All posts by Business Review Webinars

Global Counterfeiting: Alive and Kicking

Last year’s Global Brand Counterfeiting Report estimated that the counterfeiting industry worldwide will reach $1.82 trillion by 2020. This study also concludes online counterfeiting sales have robbed legitimate industries of $323 billion in 2017 alone.

“The report explicates that the problem of counterfeiting is long-standing and is growing more and more in scope and magnitude. The government and business organizations are concerned because of the adverse impact of such illicit activities. Counterfeiting also poses threats to the welfare of consumers, along with that it also disrupts the whole society on various levels and harms the reputation of the businesses.“

What industries and geographies are most susceptible? If you have a successfully designed, manufactured and globally (or even regionally) distributed product, someone will look to take advantage and counterfeit your product. Pharmaceuticals, toys, cosmetics, beverages, replacement parts, electronics and every other major manufacturing category are affected. And the consequences to the revenue, reputation and the safety of the consumers duped into buying fakes are exponential and heavily documented.

To help fight this, several studies show that brands are investing over $100 billion annually on anti-counterfeiting technology that gets added to packaging. But all of this spend on measures like holograms, special inks and other additive items is just not stopping the global wave of product counterfeiting. The reason is simply because counterfeiters are getting faster and smarter and the technology that most brands use has yet to evolve and outpace these bad actors.

This is precisely why Systech invented and introduced its digital e-Fingerprinting and authentication solution. Despite the numerous measures brands are putting in place to thwart counterfeiting, it continues and is a growing threat. Most compelling to me is the solution’s non-additive, covert nature—deriving a product’s unique identifier—its e-Fingerprint®—from the existing package itself.

Counterfeit organizations could never replicate this measure, thus making it a trusted solution to protect brands from the safety and bottom-line pitfalls of being counterfeited. The e-Fingerprint is based on an existing barcode on packaging and stored in a bank-safe secure cloud environment. This makes it completely immune to counterfeiting.

Smartphone-enabled field authentication by inspectors and even consumers on products protected with the digital e-Fingerprint will immediately detect counterfeit products. This can lead to much quicker investigation turnaround to discover and stop the parties responsible. Not to mention the consumer safety benefit of discovering counterfeit products sooner rather than later.

Are you ready to take your brand protection strategy to the next level to totally outsmart counterfeiters by using nothing but your existing packaging label?

Written by Steve Tallant

Tune into our webinar on April 17th to learn how you can keep your products authentic, safe and connected. You can change everything… without changing anything.

Register Here!

Dave Dejean – SVP Strategic Initiatives, Systech

A conversation with Dave Dejean, SVP Strategic Initiatives, Systech

 David DeJean is responsible for Systech’s strategic initiatives, which support and educate customers with proven offerings and best practices for implementing Enterprise Serialization, Track & Trace and Authentication solutions. DeJean brings a wealth of market knowledge, hands-on experience in solution design and development, and project methodology. His role includes staying abreast of international regulations, business and industry drivers, defining high performance project outcomes, and delivering cost-effective solutions that are integrated and expandable to meet future needs as market dynamics fluctuate.

BRW: Key strategies brands should keep in mind for protecting their products from counterfeiting and diversion across the supply chain:

Always stay focused on protecting your genuine products as they travel across the supply chain. Counterfeiting is now the largest criminal enterprise in the world and no product is immune to the ravages it can cause. Product diversion is also a major problem for many manufacturers and can eat away at brand and revenue protection.

There are many different types of product authentication solutions in the market. Many are “additive” labelling solutions such as taggants, holograms, special inks, and more, in addition to a label’s barcode or data matrix. Some help, some are flawed. There’s more that can be leveraged with an existing product’s packaging. Innovative technology is already being used by major global brands across industry to better track products in the supply chain and secure product safety.

BRW: Why is supply chain innovation so important for brands to stay focused on? 

Because you cannot fight new battles with old weapons, brands must continue to innovate. Product safety is key. Protecting the supply chain from counterfeiters has been on the regulatory agenda for a long time because counterfeiters are getting smarter and can replicate almost anything.

