Connect with us

Business

Preparing for the Quantum leap and its impact on encryption

Published

on

It’s fair to say that we are living in an exciting time; a time when Quantum computers become the next wave of technology to overtake traditional binary computers which will change our lives forever.

Roger Grimes

Understanding the elementary physics law of quantum mechanics ensures everything in the universe functions as we know it. Without it, the sun would not shine and all living species that are made up of quantum particles would cease to exist. Quantum physics has and will continue to provide this world with incredible opportunities and bring us many wonderful inventions in the future. The same laws and attributes found in quantum physics are helping us to develop quantum computers and this will provide far more accuracy in modelling most things in the world. For example, we will have the ability to provide better medicines, make more accurate weather predictions, discover fossil fuels faster and bring about more enhanced encryption capabilities.

The fascination with quantum computing has been apparent for over 20 years, ever since the first quantum computer was created back in 1998. This quantum computer, which used quantum bits or qubits, sprung an international race to reach quantum supremacy and see who could be the first to create a computer that could successfully do things which conventional computers cannot do. This then begs the question: have we already reached that point or are we close? There are certainly those who believe they are.

Late in 2019, Google announced (and quickly retracted) a research paper that it had created the first quantum computer which could reach quantum supremacy. Incredibly, it could create many “certifiably random numbers” and achieved this in 200 seconds. To put this into perspective, the world’s most powerful supercomputer would’ve managed to do the same in roughly 10,000 years! Beyond this, several other companies (mostly Chinese-based) also claimed to have achieved their own quantum supremacy, but these again have been largely panned by quantum critics. To date, no one has shown a quantum solution that all quantum computing observers would agree to be as the definitive “quantum advantage” but with each announcement gets us a step closer to that goal.

While this is an accomplishment, Google’s computer had done something that quantum computers had been doing inherently better than traditional computers for some time and so many viewed its claims to have reached quantum supremacy as untrue. Still, it is an event that is to be remembered and to be added to the quantum supremacy timeline which includes IBM’s Deep Blue triumph over a chess champion in 1996 and IBM’s Watson defeating a Jeopardy game show champion in 2011.

Industry experts are still debating if Google did reach quantum supremacy and whether you agree or not, we are edging nearer to achieving quantum supremacy. It is a feat whole countries are trying to crack – with China claiming to be close.

 

Encryption will be broken

With quantum computing, many predict they will have the capabilities to break the most popular forms of public key cryptography such as HTTPS, TLS, WiFi protections, smartcards and most two factor authentication. Once quantum supremacy is achieved, the next step will be to have a quantum computer powerful enough to make modern cryptographic protections insecure. Such is the power of quantum that the ‘crypto break’ that is on the horizon will see many of the protections we have become accustomed to become obsolete.

This doesn’t mean the end, far from it because we have time to plan for it. For instance, the quantum crypto break will likely happen a few years after quantum supremacy has been reached. This presents a window of opportunity to migrate to quantum-resistant cryptography. Is quantum-resistant cryptography already in existence? Yes, with the best options currently being reviewed by industry specialists and governing bodies which will announce what the new-quantum standards will be.

Indeed, the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stated new standards regarding asymmetric encryption and digital signatures will be selected by 2024; or even earlier if the quantum crypto breach is likely to happen before. In 2016, NIST announced a competition to help with this selection regarding new quantum resistant public key encryption algorithms that would eventually supersede the classical RSA and other public key cryptography algorithms that may be vulnerable to future quantum computers. The winners are expected to be announced soon.

When the standards are confirmed, many of our devices and software will have to adapt and upgrade to the new standards. This won’t be an easy task and we will see a global migration similar to what we experienced during the Year 2000 (Y2K) incident. Nevertheless, we got through that period and I’m sure we will do it again.

With that said, quantum computing will move us forward into the next level of cryptography. When powered by quantum-based properties, these newer cryptographic algorithms will be more difficult to break. Quantum scientists have been quick to say that quantum algorithms will be impossible to hack but this is untrue. They will be harder to hack and compromise.

You might be new to the term quantum supremacy and how it will impact our world going forward. Take notice of when quantum is mentioned in the news because it could impact your life, or it might be impacting your life right now and you just don’t know it.

