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Financial services must ensure sufficient cyber security to cope with the growing speed of change, according to KPMG cyber security practice leaders

Photo source: irishtimes.com

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At a time when trust has become central to the customer experience, KPMG cyber security practice leaders have told a roundtable that they believe financial services firms are demonstrating a commitment to trust through their cyber agendas. They said that amidst accelerating technological disruption, actively managing customer trust is presenting new revenue opportunities and challenges for financial institutions.

Henry Shek, partner, Head of Cyber Security and IT Advisory Risk Consulting, KPMG China, said: “In the rush to provide a superior customer experience, financial services organisations are embracing robotics, AI blockchain and real-time data analytics. However, they must keep a close eye on fraud and be aware of ever-changing fraud scenarios. Cyber criminals are already using new and advanced methods to manipulate security weaknesses, which means that traditional security and protection mechanisms may not be sufficient to deal with AI and advanced technology-enabled attacks.”

The ‘virtual bank effect’

Financial services organizations are competing not only with their traditional peers, but also with an increasing number of agile, digital disruptors such as virtual banks. The pace at which these new players are developing is forcing traditional banks to adopt more agile approaches to managing their own IT infrastructure.

According to the practice leaders, a major transformational change of a bank’s platform used to take anything between two and five years, but now they are up against players with no legacy systems to upgrade and they are forcing the pace. People are now talking about upgrading banking systems every four to six months. That places huge pressure on a bank’s IT people who have to manage the security implications of accelerating change while simultaneously dealing with the legacy of elderly systems and sunk investment.

The challenge is not just from virtual banks. In China, which is well on its way to being cashless, digital payment providers are already commonplace and customers are the driving force for these digital adoptions. Retail and commercial businesses in particular are adapting quickly to ensure they remain relevant to the needs of their customers and are enabling their digital agenda.

Ensuring AI and bots are secure for revolutionising interactions and transactions

Chat bots are fairly common and are being implemented across many Chinese financial services organisations. Most of them are designed to facilitate the customer journey, with ‘question-and-answer’ type algorithms. When the bots start making banking decisions, accountability becomes an issue. The process for letting bots run, and the ‘fail-safe’ that leads to human intervention (e.g. from call centers) must be seamless, to avoid a frustrating customer experience. In general, many financial services organisations have some way to go before they are able to achieve a sound balance between the robot and the physical.

AI and bots may be revolutionising interactions and transactions, but these need to be kept on a leash to ensure they are secure and trustworthy, and contribute rather than disrupt customer experience. It will be crucial that they embed security and privacy from day one – not just in the design, but in the way they train and operate AIs. Financial services organisations will need to demonstrate AI integrity and robustness, but also meet regulatory and customer expectations.

Shek concluded: “Managing these whole, third-party ecosystems involving cyber, outsourcing, cloud, mobile and customer data are all top of the technology risk agenda. We expect to see more financial services organisations embed cyber security into their digital and business strategy, investing in cyber security as part of the innovation budget, and creating a process to become more resilient to evolving cyber threats.”

 

SOURCE KPMG China

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CannaTech, the Canadian Securities Exchange & OTC Markets to Convene Cannabis Industry Leaders at the First-Ever Dedicated Cannabis House in Davos

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Photo source: cashcroptoday.com

 

The world’s top cannabis industry leaders will convene in the first-ever dedicated Cannabis House in Davos, SwitzerlandJanuary 20-24, 2020.

The Davos Cannabis House is hosted by CannaTech the world’s premier international cannabis summit platform, in partnership with the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) and the U.S. based OTC Market Group.

The theme of this year’s World Economic Forum is Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World. The Davos Cannabis Lounge will highlight the economic role of cannabis in the future of healthcare, international trade and investment, and environmental and resource security, to create a cohesive and sustainable cannabis industry for all.

Curated for C-level executives and investors the Cannabis House will have a rich and varied program with some of the world’s foremost cannabis-related business leaders analyzing the current challenges and economic future of the hemp and cannabis industries.

Situated alongside world-leading industry and government pavilions, the Cannabis House will host numerous networking opportunities for the Davos community.

“A serious discussion of cannabis and its impact could not be timelier, and Davos is the ideal context given this year’s Sustainability theme. Partnering with the Canadian Securities Exchange and OTC Markets to host the first dedicated Davos Cannabis Lounge gives us the ability to amplify the cannabis and hemp messages and reach attendees. This year at CannaTech events from Latin America to South Africa, I witnessed the growing global industry and intense consumer interest in the hemp and cannabis markets.  Today, cannabis is poised to revolutionize everything from health care to the ways people partake in leisure activities. On the global level, the threat of climate change has opened peoples’ eyes to hemp as a sustainable plant with construction, industry, and medicine. These recent developments are creating new international ecosystems that will impact everyone from farm workers in Africa to the CEOs of the world’s largest corporations.  It’s time for the delegates at Davos to take part in and impact the economic development,” said Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of CannaTech and iCAN: Israel-Cannabis.