For example, the pharmaceutical industry has witnessed the implementation of compliance regulations to help combat the threat of falsified medicines and protect patient safety. But compliance does not equal brand protection or anti-counterfeiting. The problem is only getting worse on a global scale and is impacting many other industries including wine and spirits and cosmetics.

BRW: What do you foresee as being the biggest game changer in supply chain technology in the next few years?

New, all-digital approaches that connect physical product to digital records is a trusted solution that enables cross-supply chain mobility using technology such as Systech’s e-Fingerprint®. This also means that emerging technologies like blockchain can be employed, which combine digital identity with authenticated and trusted physical product identity offering complete visibility and more robust information and data capture, which can be used for competitive advantage.

BRW: Who is Systech?

Systech is revolutionizing brand protection. For over 30 years, global brands have relied on its advanced software to combat counterfeiting, prevent product diversion and meet regulatory compliance. Innovation is deeply ingrained in Systech’s DNA—from its start-up roots in advanced machine vision to pioneering pharmaceutical serialization and transforming traceability and non-additive authentication. Systech’s software solutions keep products authentic, safe and connected across the supply chain—from manufacturing to the consumer’s hands.

Join Dave DeJean on a webinar entitled ‘Secure Your Supply Chain with Authentic, Safe and Connected Products‘ by Systech on 17th April at 3PM London/10AM New York.

Register Here!

Spotlight Interview with Josh Lewis, Solution Consultant at Blackline

A Conversation with Josh Lewis, Solution Consultant at Blackline

Josh Lewis, Blackline Solutions Consultant is a former Continuous Improvement Manager for a Finance SSC with 500 staff, former EMEA Corporate Tax Manager for a global energy business & former Audit and Tax experience with KPMG and other firms.  He is a qualified Accountant (CPA United States) and a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt.

 

 

Join Josh Lewis on the webinar entitled ‘How to Digitize your Financial Accounting Processes to Reduce Risk & Dramatically Increase Efficiency’ by Blackline on 3PM London/10AM New York

Register Here!

BRW: What do you hope the audience will learn from this webinar? 

The audience will gain a clear understanding of what  “better controls, automation, visibility and reporting” across the close processes delivers to them personally as an Accountant or Finance Manager and how this allows them to be better business partners.

BRW: What discussions do you look forward to having with the audience?

I’d expect to be answering audience questions such as:

  • How do we connect to your data?
  • How do we automatically certify reconciliations?
  • Where do we sit in the financial close process?

BRW: What do you enjoy most about your role? 

Challenging belief systems and inspiring change.

BRW: How did you get into the industry?

Having worked with BlackLine software at a client I was offered a job to join BlackLine and be an advocate for the use of Cloud Technology to improve close processes.

BRW: Where is your favourite place in the world and why? 

Top of any mountain because it takes both courage and grit to get there.  And very occasionally, a warm, flat and dry place to have a quick rest.

 

 

Why Accountants Want To Keep Using Excel Forever

As human beings, we’re hardwired to not like change. For accountants, this is elevated because of what change means for Accounting.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not necessarily because old habits die hard—but rather, because we associate change in any process, system, and control with increased risk. This explains why, as accountants, we still rely on hundreds of spreadsheets to manage the month-end close.

Even if the close still takes us an agonizing 10+ days, even if we shudder every time we remember that we have to manually aggregate hundreds of files at the end of the quarter, we still love Excel—because it’s safe. In business, just keeping up, let alone staying competitive, now requires being flexible, creating new ideas, adopting and adapting to new technology.

For accountants, it’s no different. We know Excel, we understand it, and we’re really good at using it. But it’s holding us back in a multitude of ways: from improving efficiency, from increasing accuracy, and from contributing our best talents to the success of our company. All those hours and days we spend manually entering data, double-checking that data, and emailing, saving, and filing spreadsheets is simply lost timeWe’re so busy doing rote work that we can’t do our real work: providing crucial insight, strategy, and analysis.

To that end, changing the way we close every month requires changing our habits. The first step? Start slowly and simply be open to Excel alternatives. Then begin to research how one of these alternatives might help you improve the accuracy, visibility, and efficiency of your close.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

Register to our Webinar to find out more and how your advisors can be supported through our solution to grow their business, both from existing or new clients.

