Blockchain: today’s revolutionary technology and the backbone of Bitcoin. Blockchain has recently gained the attention of countless individuals, from banks and governments to fishermen and farmers.

Accepted as one of the most powerful technologies yet, Blockchain stores records with facts verified by everyone through a network of computers, which means it is not only decentralized but is also disturbed. It is not owned by one person, each Blockchain gets automatically downloaded on every node or computer. Using “blocks” of information which are connected or chained to another in chronological order, allows everyone to use it, help run it, and see changes made to it. As everyone can see exactly where an unauthorized change was made and requires them to validate it, it is harder to edit and corrupt. Hackers must access all the computers at the same time and make the exact same change in each node or computer to hack the data.

That means security is guaranteed, right?

Not necessarily. Blockchain has many potential vulnerabilities.

In March 2015, Interpol demonstrated one of these vulnerabilities using the bitcoin network and communicated with a hacker-controlled bitcoin address, extracting information on transaction receipts and introducing unrelated date to transaction into the Blockchain. This unrelated data could be anything, from illegal files to malware.

The Blockchain can thus be repurposed to spread malware, because data is automatically downloaded to all computers which use Blockchain, the malware will not only spread but is also almost impossible to remove as all computers will need to verify this change. A user in 2013 uploaded child pornography sites to the Blockchain, and everyone using Bitcoin had links to this on their computer and they were unable to get rid of it.

Another vulnerability of decentralised and disturbed information is the fact there will be multiple replicates on various computers, meaning it will offer hackers more places to attack. This is problematic when it comes to sensitive information like contracts.

While Blockchain might provide new ways for information security and cutting out the middle man, it can also be repurposed to benefit nefarious activities.

pexels-photo-90807

To find out how you can protect yourself and learn more, follow us for our updates and news alerts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

With cybercrime rates skyrocketing over the past years, it is acknowledged to be increasing at an alarming rate, targeting various sectors. In 2015, the legal sector appeared on Cisco’s annual ranking of industries targeted by hackers and for good reason.

As a sector which holds valuable and sensitive material to important individuals and organisations, criminals seek to obtain confidential client information for the purpose of financial gain or espionage, they do this through methods such as malware and other software programs.

Panama law firm, which holds over 11 million documents and reportedly establishes offshore accounts and companies for global power players, was victim of a ‘leak’. The files revealed the names of many world leaders who have established offshore tax havens.

Another reason is that law firms are seen as ‘weak links’ to exploit when seeking a client’s work. Law firms and their access to confidential materials, like a client’s patents, are therefore they are often targeted. For instance, for insider trading purposes, Russian cybercriminal “Oleras” and their gang had targeted 48 of the nation’s most prestigious law firms to steal sensitive client information.

Law practices all hold a huge amount of incredibly important and sensitive market information that hackers illegally seek to use to their advantage and for this reason, they are strongly urged to look at cybersecurity.

Despite these serious threats to the sector, law firms are behind on cybersecurity. While three quarters of employees in law firms with annual turnover above £500m are aware that they are very likely to be target of cyberattacks, research shows that respondents from the legal sector are 18% less likely to include external cyber security experts than non-lawyers in their attack contingency planning.

A large 86% of lawyers see cyber security as an issue for the senior executives, management needs to have a firm stance and clear message to employees and clients regarding preventing, detecting and responding to security breaches in information technology systems. These risks need to be addressed quickly and effectively, because it can cause irreversible reputational damage and disastrous financial losses to a firm and its clients.

pexels-photo-90807

To keep up with the latest news follow us LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook 

 

London is well-known as both a global financial hub and a multi-cultural city but what happens when you bring these two things together?

Yielders has become the first Islamic Fintech firm to be fully accredited by the UK’s FCA. The London-based start-up is a crowdfunding property investment platform.

The process is simple and transparent, taking away the hassle of being a landlord or the burden of a mortgage. It allows the public to invest as little as £100 in cash and start earning returns almost immediately on pre-funded assets, providing predefined rental income.

With no debt, no interest, full voting rights and full financial rights, they are also the first UK Company to gain the Sharia compliance certification by the UK Islamic Finance Council (UKIFC).

This doesn’t just emphasis their business ethics, but also demonstrates the increasing role of the UK’s Islamic Finance Sector.

As London seeks to position itself as the global centre for Fintech, extending this to Islamic Finance will not only broaden the number of investors in the UK but will also attract investment from the Middle East and South East Asia.

Yielders is making history and dispelling the myth that traditional Islamic Finance is uncompetitive. Islamic Fintech is expected to grow in demand.

yielders-fintech

To keep up with the latest news follow us LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook 

As regulation continues to evolve across the Financial Services industry the time when cash management simply meant ensuring your Bank account had sufficient funds in it has long since passed. An effective manager of cash not only has to have a good understanding of the various aspects influencing a cash position, they are also required to understand a considerably more rigorous reporting regime.

Regulators require firms to be able to manage their cash positions on a real time basis throughout the day. Additionally, when managing Intraday Liquidity institutions must consider items such as the level of intraday credit provided to them, and ensure they have the ability to manage the flows effecting this.

These and other requirements continue to put pressure on the systems used to monitor and report cash and liquidity positions. The importance of accurate and reliable information, available on a timely basis has never been more important.

The workshop planned for the end of February will consider the various aspects of cash management and how changes to regulation have resulted in the requirements of today. We will look at the developments in the payments industry and how IT has responded to the challenges set, and played it’s part in providing solutions.

Through a simulation exercise participants will walk through a day in the life of a cash manager, look at ensuring best practice and how to overcome the challenges that present themselves on an all to regular basis.

Finally, a panel discussion will allow us to hear the view of senior market practitioners and their expectations for the future, this will be followed by a Q&A session.

By Clive Jones