 

SOURCE CannaTech

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Zenabis Global Inc. Announces Transition of Chief Executive Officer with Appointment of Kevin Coft

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Zenabis Global Inc. (TSX: ZENA) (“Zenabis” or the “Company“) announced today the appointment of Kevin Coft as interim Chief Executive Officer (“CEO“), effective immediately.  Mr. Coft will replace Andrew Grieve as CEO, whose contract was set to expire shortly.  While Mr. Grieve will be returning to his investment business, he has agreed to continue to provide Zenabis with his knowledge, expertise and guidance as a continuing member of Zenabis’ board.

Announcing the transition of responsibilities, Monty Sikka, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zenabis, said, “The Board thanks Kevin for taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis. We look forward to working with him as we complete the final phase of our operational ramp-up into early 2020, and as we further consolidate our position as a leading Canadian cannabis licensed producer. Kevin has a track record as a leader in the cannabis industry, with experience as CEO in a previous iteration of the Zenabis business. We will take full advantage of his knowledge of the company and industry, as well as his steady leadership as we continue to mature as a business. In this phase of our growth, we look forward to Kevin’s leadership as we continue our search for a permanent, CPG (consumer packaged goods) and operations-focused CEO.”

The Zenabis Board has engaged Korn Ferry to assist with the hiring of a permanent CEO and expects to have a permanent CEO in place in the first quarter of 2020.

Mr. Coft was one of Zenabis’ founding members, having previously acted as CEO when it was a part of the Sun Pharm group, and before the amalgamation with Bevo Agro that created Zenabis Global Inc. In that role, he was responsible for Zenabis achieving ACMPR compliance as a Canadian cannabis licensed producer.

Mr. Coft is an operational and supply chain professional with over 30 years of international procurement, facility operations, and managerial experience. His industrial expertise covers a wide range of functions including regulatory licensing, construction, strategy, operations, logistics, warehousing, customer relationship management, and business systems. Most recently, Mr. Coft was responsible for the construction build-out of Zenabis’ facilities across Canada, as Chief Facilities Officer, including one of Canada’s largest indoor cannabis cultivation facilities, located in Atholville, New Brunswick. Previously, he held senior roles at IHL Group and Buy-Low Foods.

“Zenabis developed rapidly since its public listing, with a variety of capital raisings, large-scale construction, and most importantly, increasingly large harvests of high-quality cannabis,” said Mr. Coft. “Zenabis has come a long way in a short period of time, and I am excited about leading the team on an interim basis as we enter the next chapter of our development and seek to establish Zenabis as a cashflow positive, operationally efficient leader in the industry.”

“I am incredibly proud of the construction, licensing, and cultivation achievements of the Zenabis team during my tenure,” said Mr. Grieve. “From just over 5,000 kg of licensed cultivation capacity in January of 2019, to 57,000 kg at this time, with another 39,400 kg submitted for licensing and an incremental 14,800 kg having recently achieved substantial completion, the pace of growth has been exceptional. Kevin, leading our construction team as the Chief Facilities Officer, was instrumental in achieving that pace. I look forward to continue to serve Zenabis on the board of directors, and to continue working with the team.”

Mr. Sikka concluded, “Andrew played a pivotal role in our history. The Board thanks him for his hard work and execution of so many of our business deliverables. We now look forward continuing to deliver stakeholder value under Kevin’s leadership.”

 

SOURCE Zenabis Global Inc.

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Chase Cooper Wins Category Award in Chartis RiskTech100®

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Chase Cooper has been named award winner for the Operational Risk category in the 2020 Chartis RiskTech100® rankings.

“We are delighted to have won this award,” said John Kiddy, CEO at Chase Cooper. “It is a testament to the investments we have made in aCCelerate GRC and we are particularly pleased that Chartis have focused this year on the quantification of Operational Risk exposure. Chase Cooper’s key differentiator in the GRC marketplace is that it combines best in class qualitative and quantitative functionality to provide a complete enterprise class EGRC solution – no other EGRC player has this unique combination.”

“Quantification is an increasingly important area of innovation,” said Rob Stubbs, Head of Research at Chartis Research. “Chase Cooper’s achievements in the area of operational risk quantification were instrumental in our decision to present it with this new RiskTech100® award.”

 

SOURCE Chase Cooper

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