Author: 

Join Blackline on a webinar entitled ‘How to Digitize your Financial Accounting Processes to Reduce Risk & Dramatically Increase Efficiency‘ by 3rd-eyes on 11th April at 3PM London/10AM New York.

Register Here!

Spotlight Interview with Miki Goetsch, Director of Regional Expansion at Inceptua

A conversation with Miki Goetsch, Director of Regional Expansion at Inceptua

Miki Goetsch is a Director at Inceptua Group, responsible for rapidly growing regions, such as Asia’s developing clinical trial market. Miki is also a board member for Inceptua’s Japan office in Kobe.

Miki has extensive experience working with Japanese, American, and European companies, particularly with consulting on how to benefit most efficiently from the opportunities of collaboration between East and West. During her time at Inceptua, Miki has been responsible for ensuring the success and setup of the Japan, China, and UK offices, as well as leading the Operations team in the Clinical Trial Services department. Her main focus is to strategically implement what is best for clients in terms of their needs from EU/US to Asia. Miki is fluent in Japanese and English.

Miki is reachable for questions and consultation on China and broader Asia expansion at miki.goetsch@inceptua.com

BRW: What do you hope the audience will learn from this webinar?

China has become the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market, which comes with enormous opportunities, but the landscape is complex. Our webinar will help the audience understand the challenges they may face when undertaking a clinical trial project in China. We will discuss how finding a reliable partner who can provide strategic consulting, support with sourcing, and ensure high-quality standards and service in the region is key to making the most out of the opportunities in China.

BRW: What discussions do you look forward to having with the audience?

Companies hoping to launch clinical trial projects in China are often daunted by risks to supply chain integrity, and the inevitable challenge of cost control in an unknown market. We look forward to addressing any specific queries audience members may have on these issues and exploring some of the solutions Inceptua can offer.

BRW: What do you enjoy most about your role?

I greatly enjoy working with our specialized team in China to explore new business opportunities. My colleague and co-host, Viktor Sandstedt, has in-depth knowledge of the local market and knows how to support domestic and international clients in finding the best solutions for operating in China. In addition, our COO, Kay-Christian Karstadt, is an expert in the Asian Pharmaceutical industry, specialising in the optimization of global clinical supply chains.

I am a Japanese native speaker, but the rest of our team in China is fluent in Mandarin, including Viktor and Kay. I really enjoy working as part of an international team who are engaged with the local culture in China and can help guide our clients through cultural and communication challenges of operating there.

BRW: How did you get into the industry?

I joined Inceptua four years ago. I’ve always had strategic roles in aligning the needs and priorities of East and West, usually between Japan and the US or EU. Since joining Inceptua, I’ve been involved in setting up the Japan, China, and UK branches and have held global roles in Administration and Operations. As we are adapting to current market trends, we now have a specialized team that can support clients wishing to expand their activity in Asia. Inceptua has a long history of doing business in China, and we have an office in Shanghai. I love that Inceptua is really answering to our clients’ needs and proving to be a flexible, strategic, and successful partner in the growing Chinese market.

BRW: Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Tough question – I must say that there is a special place in my heart for Japan and Texas as both are my home, but I’ve always loved travelling and encountering new countries and cultures. I’ve had the great pleasure to have been to more than 50 countries and can confidently say that there is a uniqueness in nature, culture, architecture, cuisine, and people everywhere, in which that uniqueness connects us all. If I have to choose right now, I think I live in my favourite place in the world which is Berlin, Germany. I view it as a microcosm of the world, with many unique people and cultures colliding, coexisting, and collaborating, and it’s a great feeling living in a city where uniqueness is valued.

Join Miki Goetsch on the webinar entitled ‘Navigating Sourcing in China’ by Inceptua on 3PM London/10AM New York

Register Here!

Spotlight Interview with Chris Williams, Lead Solution Architect at IBM

A conversation with Chris Williams, Lead Solution Architect at IBM

Chris Williams is a Lead Solution Architect in IBM’s Data Science & AI team and was previously the Chief Architect for IBM Watson in Europe. He works with IBM’s clients and partners across all industries. Chris specialises in using AI and data to add real value to businesses. He was part of Watson from its commercial launch in 2014. Prior to this Chris worked in big data, analytics and data warehousing for 20 years delivering large scale analytics projects in retail, telecommunications and government. Chris is a Fellow of the British Computer Society.

