Raul Arribas, new CTO of 11Onze
In a globalised world, where cybercrime and industrial espionage are a daily occurrence, organising a technological strategy that protects your company and your customers is more than just an important task: it is essential. That is why 11Onze has hired Raul Arribas as chief technology officer.
Arribas has a degree in computer engineering and has been advancing his career in the digital sector since he started as a programmer. Since then, he has led engineering, IT, and cybersecurity projects for leading platforms such as Amazon, Glovo, and Blueliv. At 11Onze, as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), he is in charge of setting the company’s guidelines and providing a vision. The most immediate challenge: the launch of the super app El Canut on 1 October.
- What does it mean to set the technological direction of a fintech like 11Onze?
The CTO has an executive position. On the one hand, he or she has to organise and shape the technical team. On the other, it involves making a series of choices, such as which programming languages we will use, which technology platforms will support us, and where our data will reside, among others.
- Why is technology so important when setting up a startup?
You have to understand that nowadays almost all modern companies are technological. So a community financial institution, is also technological, obviously. Technology has to be an integral part of the business, and at 11Onze it is a core part of the business. In fact, I would say that in a fincom it is even more important because you have to give absolute security to customers. Trust is at stake. When you have to execute complex digital transactions, cybersecurity has to be an almost obsessive concern, because malware is the order of the day. Cybercrime is a big money business and any company is vulnerable. That’s why every step you take technologically is extremely important, and you take it always thinking about security. This is what we do at 11Onze.
- 2021 has seen an all-time record number of cyber-attacks. Has the pandemic had anything to do with it?
Yes, I’m sure it has because the Covid-19 health crisis has disrupted the way the entire working environment works. We have had to adapt by force. The transition has been made from one day to the next. And many companies have had neither the mindset nor the knowledge to protect employees who are working remotely. At the end of the day, employees are connecting to company systems from internet accounts that may not be entirely secure and on networks they cannot trust. This has left these companies unprotected: you risk being infected by malware, having your systems blocked, having your private data stolen, having your credit cards forged… Technology companies like 11Onze are used to dealing with the risks of teleworking and cyber-sabotage, but traditional companies are not.
- So what are the risks for a fincom like 11Onze?
There are many competitors who are willing to obtain the confidential information you generate. And there are also many players in the cybercrime industry who want to get their hands on this information to sell it to the highest bidder. At 11Onze, not only do we make sure that this doesn’t happen, but the entire technological structure has been designed from the outset to be as secure as this. Customers can rest assured that no private information is leaked.
- So what is done to protect a company from the outset?
Without going into technical details, the two essential tasks to protect it are good encryption of information and good access control, both of stored data and of communications between the different services.
- How important is it to protect communications, even via email, which seems such a harmless tool?
Google Mail, for example, processes and stores the information you exchange. We have to trust that it stores everything in an anonymised form, but in the end, it does this to find out what is of interest to a specific segment of the population and then sells advertising. On the other hand, encrypted email addresses, such as those provided by a platform like Protonmail, for example, ensure that only you know what is going on inside your mailbox.
- In addition to account security, 11Onze will have a marketplace for its digital currency, Les Peles. How does a cryptocurrency gain value?
For the time being, at La Plaça, Les Peles are internal tokens, meaning that when they are activated they can only be exchanged within the network itself. Whether a cryptocurrency increases in value depends on many interrelated factors: how useful it is, how many people use it and for what purpose, the mining power of the network, the functionalities it offers…
- After the launch of El Canut, what is the big challenge for 11Onze in the short term?
In the mindset of innovation that 11Onze is in right now, the most important thing after the launch will be how to grow the super app, to see what functionalities we can add to offer customers better and better services.
Want an 11Onze account? Order batch in Get in line. With the code we’ll give you, you can open an account on October 1st.
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