With COVID-19 shaping the way we work and operate, we decided to sit down with TransferWise’s Chief Information Security Officer Shan Lee and Security Engineer Ando Roots, to understand the impacts they have seen since quarantine.

Tell us, what is TransferWise?

 TransferWise is a global technology company building the best ways to move money worldwide. We are one of Europe’s most valuable financial technology start-ups, with more than 7 million people and businesses using our services.

How has COVID-19 impacted you?

As an organization, one of the key benefits we offer is remote work. Our teams are not tied to their local office like a traditional company, and regularly work from home or other offices. So, from a technical security perspective, it’s basically made no difference to us operationally. But obviously, there are far wider challenges in terms of the impacts we have seen to both the crowd and to our workforce.

Crowd -The changes in the crowd are significant. With everyone spending more time at home, the community of ethical hackers now have even more time to invest in finding bugs and enhancing their skills. Now more than ever we have seen an increase in the volume and velocity of submissions than ever before.

Did you Know? Bugcrowd found that in the first month of shut down, there were more researchers and total submissions than ever before

            Workforce – With the young staff demographic that we have at TransferWise, social life is quite often very focused on business.  As a leader, a concern I have is on the mental health and morale of our people and talent. It is so important as leaders during this time to have a strong focus on ensuring our people are okay in the respect of feeling supported and well connected. We are fortunate in that we already had the technical, remote work environment figured out; because now we need to really focus on the well-being of those who make TransferWise such a strong organization.


What are some key takeaways you’ve learned so far?  

  1. Ensure you have a strong vulnerability management workflow – with the increased volume of submissions, ensuring you have a strong workflow that is efficient and repeatable is key.
  2. Focus on getting the smaller issues fixed quickly – Fixing the smaller issues quickly can help to eliminate a lot of noise during turbulent times.
  3. Focus on your People and Talent – We are all facing different challenges during this time, and as leaders it is imperative to support our people as much as we can. Ensuring our staff and employees are happy is a priority,


About the Authors:

Shan Lee is the Head of Information Security at TransferWise. As an established information security leader, he is passionate about promoting a “Security Culture” in what is a fast-moving and rapidly expanding environment. Check out his LinkedIn here.

Ando Roots is a Security Engineer at TransferWise. As a developer and a trainer, he works with engineers and the crowd on keeping TransferWise’s systems secure.

Interested in learning more about TransferWise’s story, click here.