 

 

 

Banking

Wealth Managers and the Future of Trust: Insights from CFA Institute’s 2022 Investor Trust Study

Published

on

Author: Rhodri Preece, CFA, Senior Head of Research, CFA Institute

 

Corporate responsibility is more important than ever. Today, many investors expect more than just profit from their financial decisions; they want easy access to financial products and to be able to express personal values through their investments. Crucial to meeting these new investor expectations is trust in the financial services providers that enable investors to build wealth and realise personal goals. Trust is the bedrock of client relationships and investor confidence.

The 2022 CFA Institute Investor Trust Study – the fifth in a biennial series – found that trust levels in financial services among retail and institutional investors have reached an all-time high. Reflecting the views of 3,588 retail investors and 976 institutional investors across 15 markets globally, the report is a barometer of sentiment and an encouraging indicator of the trust gains in financial services.

Wealth managers may want to know how this trust can be cultivated, and how they can enhance it within their own organisations. I outline three key trends that will shape the future of client trust.

 

THE RISE OF ESG

ESG metrics have risen to prominence in recent years, as investors increasingly look at environmental, social and governance factors when assessing risks and opportunities. These metrics have an impact on investor confidence and their propensity to invest; we find that among retail investors, 31% expect ESG investing to result in higher risk-adjusted returns, while 44% are primarily motivated to invest in ESG strategies because they want to express personal values or invest in companies that have a positive impact on society or the environment.

The Trust Study shows us that ESG is stimulating confidence more broadly. Of those surveyed, 78% of institutional investors said the growth of ESG strategies had improved their trust in financial services. 100% of this group expressed an interest in ESG investing strategies, as did 77% of retail investors.

There are also different priorities within ESG strategies, and our study found a clear divide between which issues were top of mind for retail investors compared to institutional investors. Retail investors were more focused on investments that tackled climate change and clean energy use, while institutional investors placed a greater focus on data protection and privacy, and sustainable supply chain management.

What is clear is that the rise of ESG investing is building trust and creating opportunities for new products.

TECHNOLOGY MULTIPLIES TRUST

Technology has the power to democratise finance. In financial services, technological developments have lowered costs and increased access to markets, thereby levelling the playing field. Allowing easy monitoring of investments, digital platforms and apps are empowering more people than ever to engage in investing. For wealth managers, these digital advancements mean an opportunity for improved connection and communication with investors, a strategy that also enhances trust.

The study shows us that the benefits of technology are being felt, with 50% of retail investors and 87% of institutional investors expressing that increased use of technology increases trust in their financial advisers and asset managers, respectively. Technology is also leading to enhanced transparency, with the majority of retail and institutional investors believing that their adviser or investment firms are very transparent.

It’s worth acknowledging here that a taste for technology-based investing varies across age groups. More than 70% of millennials expressed a preference for technology tools to help navigate their investment strategy over a human advisor. Of the over-65s surveyed, however, just 30% expressed the same choice.

 

THE PULL OF PERSONALISATION

How does an investor’s personal connection to their investments manifest? There are two primary ways. The first is to have an adviser who understands you personally, the second is to have investments that achieve your personal objectives and resonate with what you value.

Among retail investors surveyed for the study, 78% expressed a desire for personalised products or services to help them meet their investing needs. Of these, 68% said they’d pay higher fees for this service.

So, what does personalisation actually look like? The study identifies the top three products of interest among retail investors. They are: direct indexing (investment indexes that are tailored to specific needs); impact funds (those that allow investors to pursue strategies designed to achieve specific real-world outcomes); and personalised research (customised for each investor).

When it comes to this last product, it’s worth noting that choosing advisors with shared values is also becoming more significant. Three-quarters of respondents to the survey said having an adviser that shares one’s values is at least somewhat important to them. Another way a personal connection with clients can be established is through a strong brand, and the proportion of retail investors favouring a brand they can trust over individuals they can count on continues to grow; it reached 55% in the 2022 survey, up from 51% in 2020 and 33% in 2016.

 

TRUST IN THE FUTURE

As the pressure on corporations to demonstrate their trustworthiness increases, investors will also look to financial services to bolster trust. Wealth managers that embrace ESG issues and preferences, enhanced technology tools, and personalisation, can demonstrate their value and build durable client relationships over market cycles.

Continue Reading

Business

5 tips to ensure CSR efforts come across as genuine

Published

on

By

By Mick Clark, Managing Director, WePack Ltd

 

Corporate social responsibility – or CSR – is playing an increasingly pivotal role in the long-term success of modern-day companies.

