Tag Archives: Finance

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.

Spotlight Interview with Max Heinemeyer – Director of Threat Hunting – Darktrace

A conversation with Max Heinemeyer, Director of Threat Hunting at Darktrace

Max Heinemeyer, Director of Threat Hunting, Darktrace

Max is a cyber security expert with over eight years’ experience in the field specializing in network monitoring and offensive security. At Darktrace, Max works with strategic customers to help them investigate and respond to threats as well as overseeing the cyber security analyst team in the Cambridge UK headquarters.

Prior to his current role, Max led the Threat and Vulnerability Management department for Hewlett-Packard in Central Europe. He was a member of the German Chaos Computer Club, working as a white hat hacker in penetration testing and red teaming engagements. Max holds a MSc from the University of Duisburg-Essen and a BSc from the Cooperative State University Stuttgart in International Business Information Systems.

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

It’d be great if the audience gets an overview of what the current cyber security threat landscape out there looks like. It is changing quite rapidly with more IoT, BYOD and the advent of the cloud. It is also very hard to keep up with the ever-evolving cyber-security landscape and vendor ecosystem, especially since every solution now claims to use some form of machine learning (ML) and ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI). I’d like to dispel some of the myths and show how ML & AI can actually be applied to real problems like detecting threats on a network.

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

I’m much looking forward to discuss what the audience thinks about the application of ML & AI to cyber-security. Since we have a lot of veterans and very experienced people joining, it’d be good to understand what their biggest challenges and issues are. I personally talk to our customers on a daily basis and have a good overview of what is going on in our customer base, but it is excellent to reach out to the wider industry and understand what people & organisations are struggling with and how to best help them.

BRW: What do you enjoy most about your role?

Wow, there are so many things! The first thing that comes to my mind is the great people I have the pleasure to work with in my team and at Darktrace as a whole. It is an incredible feeling when one of my junior analyst identifies their first active attacker or botnet in a live environment. There are a lot of very smart people at Darktrace, working with them is stimulating and keeps things interesting.

There is also a lot of diversity in my role – I conduct threat hunts on new live networks every day, so I’m very fortunate to see vastly different attacks, threat and offensive techniques.

BRW: How did you get into the industry?

I was fascinated by computer from an early age on. I started playing computer games when I was a child – it usually involves a lot of puzzle-solving and challenging exercises if you boil most computer games down to their core. Naturally, I started being fascinated by game design and how computer games work. This lead me to look into game hacking, multiplayer games and networking. Growing up with these technologies and the ability to research whatever your heart desires – combined with a constant curiosity – has ultimately led me to get deeply involved with the cyber-security industry.

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

I have many favourite places, but I certainly like Cambridge a lot. It provides the opportunities of a major city but does not come across as hectic as a major metropolitan area like London or Berlin. Thanks to the strong university presence, it is also a very culturally diverse place to live in. The ability to reach 3 major airports close to London is another perk of the greater Cambridge area.

Join Max Heinemeyer on a webinar entitled AI For Cyber Defence in the Financial Sector’ by Darktrace on 17th January at 3PM London/10AM New York.

Register Here!

Bo Brustkern – Co-Founder & CEO, LendIt Fintech

A conversation with Bo Brustkern, Co-Founder and CEO at LendIt Fintech

Bo Brustkern is co-Founder and CEO of LendIt Fintech, the world’s largest event
series that provides context to the rapidly changing universe of technology and financial services.

For over 20 years, Mr. Brustkern has set himself apart as a leader in understanding, funding and leading cutting edge developments in fintech and financial services. Mr.
Brustkern’s experience includes private equity, venture capital, fixed income, asset management and investment research.

In addition to co-founding LendIt Fintech, Mr. Brustkern co-founded Arcstone Valuation (2006), Arcstone Equity Research (2010), Cardinal Rose Group (2013), and NSR Invest (2013).

Previously, he was a venture capitalist at Rustic Canyon Partners in Silicon Valley; and a private equity investor at BACE Industries in Denver, Colorado. Prior to his career as a private equity investor, Mr. Brustkern was a senior analyst at Wellsford Residential Property Trust (NYSE: WRP), where he focused on acquisitions and development for the fifth largest residential REIT in the country.

Mr. Brustkern has performed industry research and investment analyses related to the following industries: financial services, financial technology, blockchain technologies, enabling services, software as a service, among many others.

Masters of Business Administration, concentration in Finance, the Anderson School at UCLA, with distinction as a Deutschman Venture Fellow (2001)

Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College (1995)

BRW: What is LendIt Fintech for those who may not have heard of your conference?

LendIt Fintech is the world’s most influential fintech events company. Entrepreneurs and investors from around the world rely on LendIt Fintech for the best and most valuable industry gatherings, timely and insightful information they can get nowhere else, and as a showcase for the innovations transforming financial services.