 

BRW: What do you hope attendees will gain at your event/s?

I hope that people will be inspired to get excited about the possibilities that AI offers to make our lives better. I also hope that they will see AI as something that is real today and can be implemented in businesses right now. I also hope that they will leave with an understanding of the challenges around things like trust and transparency and how we are helping to address these issues.

BRW: What discussions do you look forward to having with the attendees?

I enjoy being challenged on some of the practicalities of implementing AI solutions and then sharing my own experiences of tackling these challenges over the past 5 years.

BRW: What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love working with such a variety of clients across different industries and improving how they operate. In AI there are new ideas and possibilities every day.

BRW: How did you get into the industry?

I spent many years working with data and analytics. When I was offered the opportunity to work with IBM Watson I jumped at it. I could really see the potential that Cognitive Systems and AI had to take analysis and decision making to the next level.

BRW: Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

I love London, especially watching West Ham play at the London stadium, but probably my favourite place is Coronado near San Diego. I really love the beach, the weather and the vibe there.

Join Chris Williams on a webinar entitled ‘Scaling AI across the Enterprise’ by IBM on 2PM London/10AM New York

Register Here!

How goal-based advice combined with a realistic risk framework helps wealth managers grow their business and reduce risks

We believe that goal-based advice is superior to any other form of investment advice as clients always have financial goals. All clients have at least one goal in mind when they invest, even if they only want to increase their wealth or minimise losses. This type of investment advice requires a realistic risk framework which enables accurate wealth projections and a superior user experience.

Todays’ advisory processes rely mostly on outdated, single-period risk frameworks: take the example of Markowitz, a methodology from mid-last century and yet widely used in investment management.

The basic assumption of this methodology is that returns are normally distributed and that the expected returns do not change over time. Most wealth managers still use conventional single-period risk frameworks like Markowitz although it has been proven empirically that returns are not normally distributed: one proof is that capital markets have had higher losses than gains in the past. Negative returns have been observed both in greater magnitude and with a higher probability compared to the ones implied by normally distributed returns (so-called ‘Fat’ Tails).

This mismatch results in a significant liability risk of the wealth manager: all investment portfolios derived from conventional risk frameworks consequently carry a higher downside risk than projected.

Additionally, conventional risk frameworks do not include the clients’ financial goals, savings or liabilities which are all needed for professional financial and wealth planning. Hence, a sound wealth development cannot be forecasted considering the clients’ financial goals. Further, key wealth parameters like inflation cannot be integrated into the wealth forecast, aggravating the above outlined liability risk of the wealth manager.

To overcome this, wealth managers need a risk framework which is realistic and generates investment recommendations that best fit to the individual situation of the client. Therefore, a multi-period stochastic optimisation risk framework should be used: it simulates wealth development based on the clients’ financial goals accurately and mitigates the liability risk for the wealth manager.

With a multi-period risk framework, a goal-based advisory solution can also be significantly improved: the ideal goal-based advisory solution is responsive (reacting to changes instantly), holistic, individual, and includes the wealth manager’s specific market view. Some of that functionality is enabled by the multi-period risk framework:

Register to our Webinar to find out more and how your advisors can be supported through our solution to grow their business, both from existing or new clients.

Author:

Marc Mettler, Head of Business Development, 3rd-eyes AG

Email: marc.mettler@3rd-eyes.com

LinkedIn: https://ch.linkedin.com/company/3rd-eyes

Web: www.3rd-eyes.com

Join Marc Mettler on a webinar entitled ‘How Digital Wealth Planning can Help Your Financial Institution Grow AuM and Revenue‘ by 3rd-eyes on 7th March at 3PM London/10AM New York.

Register Here!

