Meet Georgia Steele-Matthews: a cybersecurity expert with a proven track record of leading seed investment rounds, negotiating contracts with blue chip companies such as KPMG and Fujitsu, and international speaking on fintech.
Cybersecurity continues to be top of mind across the financial services landscape. Banks are evaluating options to enhance or replace the password model as they are aware this is an insufficient means to ensure secure logins. Humans struggle to remember passwords that must have one capital letter, one number, and a special character –which is where biometrics come into play. Biometrics are widely used across the sector as they are immutable and harder for hackers to access. However, even the current use cases for biometrics have their flaws as anything stored in a database can be found, and fingerprints and even faces are not infallible. For one thing, facial recognition has suffered from justified accusations of racism.
Georgia’s has deep experience looking at challenges with passwords and biometrics. Her experience as Chief Product Officer of PixelPin is a prime example. PixelPin is pioneering a new way of authentication by using pictures instead of passwords. With a founding team out of the defense industry and investment from SoftBank’s SBI AI & Blockchain Fund, PixelPin has identified a problem that is directly applicable in financial services. Banks, which are always the favorite target of hackers for obvious reasons, must remain on the cutting edge of cybersecurity in an attempt to stay a step ahead of bad actors. Bank customers, weary of remembering password after password, and reading about breaches of sensitive data despite their best efforts at password security, are also anxious to find a better way.
Tell us more about what you do and how you moved into your space.
The technology sector has always been an interest of mine as it is continuously driving change.
No matter the size of your enterprise, technology provides tangible benefits to help your business achieve their potential – be it by saving money or satisfying customer needs.
How has technology impacted your industry and why is this important?
Technology IS my industry. Technology affects everything we do. We specialize in Digital Transformation and strategy. We enable businesses to thrive. Technology enables people and businesses to thrive in this hyper connected world.
What do you believe is the most exciting tech trend for 2019 (as it relates to your industry)?
1. Expect the power of AI to continue to rise. AI helps businesses improve their customer experience and to streamline business ops.
2. 5G – Although this will surface in 2020 – enabling people to stream, surf and download faster than ever before.
3. Connected Vehicles / Smart Cities- Smart Cities will transform the way we travel each day. Utilizing the power of IoT – sensors will be used to collect data and then this data will be processed to optimize the efficiency of towns/cities and connect to people.
4. Analytics – Analytics are key in business today – not only can they measure growth and measurement of companies but they can also help you predict where the market will go to next. With machine learning, big data can be processed and analysed, making businesses the best they have ever been.
5. Biometrics – The rise of biometrics will continue to grow. Biometrics are now available on most devices. The question is – which will triumph ? Which will support the technology? Surely we will not enter 2020 with PINs and Passwords STILL as the de-facto back up to biometrics?
Who is a person that inspires you? Why?
A few people inspire me in the technology sphere. A few to name are Susan Wojcicki CEO of YouTube, Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook and of course Michael Dell of Dell Technologies.
But why are these people an inspiration to me?
1. Sheryl Sandburg – For her powerful advice to women aiming for the C-suite. She speaks up, is heard and is a strong and powerful women and leader. She was also elected as one of the board directors of Facebook! Here is some of her best advice:
- Sit at the table – don’t underestimate your abilities. Negotiate your salaries. Attribute your success to yourself.
- Keep your hand up – BE SEEN – don’t hide your opinions. Contribute.
- Women and men should have equal opportunities to raise children and be home-workers.
- Don’t leave before you leave – take the promotion, keep your foot on the gas pedal.
6. Anne and Susan Wojcicki – Susan is the CEO of YouTube since 2014 and was involved in the founding of Google, she also became one of the first marketing managers of Google in 1999. Anne Wojcicki is the founder of 23andMe, personal genomics company providing genetic testing. Her advances in healthcare are fantastic and she has provided direct to consumer genetic testing!
7. Michael Dell – from taking IBM computers apart in his dorm room and adding more memory into them to growing an international Fortune 500 (currently listed 35) company whilst still retaining his humble attitude and still being present within my place of work, he is an inspirational leader and creates a fantastic work culture.
What advice would you give for someone who wants to get into your space?
If you are interested in the future and connecting individuals together then technology sector really is the right place for you. It’s fast-paced, ever changing and affects everyone all over the world!
I will be a keynote speaker at FemTech Global / Access to Tokyo in November focusing on being a female leader and doing business in Japan. I will be speaking with Ghela Boskovich (FemTech Global Founder).