Be brave, be simple, be proactive, together!
You might be familiar with one of the most successful animated series from the ’80s: ThunderCats. Their mission was to flee their home world to find the legendary mystic Sword of Omens that holds the Eye of Thundera, the source of their power.
We believe everyone has a superpower, so we’ve been inspired by the ThunderCats to create the Tandem-Cats, a blog series dedicated to telling the story behind each of our team members, shedding light on Tandem’s talents’ expertise.
Every week we get together at Marketing Press corner to interview one of our nominated team members, where we find out about their superpower and how they work their magic on a daily basis at Tandem HQ.
Meet the Head of Information Security: Inga Schorno
Marie: What led you to become the head of information security at Tandem Bank?
Inga: I think that's an excellent question. I do get that a lot. I did a Master's in psychology, and a lot of people ask how I went from that to information security. Well, it's just that different opportunities came up and I decided to pursue them further. I originally started with IT project management, and I quickly became involved with security domains. It inspired me because I found it clear and well-structured, which is very different from psychology, which is all about analysis and philosophy.
Marie: What are the main challenges and pain points you have to overcome daily at Tandem?
Inga: Getting people's time is always a challenge. There's a lot we can do from a governance perspective but also in daily practices to ensure that we have the best security strategy going forwards. It's crucial that we all understand what cybersecurity means and what we need to do to make sure we hit the right controls and exhibit the correct behaviour.
Marie: In your opinion, what would be the best practices to introduce a shared attitude towards cybersecurity within the company culture?
Inga: I think what works best is having ongoing interactions with the broader team. For example, while running company-wide security initiatives, we are explaining why we need to take some actions in a certain way. Engaging and educating is very important so that everyone will have a common understanding. I find that's actually the most effective way to start building a security culture.
Marie: Who is your tech hero?
Inga: I probably would have to say Darwin. I think the concept of building a secure architecture is just fascinating. I appreciate his strategic thinking and positioning on taking slow steps to a more strategic approach from a company's technological perspective, and it's quite inspiring.
Marie: I'd like to hear more about your work and what makes your expertise so unique:
Inga: Relatability, practical approach. That's something that always bugged me when I was working for other organisations and maybe why I pursued an opportunity to be heading this particular department for a challenger bank. I think the best approach is collaboration. It's about understanding that what we are doing is for the greater good. It's a company-wide objective. I admire clarity and simplicity, clear structures to guide people towards what is the right thing to do but also learning from mistakes.
Marie: What's the role information security plays at Tandem:
Inga: Financial institutions are a honey pot; they just draw bad attention. I think it's important to understand the risks and threats our company business model is potentially facing and come up with strategic solutions for it.
Marie: How do you see information security evolving in the next 5-10 years along with technological innovations?
Inga: Information security is evolving quite quickly from machine learning to algorithms and threat landscaping. We can now tailor the information security strategy to predict threatening behaviours. Therefore, we can learn more about that kind of behaviour to build our preventive and detective controls and identify where the potentially exploitable vulnerabilities are.
"It's about predictive prioritisation, understanding what could happen and trying to stop it before it happens".
Marie: How unique Tandem is?
Inga: We are in a position to use some of the best technology out there especially when it comes to our app authenticator (Duo Security) and how customers give consent to access their data. We work with the best in market and I think this is where our differential is: we are thinking about security straight upfront and being aware of the role information security plays to our users.
Marie: What’s your favourite Tandem product?
Inga: Autosavings. I love Autosavings. I was one of the first iOS testers and I absolutely love it. It’s so interesting, I’ve never used something like that before and it’s amazing because you save money without thinking about it.
Marie: How would you define the company culture?
Inga: I found Tandem to be extremely welcoming. It’s amazing how many different personalities we combine in one space, and you will find common ground and interesting conversations. Tandem is playing big role in terms of community building as well. We are joining a lot of mainstream events, building groups that share common interests, whether that is through yoga or after work drinks. I’ve never worked for an organisation like this and I am taking advantage of all that it has to offer including some of the volunteering possibilities. I enjoy the fact the company I work for also wants to play a bigger part in society.