Spotlight Interview with Marc Mettler, Head Business Development, 3rd-eyes

A conversation with Marc Mettler, Head Business Development at 3rd-eyes

Marc Mettler – Head Business Development, 3rd-eyes

Marc is an Executive with 18 years of transformation experience in the Wealth Management industry with a focus on Advisory Processes, Strategic Pricing and Offering Management, Business & Operating Model Design. As a result of the programmes and projects he led across the globe, he understands the challenges of the wealth management industry in detail.

He joined 3rd-eyes beginning of 2018 as Managing Partner, being responsible for Strategic Business Development, Sales and Marketing.

 

BRW: What do you hope the audience will learn from this webinar?

All wealth managers are eager to grow but few take advantage of novel solutions which facilitate this. We will demonstrate how clients can be motivated to disclose their entire wealth information during a meeting, supporting cross-selling and increasing the share of wallet.
Further, we will show that standardisation as efficiency measure of the past is no longer justified: today, solutions are available which can cope with individual situations in a fully automated way. So, standardisation is no longer the pre-requisite for cost savings.
Last, we will show how personal beliefs of clients can be leveraged to motivate them to invest into actively managed products instead of ETFs.

BRW: What discussions do you look forward to having with the audience?

The most important thing for me is interaction during the session. So please feel free to ask any question you may have.

BRW: What do you enjoy most about your role?

Learning remains key: My role comes with a completely new challenge content- and environment-wise: Before I joined 3rd-eyes, I was initiating and executing programmes in a corporate environment. Now, I am responsible for Business Development, Sales and Marketing, not being a specialist in all those roles, and this in an entrepreneurial environment.
I can leverage my strengths: 18 years of transformation experience in Wealth Management supports me perfectly to advise prospects and clients going through the transformation.

BRW: How did you get into the industry?

Wealth Management has been my focus for a long time: my plan has always been to move into a bank after a couple of years as management consultant. After some stops at Credit Suisse, UBS, and after nine exciting years at Julius Bär in various global roles, I decided beginning 2017 to pursue a new challenge in a more entrepreneurial role. I remained with Julius Bär until end of the year to finalise the programme I led at the time, and got in touch with 3rd-eyes during my termination period. This was the perfect match for me: a professional FinTech with a senior management team, driving innovation in Wealth Management. So, I joined 3rd-eyes first as BoD member and later in my operational role.

BRW: Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

I was lucky to have seen many places around the world which I really liked a lot. But living with my family in Switzerland is really perfect.

Join Marc Mettler on a webinar entitled ‘How Digital Wealth Planning can Help Your Financial Institution Grow AuM and Revenue‘ by 3rd-eyes on 7th March at 3PM London/10AM New York.

Register Here!

The Business of Cyber-Crime – How Financial Firms Can Keep Pace in the AI Arms Race

Again and again, Hollywood has painted an identical picture of the garden-variety hacker: a twentysomething lone wolf, wearing a dark hoodie, sitting in his mother’s basement, perhaps trying to break into a celebrity’s Twitter account. The unfortunate reality, however, is that today’s hackers are far more organized and far less benign than this TV image suggests. Much like a lawful business, modern cyber-criminals treat their work as a profession, their budgets are well-defined, and most are in it for the money. It is therefore little surprise that the financial services industry — which manages trillions of dollars across complex digital infrastructures — has long represented the holy grail for these sophisticated criminals.

Breaking the Bank

Of course, big banks and leading insurers have come to understand the severity of the threats they face online. In 2018, for the second consecutive year, the financial services industry suffered the highest volume of cyber security incidents among all economic sectors, with European banks in particular facing an average of 85 serious attempted breaches. But while many financial companies have responded by investing heavily in conventional cyber defenses, criminals are constantly generating never-before-seen attacks designed to bypass these traditional security tools, which rely on rules and signatures capable of spotting just previously known threats. The resulting cat-and-mouse game — wherein such tools are updated to detect the latest exploit, only to be compromised again by the next attack — has proven disastrous. Cyber-crime cost the financial industry $18 million per firm in 2017, while producing losses of $600 billion for the world overall.