The harsh reality is that only a paltry 46 percent of people trust the brands they buy from. And with more competition than ever in all walks of business, a positive brand reputation needs to be earned or customers will simply take their money elsewhere.

That’s why I share my insights on the importance of CSR in modern business and introduce an effective plan to avoid coming off as disingenuous to your employees and customer base.

The value of CSR

The needs of modern employees and consumers are changing. There is a higher emphasis placed on the ethics and morals of companies and their handling of hot button topics like the environment or social issues.

59 percent of UK workers believe their business should be investing in charitable initiatives. 67 percent of people aged 18-19 feel this way, showing a generational shift in favour of companies that support ethical, social, or environmental causes.

Mick Clark

At WePack, we recognise the importance of this and make sure to regularly donate to a variety of charities including RRT (Rapid Relief Team), and donated £6,000 to the charity’s social causes last year.

An example of good CSR can be found in search engine giant, Google. It has had notable success with its CSR initiatives. Its flagship CSR campaign, Google Green, is a companywide commitment to using clean sources of energy, cutting down on its use of fossil fuels and drastically increasing energy efficiency as a direct response to the climate crisis.

It has been so successful that its data centres now require 50 percent less power to run than the average data centre and it’s poured over $1 billion into jumpstarting renewable energy projects.

Customer attitudes are fundamentally changing, and people are far more concerned about the values that their money could be indirectly supporting. In fact, 71 percent of customers prefer buying from businesses that align directly with their values.

In the modern-day, demonstrating high levels of CSR boosts brand perception. Businesses that make it a priority are more attractive – from an investment standpoint – to both customers and potential stakeholders.

For example, more than a third of consumers are also willing to pay more for a product or service if the business prioritises sustainability specifically – so it pays to be responsible.

Businesses with purpose-driven and ethical goals and proven commitments to CSR help retain employees. Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, and it’s that cohort that is increasingly demanding socially responsible employers.

Those that fail to meet the needs will ultimately see their customers take their purchasing power elsewhere.

Addressing the challenges

As obvious as it may sound for a business to take on as much CSR as possible, many organisations face limitations.

Pressure from investors can disrupt the growth of CSR initiatives. Sometimes, the direction that stakeholders want to take the company doesn’t fully align with plans to target social or environmental issues.

Companies face becoming fixated on linking profitability with CSR programmes. It can be tough to present a genuine CSR programme without it coming across as a marketing ploy – presenting an extra hurdle for businesses to overcome.

Despite the challenges businesses face that are out of their control, many firms unwittingly make their own mistakes that cost them dearly.

For example, businesses can struggle to bolster their CSR programmes if they don’t consult their customers and staff first. A simple survey helps companies decide what issues to put as a priority and target to satisfy their customer base and employees.

Any attempt to create an effective CSR programme needs top-down support. Many businesses wrongly treat CSR as a separate entity, rather than fostering a companywide culture. This can lead any attempt to push back on global issues to appear disingenuous to those looking in.

Shifting the CSR approach

Because of the global shift in public needs and opinions in recent years, businesses need to better demonstrate their efforts to avoid having their campaigns labelled as a box-ticking exercise.

It’s no secret that consumers are doing more research and are becoming more switched on to spotting lacklustre approaches to CSR. Also, everyone can have their say online – it’s much easier to get exposed if your CSR campaign is nothing but an empty publicity stunt.

For example, Volkswagen’s reputation was left in tatters after its ‘greenwashing’ scandal promoted a newer, cleaner diesel vehicle that wasn’t any better for the environment than previous models. The company took it further by fitting a device that helped it cheat emissions tests – resulting in a $125 million fine.

For this reason, CSR campaigns need tangible results to be credible and trustworthy.

Sharing top tips

When it comes to structuring a strong CSR campaign, it’s critical to demonstrate several things to prove your strategy is effective in helping the chosen cause.

Firstly, evidence the fact that your efforts are helping wider communities. Whether it’s through statistics or showing proof of investment in social causes, tangible evidence goes a long way when legitimising your CSR campaign.

Secondly, balance your rhetoric. Effective communications are vital to the success of a campaign. However, it can damage a company’s image when done poorly. Businesses should speak about their chosen issues in their dialogue rather than spending too much time talking about the solutions the company has implemented. This stops them from becoming too self-promotional or sounding braggy.

