Security

Mitch Zahler

2021-06-11

Security Starts At The Top: How The CISO Evolved The C-Suite

Even has recently completed its SOC 2 Type II certification. In light of this new benchmark, it’s important to understand our information security protocol as a whole — what the biggest risks are and how we protect against them.



Throughout my career in the field of information security, I’ve worked at companies both large and small. With that, I’ve encountered many different philosophies on handling security, as far as the resources put in place, the speed at which controls are implemented, and how risk is categorically assessed.

Coming from the world of big banks and into the fintech space in particular, I experienced a real cultural shift, as one would expect. While they may operate in different ways, the goal of security at all companies remains the same ― to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. And not just of our organizations, but our consumers as well. To do so, everyone needs to buy in, and that starts at the top. However, it wasn’t always seen that way.

I had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand how the CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) role came to be. It was back in the mid 1990s, when a big bank was hit by hackers. Customers began pulling their money out, because they didn’t trust that the bank could protect their assets. It wasn’t until an information security executive joined the bank and became the first-ever CISO that risk was properly assessed and mitigated. By elevating security to the C-suite, it finally had a seat at the table and was able to evolve from a responsive support function to a strategic imperative.

When I joined Even Financial, I found myself surrounded by a team of talented colleagues who were constantly collaborating with each other across departments. There was also a commitment to security, which is not always common at fintech startups where people with technical backgrounds can be found at every level.

At many fintechs, the goal is to get projects off the ground and solutions up and running as quickly as possible. Conversely, no matter how many innovative products we are working on at Even, integrating the highest standard of security controls behind them is always paramount.

One of our main areas of emphasis, by the very nature of what we do at Even, is protecting private data, whether it's for our partners or end users. To this end, we have recently achieved SOC 2 Type II compliance, certifying our ability to implement and execute security protocols at the highest industry standard. In addition to that, we are constantly working on new ways to protect our organization and every third party involved with our business.

Going forward, in light of how the pandemic changed the work model for Even and every company that was forced into remote settings, we know there is a lot of work to be done as far as securing our expanding perimeter. It’s no longer just the office, but anywhere in the world where remote employees are located, which in turn increases the attack surface. Along with an uptick in more sophisticated attacks, we have to be more vigilant than ever.

That’s where having a seat at the table becomes crucial. Through my role, and in collaboration with the rest of the executive team, we are committed to remediating risk wherever possible. For me, that means educating my colleagues about different security concerns and protocols, and doing so in a way that is as easy to understand and implement as possible.

Thankfully, with the team we have in place, my job is made all the more easy by people who willingly engage in these discussions, no matter if it’s an executive-level employee, member of the product team, or anyone else with an ear for knowledge. Security starts at the top at Even, but it doesn’t end there.
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HAVEN LIFE
Haven Life’s All-Digital Life Insurance Application Experience Launches on Even Financial’s Leading Life Insurance Search Engine
Even features the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace
New York, New York – August 16, 2021 – Even Financial (“Even”), the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, has announced the launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on its life insurance marketplace platform. Leveraging machine learning and advanced data science, Even solves a significant pain point in financial services customer acquisition by seamlessly bridging financial institutions and channel partners via its industry-leading API and embeddable solutions.   With the addition of Haven Term and Haven Simple, Even has further expanded its extensive network of premium life insurance offerings, strengthening its position as the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace. Haven Life, which offers Haven Term and Haven Simple, and is backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), is known for its customer-centric approach and for its commitment to making life insurance more affordable and accessible. Haven Life’s term life insurance offerings will be available on Even properties and via its wholly owned subsidiary LeapLife.   “In these uncertain times, the majority of U.S. adults want the financial security of high-quality life insurance, but are often dissuaded by the complex application process and need to complete an in-person medical exam,” said Phill Rosen, Founder and CEO of Even Financial. “Haven Life’s groundbreaking, all-digital application experience brings tremendous accessibility and peace-of-mind to consumers. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the Even platform.”   The launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on the Even platform enables consumers to get matched with medically underwritten term life insurance policies that they can apply for and, if approved, purchase instantly online. While most Haven Term applicants will need to take a medical exam, Haven Simple applicants do not. Haven Life’s offerings expand the variety of life insurance options already available to consumers through Even’s API.   “Haven Life is committed to meeting life insurance customers wherever they are — and often, it's where they are managing the rest of their financial life," said Wade Seward, Head of Distribution Strategy at Haven Life. "On the heels of introducing even more affordable pricing for the Haven Term product, our partnership with Even Financial allows us to marry that affordability with greater accessibility to offer comprehensive financial protection to shared clients with ease and efficiency.”    Even entered the life insurance industry in 2020 through its acquisition of LeapLife, a leading insurtech and licenced life insurance agency. Since that acquisition, Even has worked with its large network of channel partners to make the process of getting personalized life insurance fast, easy, and accessible for consumers. In addition to Haven Term and Haven Simple, products offered by leading insurance companies including Lincoln Financial Group, Pacific Life, and Mutual of Omaha are available through LeapLife, Even’s life insurance platform. Companies such as TransUnion and Lantern by SoFi rely on Even’s embedded finance marketplaces to power 100% digital personalized life insurance policy quotes for their customers, with live agent support.   Even has continued its rapid growth trajectory in 2021 by reaching over $3 billion in consumer credit issued through its API and expanding its platform to over 800 partners. Earlier this year, Even was named one of “America’s Best Startup Employers'' by Forbes for 2021 and placed in the Top 50 of the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, which recognizes the fastest growing tech companies in the world.   About Even Financial   Founded in 2014, Even Financial is a B2B fintech company that is transforming the way financial institutions find and connect with consumers. As the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, Even seamlessly bridges financial institutions (such as SoFi) and channel partners (such as TransUnion) via its simple yet robust API and embeddable solutions. Even turns any consumer touchpoint into a comprehensive financial services marketplace with full compliance and security at scale. The company is backed by leading financial services firms and VCs, including American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, Citi Ventures, Fidelity’s F-Prime Capital, Greatpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs, LendingClub, and MassMutual Ventures. Learn more at www.evenfinancial.com.   About Haven Life Insurance Agency   Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life) is re-thinking how people financially protect the ones they love. Haven Life is committed to delivering exceptional products, delightful purchasing experiences, and meaningful moments of service to the modern life insurance customer.

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC21 Haven Term in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company (C.M. Life), Enfield, CT 06082. In New York (DTC-NY), and California (DTC-CA), and other states, it is issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001.    Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Haven Term is available through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life), whose agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527. Both Haven Life and C.M. Life are wholly owned subsidiaries of MassMutual.   Please note that issuing the policy or paying its benefits depends on the applicant’s insurability, based on their answers to the health questions in the application, and their truthfulness.   MassMutual and its subsidiaries C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company are rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of June 1, 2021 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.   Media Contact media@evenfinancial.com    
YAHOO! FINANCE
Yahoo! Finance: Even Financial Reaches $3 Billion In Credit Issued Milestone
Even has surpassed a significant threshold in credit issued, having now facilitated over $3 billion in consumer credit as of July 2021. The milestone is significant in the financial services industry, as Even has also expanded its platform to over 800 partners.    Click below to read more at Yahoo! Finance.
PYMNTS
PYMNTS: Even Launches Embedded Finance App on Salesforce
Now, financial advisors and other businesses will have a way to leverage Even’s platform for their clients. ‘Financial Products for Salesforce’ - Powered by Even, a plug-and-play app available on the Salesforce AppExchange, matches consumers with real-time, personalized financial product offers.   Click below to read more at PYMNTS.com.