WWT Senior Global Security Director, Chris Konrad, Gives the Lowdown on His Time at Money20/20
What an honor. In the company of some of the biggest names in the payments, fintech and financial services industries, WWT's Chris Konrad was chosen to present at this year’s Money20/20 event in Las Vegas. Here is his take on this awesome experience.
October 2021. I was honored to be chosen to present at the Money20/20, the world’s leading platform where the entire global money ecosystem collides to disrupt the ways consumers and businesses manage, invest, protect spend, share and borrow money. Hosted in Las Vegas, with 7,500+ attendees and 2,300+ companies, this year’s show was an incredible turnout, delivering on its promise to deconstruct every aspect of the show, and break the boundaries of creativity to deliver a completely reimagined and immersive experience.
Some background for those who are not familiar, Money20/20 was founded by payments and fintech veterans from Google, TSYS and Citi as a unique way of fostering collaboration and innovation and helping individuals and organizations of all sizes achieve breakthroughs and growth. From their in-depth analytics and inspirational speakers to their world-class insight and networking opportunities, this event continues to help attendees stay ahead – powering strategies and relationships and switching mindsets.
Money20/20 certainly showcased the clearest and most distinctive focus on what’s next across the world of payments, fintech and financial services. What was fun for me, personally, was to see industry people I admire most, like, Daymond John, Founder/CEO of FUBU, Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and CEO of The Shark Tank Group. It was also a huge treat for me to see a childhood NBA hero of mine, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, now CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). Another incredibly awesome experience was attending the full-blown, pre-concert tailgate party and Journey concert. They brought the house down.
But most impressively, was witnessing the vast ecosystem of companies that attended Money20/20. In addition to the usual fintech and payment suspects, this year's event cast a much wider net, bringing together folks from blockchain, Bitcoin, fraud, privacy, cyber and more…
How interesting it was to see such a diverse set of companies in a collaborative setting LIVE in action. I spent 4 remarkable days partaking in meaningful cyber conversations, making new connections and discoveries that I will embrace to help WWT drive the future of money and cyber solutions.
One message from the panel that really resonated with me:
I completely agree with this because the next generation of infrastructure will need a much stronger core to support everything from RTP rails to digital currencies.
My presentation took place during, Theme 4: Strengthening the Tech Core, and was titled, “Cyber Resilience-Now is the Time.” I assured the audience that when it comes to cyber resiliency, there is no time to waste, and one good way to begin the journey is by first asking some key questions like, how are you innovating your tech stacks? and, which building blocks will strengthen your core?
At WWT, we have defined cyber resilience as the ability to anticipate, withstand, recover from and adapt to adverse conditions, stresses, attacks, or compromises on cyber resources. Most organizations think that what they have in place today is enough to guard against adverse cyber events. But upon assessment, time and again, we learn that they are nowhere near prepared. Having a cyber program, a business continuity plan, a backup strategy or a combination of all of these are all great defenses. But unfortunately, they are not enough.
Of course, during my presentation, I took several minutes to talk basic fundamentals for the newcomers in the audience (and plug the importance of the table top exercises and hygiene), but I also narrowed in on the elements every organization needs to abide by in order to thrive; they are:
Anticipate. Maintain a state of informed preparedness for adversity.
Withstand. Continue essential mission or business functions despite adversity.
Recover. Restore mission or business functions during and after adversity.
Adapt. Modify mission or business functions and/or supporting capabilities to predicted changes in the technical, operational, or threat environments.
As we wrapped up this year's event it was very evident that many of the attendees still had lingering questions about the maturity levels of their own cyber programs, wanting to truly understanding whether or not they are prepared for a major cyber attack. .
My hopes are that from my presentation they took away some important bits to get the wheels turning and are enticed to call on me at WWT to get a deeper understanding of ways we can help them optimize cyber resiliency now and well into the future.