Sheldon Cuffie, vice president of information risk at Northwestern Mutual, knew cybersecurity was moving up in the world when a board member invited him to lunch.
“Two years ago the chief information security officer (CISO) didn’t attend board meetings, didn’t talk to our leadership team,” he said at the Fusion Executive Summit in Madison, produced by WTN Media.
“This is now a standing topic on the board committee agenda, and for the first time this year as CISO, I presented to the full board of Northwestern Mutual. When we think about cybersecurity, I like to think of cyber risk as just another risk that companies have to manage. If you are not managing cyber risk just as you would manage building risk, liability and sales force risk, you are probably missing the boat.”
What happens if someone attacks the American power system and turns off the electricity for a city, or a region? What would it be like without power? At the Fusion Executive Summit on Cybersecurity this week, the Wisconsin Adjutant General, the state CIO, and the head of Madison Gas & Electric were discussing just that.
Thinking the unthinkable used to involve the Rand Corporation and the American military war-gaming nuclear attacks. Thinking about a hack of the power grid is almost enough to make people nostalgic for those days — at least you knew who the enemy was.
Without electricity, the world pretty much shuts down, and without gas to heat homes, Wisconsin residents would have hard time coping with winter.
As CEO of Madison Gas & Electric, Gary Wolter knows his company has to secure its technology to provide those services to its customers. And he knows a cyber attack that shuts down either power or gas could be deadly on a large scale.
Wolter spoke at the Fusion Executive Summit, produced by WTN Media, Monday at the Fluno Center in Madison, Wisconsin. “We recognize we are the infrastructure upon which other critical infrastructure depends. The communications system doesn’t work without electricity, the Madison Metropolitan Sewer District doesn’t work without electricity and the water supply system needs big pumps. Right down the line, our infrastructure depends on electricity — think about hospitals.”
This is the year that mobile banking will really make a dent in branch networks, according to James DeBello, CEO and president of Mitek, a company that is helping make that happen. It introduced remote deposit capture — take a picture of a check with your smartphone and send the image to your bank. Now it is introducing mobile account sign-up, so you can open an account from your phone or tablet without ever setting foot in branch. Just shoot images of the front and back of your drivers license.
As Bob Dylan sang:
“Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”.
That could easily describe an IT manager in a large enterprise trying to figure out what hardware and software is running, whether it is still supported, and whether it is doing anything useful.
The good news for CIOs — they still control about 60 percent of the average IT budget in a corporation. The bad news — they think they control 80 percent, according to a survey of member-based advisory firm CEB, which surveyed 165 organizations representing more than £29 billion in IT spending in Europe and the US.
Combine the latest data on a corporation, analytics and sharp presentation and the PowerPoint or printed pitch book will never look quite the same.
Making pitches targted, analytical and interactive started with i2i Logic in Hong Kong and Melbourne where Tim Maddock and Dion Smith took their experience in commercial banking sales and started a new company to build on their experience at ANZ Bank in analytical-based insights selling.
For a long time IT experts in financial services said finance would never move to the cloud because of security concerns. That appears to be changing in capital markets, says Ovum, the UK consultancy.
“Due to improvements in cloud security and a wider variety of applications, investment in cloud, by both the buy side and the sell side, is set for further growth,” the firm reports, while noting that the buy side leads in cloud adoption.
The term “ecosystem” is often misused in the business pages. Just about anytime two vendors or two functions are described as working together, it’s labeled an ecosystem. Words like “function” or “system” apparently are not sexy enough, so the tech industry has begun borrowing from environmentalists.
But in the case of Teradata, the data warehouse company headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the term actually fits. Teradata, a global leader in data warehousing and big data analytics, counts among its customers Wal-Mart, Apple, and eBay, whose Teradata data warehouse holds more than 20 petabytes of information.
Banks face flat-line growth in online banking unless they can persuade customers to do more on their bank sites rather than going to billers, according to a recent Javelin report. Online banking adoption is flat because it is saturated. By 2018, 89 percent of American households will use online banking, up from 84 percent today. He suggests that banks focus on a segment he calls Digital Drifters, younger, tech-savvy customers who could be persuaded to pay bills at their financial institution. But for now, 70 percent of them prefer to pay at the biller site.
Nationwide Building Society in the UK, which is in the final stages of replacing a Unisys mainframe system with SAP for its core banking platform, wanted to launch some innovative current account products that were impossible with its legacy system.
While payment cards are often promoted as premium status-driven consumer products in the United States and Europe, in developing countries debit cards are proving valuable for delivering child benefits, pension payments and government salaries.
Ann Cairns, president of international markets at MasterCard, said the card company has nine big projects underway around the world that will reach 350 million people, many of them unbanked.
Asian and Mideast banks are poised to take a leadership role in commerce because they are developing innovative services unhindered by clumsy legacy systems, said Scott Fitzgerald, senior vice president of ACI, the payments company.
“A lot of change is happening and a lot of new things coming in [to banking], a lot of it is coming not from the West but from emerging markets where there is more willingness to try exciting things.”
Illinois Institute of Technology, which is launching a degree in data science, wants to teach students a wide panoply of skills, said Professor Shlomo Argamon, professor of computer science and director of the masters program in data science.
Teradata TDC -0.02%, IBM IBM +0.47%, SAS and Tableau are among the big data specialists offering training for data scientists, sophisticated analysts, business intelligence experts – whatever they end up being called, but people who can work with the data they can collect and store.
Teradata said it wants to ensure there are enough data experts to make good use of its technology. Companies are working with universities on data analytics programs. They are also working on certification programs to provide credentials for geeks who might not want to go through four years of sociology and readings in French literature on their way to getting a job in big data.
If you’re coming out of a bar near a subway station on the upper westside of Manhattan at 1:30, and you’re hungry, Duncan McCall has a suggestion for you — maybe two or three suggestions — for nearby eating spots that cater to a late-night crowd.
Well, not Duncan personally, but his company, PlaceIQ, which has handily cut the country into 100 x 100 meter tiles — about the size of a small city block — to track mobile phone users.
Retail banks are facing the same challenges travel agencies confronted a decade ago, says John Schlesinger, chief enterprise architect at Temenos, a core banking software company.
And when’s the last time you used a travel agency? Big retail banks with their expensive and inflexible legacy systems could simply evaporate, he added. Yet most banks are firmly in denial; a major London bank expects to thrive for another 15 to 20 years on its aging Unisys core system, he said.
Foreign exchange is changing, and it is changing because of lawsuits against the Bank of New York Mellon and State Street, accusing them of giving investment management and pension fund clients prices that are much better for the custodian than for the investment managers.
Almost half of U.S. financial advisors are interacting with their clients through social media.
And the clients they chat with on Facebook aren’t just ‘tweens and millennials — about 60 percent of advisors surveyed who were active on social media had client portfolios over $20 million, Accenture found in a survey of 400 financial advisors.
Don’t try this at home.
Oh, go ahead. Want to see some data leakage?
Go to Google and type in: Confidential “not for distribution” filetype:pdf
This provocative suggestion came from Alastair Paterson, CEO of
Digital Shadows which helps companies find material they didn’t even know was missing, much less sitting on the Internet waiting for anyone to find it.