In our 2017 Q3 Economic Outlook, Nordea says it expects the global economy to grow by 3.6 per cent this year, 3.7 per cent in 2018 and 3.6 per cent in 2019.
The rise of cybercrime has resulted in a robust industry of cyber security professionals, endlessly engaged in a cat-and-mouse struggle for dominance with would-be hackers. We interview two cybersecurity experts on the current trends, their expectations for the future and their advice for how companies can best protect themselves.
Andreas Bogk, a hacker and member of the Chaos Computer Club for more than 20 years, is a Principal Security Architect at HERE Technologies. Tonje Vik Jevard is a Cybersecurity Advisor at NorSIS, The Norwegian Center for Information Security, which works to promote a secure digital environment in Norway.
In June 2017, the Maersk Group was hit by the NotPetya ransomware attack, shutting down their systems for days. Some of their teams resorted to logging shipments by pen and paper, while other facilities were closed altogether. Ultimately, the disruption to their operations cost Maersk over $200 million in lost revenues.
However, despite the damage wreaked by the ransomware, the attack was not nearly as damaging as it could have been. Though NotPetya gained access to Maersk’s main operation systems, it never accessed any secure data and no sensitive information was made public.
Maersk was by no means the only victim of the NotPetya attacks. The ransomware, which originated in the Ukraine, tore through Europe, crippling many organisations. The NotPetya ransomware came on the heels of WannaCry, another ransomware attack that had a debilitating impact on the UK’s National Health Service, among others.
Cyber threats impact so many areas of both personal and professional life, it can be difficult to stay prepared. Here are 12 specific ways to improve your treasury's cybersecurity.
1. Don’t be complacent. As a treasury professional, finance employee or CFO, you are an attractive target to hackers. Everyone is a potential victim of cybercrime so be aware, take the risk seriously and stay on top of the latest trends both globally and locally. Work with your internal cybersecurity experts and ensure cybercrime is part of your department’s risk policy.
2. Plan for the worst. It has been widely stated by security experts that there are two types of companies today: those who have been hacked, and those who will be again. Ensure you have a plan in place if your systems are breached: Do you have a backup of data? Do you have a recovery procedure on a department or Group level? Do you know who to contact if you notice any breech or suspicious activity?
Bitcoin has been a financial curiosity since its rise to prominence in 2009. However, it’s become clear that the real technological advance is not the cryptocurrency itself, but the blockchain technology that underpins it. Innovators, entrepreneurs, and academics explored the potential usefulness of blockchain technology, leading to predictions that it would revolutionise entire industries with its increases in efficiency and security. However, almost eight years later, blockchain is still primarily relegated to innovation labs and conceptual models.
What happened to the technology that was hailed as an archival panacea? How has the financial industry started working with it, and what are the plans for the future?
Open Banking is more than PSD2 compliance, says Jarkko Turunen, Head of Open Banking Development at Nordea
Dynamic discounting may not exactly be the new kid on the working capital block but recently there has been a significant uptick in the adoption of this simple but effective payment method.
And considering that dynamic discounting can improve a buyer’s relationship with their suppliers, increase overall supply chain strength, and deliver benefits to a cash-rich buyer’s bottom line in a low interest rate environment, it is not hard to see why.
Get that working capital to work
Nordea recently conducted a research report on Working Capital Management in the Nordics, released in December 2016, and based on data from 184 public companies across the region. The report showed that the median Nordic business has a third more net working capital (NWC) locked up than their European equivalent. By improving to best in class, the businesses we assessed could release value equivalent to 11% of their market cap — a total of €65 billion.
Managing working capital should be a clear priority for all organisations. Many businesses have a strong cash position – and effective cash management can help support these businesses to achieving better profitability and working capital position. Regardless of their objectives, with dynamic discounting, businesses can take advantage of their excess cash and gain a better return on invested capital. Dynamic discounting also supports the cash flow of the suppliers.
With dynamic discounting, buyers benefit from increased flexibility to choose how and when to pay their medium- and small-sized suppliers, with earlier-than-due-date payments resulting in a discount on the original invoice. So, in effect, the earlier the buyer pays the supplier, the greater the discount as the discount is determined "dynamically" in relation to the amount of days remaining until the initial due date. Suppliers, for their part, get paid earlier, which can improve their short-term liquidity position and even allow them in turn to pay their suppliers early or invest more in their business.
Late this summer, the ICC released their annual report on the regional and global trends in trade and trade finance. The report is based on expert opinion and the results of a major survey. It provides insight and analysis into issues such as the trade finance gap, access to finance, export finance and supply chain finance – and how digitisation and new technologies like blockchain and FinTech are reshaping the industry.
The 2017 report saw several central themes emerge and others mature. Trends such as a growing emphasis on sustainability in trade and the trade finance gap came into sharp focus, while the move towards digitalisation again grabbed the attention.
On the back of the report, Nordea spoke to several senior ICC figures to get their take on the report’s findings and how they see the major trends developing in the coming years.
AutoFX is a rule-based solution that automates your FX handling. By putting it into autopilot mode, AutoFX will free you from manually monitoring your currency account balances and FX transactions.
AutoFX is a fully automated FX risk and Liquidity Management solution, developed in collaboration with a high-profile Nordea customer in an effort to help modern treasury functions automate their daily routines and risk management.
Using your own custom configuration, AutoFX automatically tops up your balances when negative, or reduces them when positive. So instead of monitoring your bank accounts daily and moving liquidity around, you can put AutoFX into autopilot mode and let it manage your foreign currency exposure according to your requirements and rules. Transactions can be easily viewed in real time when convenient for you.
Global Finance granted AutoFX an Innovators Award for Product Innovation within Transaction Services, recognising the benefits it brings to treasury departments.
For more information
Please contact your Nordea Cash Management Advisor or FX Sales Manager, or go to nordea.com/autofx
Watch the AutoFX video
What do Robert Mueller, former Director of the FBI, John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco, and Misha Glenny, a British cybersecurity journalist, have in common? They all agree that there are two types of companies today: those who have been hacked, and those who will be again. Though it may sound like an innocent platitude, consider that a company need not even realise that its security has been compromised to fit into one of these categories.
Corporate cybersecurity is more important than ever, with 54% of cybersecurity professionals predicting an increase in cyberattacks over the next 12 months.1 Cybercrime is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and many companies are struggling to develop and maintain effective security standards. The greatest security challenge faced by companies is the detection of advanced, unknown or emerging threats. On average, it currently takes a company 40 days to notice that attackers have infiltrated their networks.
As cybercrime advances, corporates of all sizes must take proactive steps to help prevent, detect, and resolve security breaches. “Cybercrime has become more sophisticated as perpetrators have realised that there is profit to be gained,” says Anton Tkachov Chief Security Architect, Financial Systems Cybersecurity, PwC. “In the 1970s, for example, computer viruses were just a prank; today, ransomware is a very lucrative market. Cybercriminals have realised the potential gain and started to operate as mature businesses with large investment and R&D budgets.”
In light of these developments, companies are showing a renewed interest in cybersecurity, and security professionals understand that corporates must take proactive steps to remain ahead of emerging security threats. “It’s a very asymmetric war,” says Alvaro Garrido, Group CIO and head of Group IT at Nordea. “We need to be right 100% of the time, and they need to be right just one time.”