To make matters worse, experts anticipate that AI-charged malware will soon be witnessed in the wild, a development which promises to transform this already damaging cat-and-mouse game into a full-blown AI arms race. By viewing cyber-crime as the quasi-business that it is today, the rationale for incorporating ‘narrow’ AI elements into cyber-attacks becomes eminently clear. As with legitimate corporations across all industries, such AI could allow online threat actors to automate tasks, reach more prospective targets, and improve their criminal ‘conversation rates,’ with the ultimate effect of saving time and increasing profits. And most menacingly, this kind of ‘smart’ malware will make quick work of the weak link in any company’s cyber defenses — its employees. With that in mind, here’s what an AI-powered cyber-attack on a major bank could look like:

Accessing the Virtual Vault

The devastating AI attack begins, innocently enough, with a single email. However, as a stealthier variant of the familiar phishing email, this ‘spear phishing’ email has been crafted specifically to deceive a top executive at one of the largest banks on Wall Street. Often generated using reconnaissance from social media, spear phishing campaigns are labor-intensive and costly — 20 times more expensive, in fact, than an ordinary phishing campaign. Yet thanks to their personalized nature, spear phishing is remarkably effective, producing 40 times the return of their boilerplate counterparts. And this particular email, ostensibly written by the company’s CMO regarding the launch of the bank’s newest ad, was actually authored by an AI toolkit that had learned to mimic the CMO’s writing style by observing her tweets. Indeed, a 2016 experiment proved that AI could already create these emails just as effectively as humans but eight times faster, a capability which is rapidly improving.

Having been successfully duped by the email, the unsuspecting executive downloads its attachment and infects his computer with a never-before-seen strain of malware, whose novelty enables it to bypass the bank’s impressive array of signature-based security tools. The AI-equipped malware bides its time, sitting passively on the computer for several days to gain an understanding of the executive’s typical online behavior. It then searches for vulnerabilities in the bank’s network by scanning only those devices with which the executive normally communicates, thus lowering the chance of the scan being flagged. Throughout this process, the malware leverages contextualization to blend into the computer’s baseline operations, adapting its behavior on the fly to avoid setting off any alarms.

After finding the most vulnerable attack vector, the malware proceeds to infiltrate the bank’s private network using its own ‘agency,’ rather than ‘phoning home’ to the criminals for new instructions. And once inside the network, it proceeds to syphon off electronic funds to an offshore bank account. These transfers occur over the course of several weeks in relatively small quantities each time, with the malware having learned to emulate the timing and size of the fees that the bank already pays to its third-party consultants and corporate partners. At every turn, AI facilitates the criminals in preserving their anonymity, in increasing the attack’s subtlety, and ultimately, in committing a highly lucrative crime.

Winning the Arms Race

Advancements in artificial intelligence have spawned formerly unimaginable innovations across the globe, and from chess to multiplication to reading comprehension, machines are increasingly able to exceed the limitations of their human engineers. Yet the double-edged sword of technological progress means that malicious actors have begun to exploit this ability: employing machine learning algorithms to wage both physical and cyber warfare unlike anything ever witnessed. To address such challenges, the only path forward is with AI itself.

Unlike human professionals, artificially intelligent cyber defenses can spot the minute differences between genuine employee behavior and nefarious AI mimicry at each stage of the cyber-attack lifecycle, from the initial spear phishing email to the concluding exfiltration attempt. Moreover, these AI security tools need not rely on rules and signatures to predefine tomorrow’s cyber-attack based on yesterday’s threats, allowing them to detect previously unknown exploits that traditional tools miss. As the business of cyber-crime pushes the envelope with more and more sophisticated attacks, it is incumbent upon the financial sector to respond by staying one step ahead in the AI arms race.

Learn how to defend your network in our upcoming webinar:
The Future of AI-Powered Cyber Defense for Financial Institutions

In the webinar, security industry expert Max Heinemeyer will analyze the most sophisticated cyber-threats of 2018, including insider attacks and fast-acting ransomware. The webinar will also outline expectations for 2019’s threat landscape, specifically as it pertains to the financial services sector, and detail how cyber AI tools have finally returned the defensive advantage to organizations around the globe.

Webinar Details:

Date: Thursday, January 17.