To further avoid this, make sure you can directly tie your CSR campaign to corporate values and beliefs. As well as helping to strengthen your comms, it will also guarantee that company values are more than just surface-level – helping to facilitate tangible, long-term change.

Continue Reading

Magazine

Trending

News5 hours ago

Rivery Raises $30M B Round of Venture Funding from Tiger Global

With data needs growing and data talent scarcity, there is huge demand for Rivery’s 100% SaaS solution to create an...

Banking2 days ago

Wealth Managers and the Future of Trust: Insights from CFA Institute’s 2022 Investor Trust Study

Author: Rhodri Preece, CFA, Senior Head of Research, CFA Institute   Corporate responsibility is more important than ever. Today, many...

Interviews2 days ago

Q&A with Andréa Jacquemin, founder and CEO of Beamy

Beamy is a fast-growing scale-up that focuses on pioneering a new approach to SaaS management for large companies. Founded in...

News4 days ago

How to reignite your store with streamlined operations and a distinctive customer experience

Colin Neil, MD, Adyen UK   Retailers know that prioritising customer experience is vital to success today. This, amongst the...

Business4 days ago

5 tips to ensure CSR efforts come across as genuine

By Mick Clark, Managing Director, WePack Ltd   Corporate social responsibility – or CSR – is playing an increasingly pivotal role...

Business4 days ago

How to Build Your Credit Up Safely

by Taylor McKnight, Author for Compare Credit   What Is Credit? Credit is money owed by a person that allows...

News4 days ago

PCI DSS Compliance in the Cloud – Everything you should know

Introduction PCI DSS 4.0 is the latest and updated version of PCI DSS that was introduced on March 31st, 2022....

Banking5 days ago

2022 ESG Investment Trends

Jay Mukhey, Senior Director, ESG at Finastra   Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) themes have been front and center throughout...

Business5 days ago

PROTECT THE VALUE OF YOUR SAVINGS AND AVOID RISING INFLATION PRESSURE

Planning for the next financial year? Former Bank Manager and successful whisky investor, Roger Parfitt, tells us why cask ownership is...

Technology5 days ago

UK Organisations turn to artificial intelligence to fight sophisticated cyberattacks

New research by cybersecurity expert Mimecast finds that email attacks are becoming more frequent and sophisticated More and more companies...

Finance5 days ago

The power of diversity: The need for female role models in FinTech

By Isavella Frangou, VP of Sales and Marketing, payabl.   As our world is constantly evolving, it’s easy to believe...

Business5 days ago

Securing BNPL Platforms for Merchants

By: James Hunt, Payments SME at Feedzai   The buy now, pay later (BNPL) market has boomed because it offers...

Technology5 days ago

Addressing the talent gap within cybersecurity

By Merlin Piscitelli, Chief Revenue Officer, EMEA at Datasite   Rising geopolitical tensions and increasingly sophisticated cyberwarfare tactics have meant...

Uncategorized5 days ago

Biometric payment card FAQs with Michel Roig, Fingerprints’ President of Payments & Access

We sat down with Michel Roig to answer your frequently asked questions regarding biometric payment cards – their benefits, current...

Banking5 days ago

Opportunities for UK Challenger Banks to address AML Compliance

Author: Gabriel Hopkins, Chief Product Officer, Ripjar   UK challenger banks have revolutionised the banking sector with innovative products and...

Finance5 days ago

HOW GOING DIGITAL COULD HELP CHARITIES OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES OF INFLATION

By Shaf Mansour, not for profit solutions specialist at The Access Group.    The topic of inflation and its impact...

Business5 days ago

How to manage transformational change successfully

Adrian Odds, Marketing and Innovation Director, CDS 2020 accelerated change in the business landscape significantly. Many were already considering –...

Finance5 days ago

Why the pandemic has put the pressure back on fintechs

Ben Walker, Partner & CTO, Airwalk Traditionally, the only genuine threats to the incumbent banking giants were macroeconomic instability and...

News5 days ago

Neobank Fi launches new feature ‘Connected Accounts’ allowing users to sync multiple bank accounts on a single app.

Neobanking app Fi launched its ‘Connected Accounts’ feature to become one of the first fintechs to build a product on...

Finance5 days ago

Accounts Payable fraud: Do you know who’s accessing your finances?

Mark Blakemore, CFO at Compleat Software   The use of social engineering and phishing attacks on accounts payable (AP) departments...

Trending