Financial services are undergoing massive, tech-driven change, and the industry needs a way to better understand, stay ahead of, and benefit competitively from it all. LendIt Fintech is an indispensable source of connection, insight and innovation in fintech – it’s where the forces shaping the future of financial services all come together. When we create a forward-looking community, understanding and innovation flourish, money flows more freely, and the financial system works for the betterment of all.

BRW: What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love working with this dynamic and energized team. Everyone here at LendIt Fintech is driven by our mission to engender positive change worldwide through the application of innovative technologies to financial services. This spirit shows in every interaction we have, whether at our weekly stand-up meetings or in the constant conversations we have with our clients. There’s an energy here that only comes with commitment to purpose, and it’s contagious!

BRW: What is new for this year as opposed to previous events?

Our event evolves every year in response to the dynamism of the fintech industry. Most notable this year is the addition of BlockFin, our conference-within-a-conference, which is on pace to become the world’s largest event covering blockchain in financial services. We will have over 130 speakers and two tracks of content devoted entirely to enterprise blockchain, infrastructure, cryptocurrencies and investing.

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

Every day we ask ourselves Are we challenging the financial services industry with our content? My favorite things to experience are audience members challenging speakers, and controversy in panel discussions. When controversy and confrontation are taking place, we know we’re posing the right questions. In that spirit, I most look forward to interactions that challenge my understanding. I love learning where I’m wrong, why, and how that impacts my world-view.

BRW: How did you get into the industry?

By accident. All of my co-founders were building fintech-related companies and we were looking for a conference to attend, of which there was none. So we decided to invite the most interesting innovators of the time to join us for a day-long conversation in Midtown Manhattan. This was back in 2013, and we were hoping to attract some 200 folks to join us for what turned out to be our inaugural event. When more than 350 people showed up, we had to close the doors for fear the Fire Marshall would shut us down. Just five years later, we’re gathering more than 10,000 delegates annually on three continents! Such growth cannot be achieved without committed support from the industry we serve, and the fintech world has been extremely supportive of us through the years. We are truly of the community, by the community and for the community.

BRW: What are a few new trends in the industry?

Fintech is always moving, and fast! Here are a few trends we are seeing that have captured our attention:

  • Blockchain is moving from concept to application at major banks globally.
  • Artificial intelligence has gone from interesting and useful to mandatory tech for financial institutions in the last year.
  • Most large banks are launching or are planning to launch their own online lending platform.
  • Digital identity is a hot topic in the wake of the Equifax breach.
  • Lines are starting to blur between banks and fintech platforms as partnerships and M&A accelerate.

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

Wow! That’s a tough question. If I had to choose one favourite place to be, it would be swimming across Horseshoe Lake on Blakely Island USA, a small private island in the San Juan archipelago of Washington State in the glorious Pacific Northwest. There are only about 200 residents on this 6-square mile island, where a wave and a smile are always de rigueur. That said, if you allowed me to have a half-dozen favorites I would add:

  • Stoddard Cabin in the Second College Grant, New Hampshire USA
  • The train station at Kleine Scheidegg, in the shadow of the Eiger, Switzerland
  • The balcony of Phaedra Hotel in Idra, Greece
  • The Cabo Surf Hotel in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
  • Late night at The Mighty Session in Dingle, Ireland

Kuldip Singh Chiheru, Strategic GTM Head, Global Financial Services, Atos

A conversation with Kuldip Singh Chiheru, the Strategic GTM Head, at the Global Financial Services for Atos. 

Kuldip Singh ChiheruExperience • 2016-2017 Atos Strategic GTM Head – Loans
• 2015 – 2016 Atos FS Global Solutions Head
• 2012 – 2015 Global FS Bus Development Head 
• 2008 – 2012 Global FS Market leader
• 2001- 2008 KPMG & Atos KPMG FS Advisory
• 1997-2001 ICAP eTrading Program Lead
• Prior: HSBC Midland International Banking

• BSC (Hons) Chemistry
• MSc Information Technology
• MBA Aston Business School

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

I hope that they understand the characteristics of a hyper competitive best class lending business model. Modern business solution design for agility and innovation and learning a business case for a best in class lending business. Another key note I hope the audience will learn from participating in this webinar is leveraging industrial scale deployment models for accelerating transformation.

For example, most financial organizations dream of launching new marketing offers or enabling a new partner channel  in seconds or adjusting lending processes in minutes. This can be the reality NOW. Rather than taking several months, and suffering extreme opportunity costs.

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

I will be looking forward to discussing the investment priorities for Loans in next 1-2 years and a business case for the Retail Loan Factory for their priorities.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The most satisfying aspect is helping customers transform their business and setting the target operating model benchmark for best in class for the next 15 years.

How did you get into the industry?

My passion for the industry grew even further when I was an International Banker with HSBC Midland.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

I have so many, each with their own unique attractions. The NW of India Punjab is very enlightening and the Canadian wilderness great for out door activities.

Don’t miss the chance to join Kuldip Singh Chiheru and Atos in their upcoming webinar ‘Lending Agility and Innovation For A Best in Class Digital Bank of the Future

Register Here! for this free webinar