Time: 10:00 a.m. EST (New York) / 3 p.m. GMT (London)

Register Here

How AI Cyber Defenses are Fighting The Next Generation of Bank Robbers

Perhaps the most quintessential crime of them all, in-person bank robberies have become all but a thing of the past. At the same time, cyber-crime cost the average financial services company more than $18 million last year, meaning that this year, the greatest threats to the industry will undoubtedly be found online.

An Evolving Adversary

According to the FBI, the number of annual U.S. bank heists has fallen 60% over the past quarter century, despite significant population growth. The amount of money stolen in these heists, meanwhile, has declined by almost two-thirds since just 2003, even as financial institutions’ assets doubled during that span. Indeed, the typical bank robbery now nets a mere $6,500 for its perpetrators, who are subsequently apprehended at a historically unprecedented rate. The truth is that risking decades of imprisonment for a couple months’ rent simply isn’t worth it.

Smart criminals know these facts and are staying home, with many earning higher incomes than ever before by stealing encryption keys rather than physical ones. In 2018, for the second consecutive year, financial services firms suffered the highest volume of cyber security incidents among all economic sectors, with European banks facing an average of 85 serious breach attempts in just the last 12 months. And while banks and insurers have responded by investing in high maturity security systems, these systems are largely predicated on the traditional approach to cyber defense, which has been antiquated by fundamental shifts in the nature of the cyber-attack.

One such shift is the rise of insider threats, which now account for 74% of all business cyber security incidents. Malicious employees have the advantage of familiarity with the networks and information they manipulate, while their credentials allow them to exfiltrate the most lucrative data without raising red flags. Another critical development in the cyber threat landscape has been the dramatic increase in the speed of cyber-attacks: modern strains of ransomware, for instance, can encrypt an entire network in less than a minute. The reality is that human incident responders cannot counter such fast-acting threats on their own; in fact, the mean time that financial services companies take to detect a security breach is 59 days. And most critically, cyber-criminals today are constantly innovating their tactics to bypass traditional security tools, which use rules and signatures to spot the threats of the past.

A New Era of Cyber Defense

 To counter tomorrow’s unforeseeable, machine-speed threats, companies must go beyond yesterday’s security systems by embracing an innovative approach, one that finally gives their security teams a fighting chance. As the first ever autonomous response tool on the market, Darktrace Antigena is that innovative approach — leveraging artificial intelligence to halt in-progress cyber-attacks within two seconds. Trusted by many of the world’s largest financial companies, Darktrace learns an individual ‘pattern of life’ for each user, device, and network, a sense of ‘self’ that constantly changes as organizations evolve and grow. This ability to differentiate between normal and abnormal behavior allows Antigena to contain both insider threats and never-before-seen attacks, each of which tend to elude conventional tools. And by restricting compromised devices to their typical pattern of life, Antigena can surgically intervene without interrupting business operations.

Antigena has proven capable of parrying highly subtle and fast-acting threats, wherever they originate. During the devastating WannaCry epidemic in 2017, Darktrace detected and neutralized the advanced ransomware strain on behalf of several customers, including an NHS agency. AXA, one of the world’s largest insurers and another Darktrace customer, uses Antigena to guard against increasingly automated cyber-threats. “We’re not being attacked by human beings anymore,” said Yorck Reuber, AXA’s Chief Technology Officer for North Europe. “Computers are attacking us, software is attacking us, and so the only way forward is using AI to protect ourselves.”

In our upcoming webinar, a security industry expert will analyze the most sophisticated cyber-threats of 2018, including insider attacks and ransomware witnessed in the wild. The webinar will also outline expectations for 2019’s threat landscape, specifically as it pertains to the financial services sector, and detail how cyber AI tools like Darktrace Antigena are helping organizations defeat the next generation of bank robbers.

Learn more about AI autonomous response in our webinar:

The Future of AI-Powered Cyber Defense for Financial Institutions

Date: Thursday, January 17

Time: 10:00 a.m. EST (New York) / 3 p.m. GMT (London)

Presenter: Max Heinemeyer, Director of Threat Hunting at Darktrace

Max is a leading cyber defense expert who specializes in offensive security. At Darktrace, he works with customers to help them respond to advanced and innovative threats. Prior to his current role, Max led the Threat and Vulnerability Management department for Hewlett-Packard in Central Europe.