiary of Sberbank, but the parent bank only represents about 20% of its books. BI.ZONE specialises in cybersecurity, with some notable project besides the work at Sberbank.
For example, BI:ZONE plays a key role in the cybersecurity task force set up within the World Economic Forum (WEF), as well as collaborating with the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), in Singapore.
A big part of the work that BI.ZONE does involves the exchange of intelligence about threats. The firm has linked up with the Association of Russian Banks and other law enforcement organisations to make cybersecurity centres and activities more productive.
Dmitry Samartsev, CEO of BI.ZONE, told FinTech Futures that it has the largest amount of intel on Russian-speaking cybercrime, and that BI.ZONE, as a representative for Russia and Sberbank, set out to form relationships with institutions and regulators around the world to fight cybercrime.
Samarstev explained that criminals operate internationally, with the different steps of the process running in different parts of the world. Russian-speaking cybercrime being the largest in the world, BI.ZONE is a testimony of an emphasis in building bridges across geographies.
Our second report on the conference looked at the spirit of collaboration.
The first report looked at how DDoS is the business of petty criminals.
Want to know more about Sberbank and its tech? Read our in-depth case study here.