Financial service providers have been forced to make major changes to their cybersecurity programs and protocols in order to manage the transition to remote working, a practice many Fintech firms have adopted, following the global COVID-19 outbreak.
The US-headquartered Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) recently conducted a survey in which 871 cybersecurity professionals participated. The survey asked respondents about what has changed since the pandemic began, and how this has affected their cybersecurity programs.
Three quarters or 75% of survey respondents said remote working has led to dramatic changes in how cybersecurity programs are being managed. About 11% of professionals said potential security risks or threats from third-parties have required companies to make significant changes to their online security measures.
Digital banking software can securely handle a substantial increase in volume as only 3% of survey respondents said advanced Fintech tools require significant program changes or adjustments. This, as most modern digital banking solutions are already well-suited to handle a change in internet security protocols.
Around 46% of IT professionals responding to the survey said their financial institution or company they work for will most likely be investing in more cybersecurity software and platforms, even after the pandemic has passed.
Steve Silberstein, CEO at FS-ISAC, stated:
“As the effects of this pandemic continue to unfold, CISOs and cybersecurity teams are constantly adapting their cybersecurity programs to meet a new reality that is everything but normal.”
Earlier this month, OurCrowd invested in Hub Security, a startup that offers military-grade cybersecurity solutions for Fintech, cloud, blockchain, and data storage in general, in a $5 million Series A funding round led by AXA Ventures. Details of the investment were not announced.
Moshe Raines, Partner at OurCrowd and Labs/02 managing partner, said he was actively looking for a “software-defined HSM” platform for the past 12 months and he was very pleased when he met Hub Security and learned about their unique offering.
“We agreed very quickly to partner and invest.”
Cannabis NB reports higher sales and profits in first quarter figures
FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s government-owned cannabis retailer is reporting a profit of 1.4 million dollars during its first quarter this fiscal year.
Cannabis NB says total sales for the three-month period ending June 28 were 16.3 million dollars — up almost 79 per cent from the same period last year.
CEO Patrick Parent says the turnaround is the result of aggressive cost-cutting measures, renegotiating prices with suppliers and the addition of weekly promotions.
Premier Blaine Higgs says the finances will be considered as part of a review underway to decide whether to privatize the corporation.
Eight companies submitted proposals, but the review has been delayed by the COVID-19…
Head of cannabis retailer says Canada needs thousands more stores to compete with black market weed
The chief executive officer of independent cannabis retailer Fire and Flower Holdings said this week Canada needs 4,000 pot shops in order to compete with the country’s still-thriving black market.
In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Trevor Fencott said the Canadian illicit market for weed is still more efficient than the legal one, which has suffered numerous setbacks since legalization took effect nearly two years ago. The slow rollout of pot shops has been the most commonly-cited culprit behind the less-than-stellar performance of legal marijuana companies.
“The most efficient market out there is the illicit market. It’s not regulated, but it is efficient. Prohibition or enforcement alone don’t work. You need to compete with the illicit market head-on economically,” Fencott explained.
In order to achieve this, Fencott suggests Canada should follow Colorado’s model – where one dispensary is opened for every 10,000 residents. This means Canada would need to open as many as 4,000 dispensaries, while less than 1,000 have been opened to date.
“The way we see this going is that cannabis is ultimately going to be a convenience commodity. You have to give people multiple access points to the product that they want to buy, especially if you want to compete with the illicit market,” he said.
Aside from the lack of cannabis dispensaries, another important factor driving continued growth in the black market are prices, according to Fencott. Marijuana retailers and companies could bring down prices if they took control of delivery and wholesale buying costs, which are currently managed by provinces.
“We need to have our own ability to buy wholesale and deliver because that’s what the illicit market does. Until that happens, it’ll just be harder for us to compete with them,” he said.
In an effort to compete with black market prices, particularly as the gap between legal and illegal pot continues to grow, major players in Canada’s legal industry have all announced budget-friendly products in recent months.
However, the absence of a stronger physical presence of dispensaries has led some observers to slash their growth forecasts for the Canadian cannabis market by nearly $1 billion this year.
Dutch cannabis supply to Germany partially restored after short delay
Dutch medical cannabis shipments to Germany have partially been restored after a short delay, and some German wholesalers started receiving flower deliveries in recent days, Marijuana Business Daily has learned.
MJBizDaily confirmed that at least three German wholesalers – clients of the Dutch Office of Medicinal Cannabis (OMC) – received their June order at the end of last week or so far this week.
On June 11, the OMC said the order could be delayed up to six weeks “due to additional testing.”
Because of the large dependency on Dutch flower, there was a looming possibility of supply interruption, but so far, MJBizDaily hasn’t seen any meaningful shortages among the pharmacies we regularly survey.
In an email to MJBizDaily, the OMC noted that the June orders are now being shipped in phases.
Despite the lack of supply diversification, the supply chain and stock levels are more robust than in previous years.
“Although we were aware of market concern about the delay, we never feared there would be a significant impact,” Nick Pateras, managing director of Europe for London-based Materia Ventures – which owns a German wholesaler – told MJBizDaily.
“In fact, we have already received our shipment and have experienced no disruption in our sales to pharmacies.”
Clifford Starke, CEO of Franchise Cannabis, a Toronto-based, European-focused marijuana company that owns two German wholesalers, confirmed to MJBizDaily that Phatebo, one of the Franchise Cannabis German subsidiaries, received its June order last week. The order consisted exclusively of the Bedrocan cultivar flower.
Franchise’s other German wholesaler, ACA Müller GmbH, is still waiting for its June shipment, which is expected next week, Starke said.
Many other German clients of the Dutch government are still awaiting their June shipment.
June shipments might overlap with July orders for some wholesalers – or come close to it.
For July, the OMC emailed its German clients, offering each up to 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of flower, Marijuana Business Daily has learned.
That’s less than the June or May orders, which were up to 5 kilograms, and a challenge for German wholesalers that depend exclusively on Dutch supply.
The reduction indicates either that the OMC is taking new clients – which would mean the number of German wholesalers distributing Dutch product surpassed 65 – or that the agency does not have enough stock for the roughly 40 existing clients and is reducing the amount available.
“Germany today is struggling with EU-Good Manufacturing Practice flower supply issues, but that should be sorted in coming quarters as facilities in countries like Portugal come online,” Starke told MJBizDaily.
“It will be increasingly hard for Canadian facilities to be competitive supplying the European market,” he said.
Alfredo Pascual can be reached at [email protected]
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