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ISACA International President: The evolution of the conk on the head



Tony HayesWhile the term is a relatively new one, mankind has, regrettably, been committing “crime” since our origin. One early Homo sapien would strike another on the head and take his piece of meat. As mankind has evolved, so too has our crime, regrettably. Cybercrime, as you are well aware, is rampant—the conk on the head and the purloined piece of meat have been replaced with a few clicks on a keyboard and the theft of data, intellectual property or funds.

Until this point, the two types of crime have remained distinct—one existing in the physical world, the other in the digital realm. Victims of cybercrime might develop a migraine upon learning that they have been hacked, but no welts develop on their heads.

And this might be changing, regrettably.

As the man/machine interface grows—as we increasingly connect ourselves with our computers—the line between “cyber” and “physical” crime muddies.

This concept is a focus of the recent report “Scenarios for the Future of Cybercrime,” which is a component of Project 2020, a joint initiative of the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance and the European Cyber Crime Centre with the aim of anticipating the future of cybercrime to enable governments, businesses and citizens to prepare themselves for the challenges and opportunities of the coming decade.

And there will be plenty of challenges.

“Targets will range from individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations to critical infrastructure and defence systems, motivations from sheer amusement …to profit to commercial and technological advantage and national security,” reads the report. “Evolved threats to critical infrastructure and human implants will increasingly blur the distinction between cyber and physical attack, resulting in offline destruction and physical injury.”

So how does cybercrime make the jump from 1s and 0s to flesh and bone? Consider hacks against car-to-car communications, resulting in wrecks. Wireless-enabled medical devices, which keep patients alive, could be remotely disabled. Attacks on information infrastructure could prompt riots, resulting in widespread physical damage. And just as surely as engineers are working on enhancements to wearable technology like Google Glass, so too are nefarious parties working on ways to exploit those using the futuristic eyewear.

Big, intimidating bodyguards were the original security professionals. Today, security pros more commonly work with Big Data and intimidating network problems. If the predictions of the Project 2020 report are correct, we may soon see a hybrid profession that overlaps both sets of skills.

International President, ISACA and the IT Governance Institute


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Advancing technology has collided with longstanding customer issues to create a series of deep, lasting, systemic challenges for insurance. How will these trends impact insurers’ businesses and the industry overall?

The rise of fintech, changing consumer behavior, and advanced technologies are disrupting the insurance industry. Additionally, Insurtechs and technology startups continue to redefine customer experience through innovations such as risk-free underwriting, on-the-spot purchasing, activation, and claims processing.

The report from Deloitte Global examines forces that are disrupting the insurance industry and presents four possible scenarios for the future. We explore:

  • Changing the channel: Partnerships with product makers and distributors, and embedding insurance into other products and services may enable customers to select products that best fit their lifestyle.
  • Underwriting by machine: Technology advancements including AI innovations and algorithms will likely individualize risk selection and pricing, and customers can select products based on a wider range of price points.
  • Rise of the flexible product: Time-flexible, event-driven, modular and adjustable coverage may evolve to accommodate life stage, lifestyle, and wellness changes among consumers.
  • E-Z life insurance: Given the growth and shopping patterns in emerging markets, insurers who introduce flexible term products, and master digital distribution without compromising underwriting are likely to win in the marketplace.

Read the report to understand what the future holds for the insurance industry.

Key Contact

Neal Baumann

Neal Baumann

Global Insurance Leader

Neal leads Deloitte’s Global Insurance practice and is the US insurance consulting leader. He has 20 years of experience advising financial services and insurance company clients on corporate and comp… More

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A team from EY triumphed in a 48-hour European Investment Bank (EIB) hackathon designed to find ways to use blockchain technologies to redesign the transaction processing of commercial paper.

The EIB brought together 56 coders from 15 countries in 12 teams for the hackathon, run alongside the bank’s annual forum dedicated to treasury issues.

While the conference was running, the coders were locked in an adjacent room, trying to prove that blockchain tech can improve the transaction process of commercial paper – a short-term financing instrument that is used worldwide in treasury operations and still relies on an ‘archaic’ and complex process.

In the pitching session, the EY team won the contest with an effort that taps a combination of blockchain, robotics and business AI tools to optimise the issuance process and reduce the number of exchanges between the EIB and its counterparties while maintaining each one’s role within the ecosystem.

The EY team won a EUR5000 cash prize and a contract with the EIB to further develop its solution into a proof of concept.

Alexander Stubb, vice president, EIB, say: “There will be major gains from the use of new technologies such as blockchain, generated from the simplification and streamlining of existing financial processes. The new perspectives opened up by digitalisation and Distributed Ledger Technology must be assessed and we must all be ready to make use of them and embark on this new venture.

“As the EU’s financial arm, we decided to be on the active side, learn by experience and make things happen, to be a facilitator and join with our banking partners to pave the way for tomorrow’s financial industry.”

Separately, Barclays is planning a hackathon that will see coders use blockchain technology for post-trade processing of derivatives contracts. The event will take place over two days in September in London and New York, according to Coindesk.

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More information is leaking out about just how Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market with a mobile search engine application that complies to the country’s censorship laws.

The Intercept first broke this story when a whistleblower provided them documentation detailing the secret censored search project (codenamed Dragonfly). According to them, an overlooked Google acquisition from 2008 — — has been quietly laying down the foundation for the endeavor.

In order to run a business in China, tech companies are required to obtain a Internet Content Provider license from the Chinese government. As it’s difficult for foreign businesses to obtain this license, Google has long partnered with Chinese IT company Back in the early years of, Google actually operated directly off of’s license, even claiming the Chinese company was temporarily running its search engine. Facing intense scrutiny from the Chinese government and the media over this license arrangement, in 2007 Google formed a legitimate joint venture company with — the Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co.

Because of the necessity of that license, Google has maintained that joint venture and has been operating in China under the name Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. ever since. Even after the shut down of, Google’s Chinese advertising enterprise has been operating under the joint venture company as well as, low and behold, A whois search of the domain name, which provides a record of the current domain registrant information, pulls up Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. as the registrant organization.

A significant number of Google employees are reportedly none too happy about Google’s project complying with Chinese censorship laws. This most recent news, that the company has long been collecting data for a moment just like this, surely won’t make morale among these workers any better.

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