Update: Story has been updated with a response from Patreon.
Patreon may have just put a massive target on its back with the news that it has reportedly laid off its entire security team.
Patreon is the funding platform that many content creators use to support themselves. The platform gives creators a way to build a community around the content they offer and gives fans the ability to become “patrons” of their favorite creators. Unfortunately, especially for a company that handles so much financial information, Patreon appears to have laid off its security team.
Emily Metcalfe, Patreon Senior Security Engineer, broke the news in a LinkedIn post:
So for better or worse, I and the rest of the Patreon Security Team are no longer with the company. As a result I’m looking for a new Security or Privacy Engineering role and would appreciate any connections, advice, or job opportunities from folks in my network.
Ellen Satterwhite, Patreon’s Interim Head of Communications & US Policy Lead, reached out to WPN to provide some clarity on the company’s decision and reassure users that it will remain a safe and secure platform:
As a global platform, we will always prioritize the security of our creators’ and customers’ data. As part of a strategic shift of a portion of our security program, we have parted ways with five employees. We also partner with a number of external organizations to continuously develop our security capabilities and conduct regular security assessments to ensure we meet or exceed the highest industry standards. The changes made this week will have no impact on our ability to continue providing a secure and safe platform for our creators and patrons.
Only time will tell if Patreon’s reliance on “external organizations” will be enough to maintain the security its users rely on. Even with its external partnerships, however, it’s hard to imagine a company of Patreon’s significance letting its own internal security team go.