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Charlette Terrones

Eastern, Inova, and alternative insurance. A history of security and stability.

The concept of alternative insurance, commonly known as “captives,” has been around as long as insurance itself.1 The idea dates back to the 1600s when ship owners sat down at Lloyd’s Coffee House in London to discuss common sense solutions to protecting their vessels and cargo from financial loss. The rest is “Lloyd’s of London” history.

The modern day “captive” was born in 1958 by insurance innovator Fred Reiss, when he formed a “self-insurance” company to insulate his first client from the insecurities and instabilities of traditional insurance. As a wholly owned subsidiary located in Bermuda, this insurance company was literally a “captive” of the parent.

In recent decades, captives’ inherent security and stability have garnered widespread global acceptance and popularity. More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies have one or more captives. The ever-evolving sophistication of captives makes them attractive solutions for organizations of all types and sizes in search of an alternative to traditional insurance.

Eastern and Inova. True leadership in alternative insurance.

Inova's leadership in alternative insurance began in March 1998 when Cayman-based Eastern Re Ltd. became the first Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC) authorized by the Cayman Island Monetary Authority (CIMA). An SPC is a single legal entity comprised of individual “protected cells” that protect each insured organization’s assets and liabilities within a secure, stable environment.

Inova’s Eastern Re was the first SPC to be assigned a financial strength rating by A.M. Best Company. On August 13, 2014, A.M. Best Company reaffirmed Eastern Re’s A (Excellent) financial strength rating.

Inova's strength is reinforced by Eastern’s solid partnerships with globally respected industry leaders, including Lloyd’s of London (insurer/reinsurer), Global Captive Management Ltd. (insurance manager), Ernst & Young LLP (actuary/auditor), and Deustche Bank (SPC investment manager).

As of December 31, 2014, Inova includes 20 active programs totaling in excess of $60M in direct written premium.

1 Shanique Hall, “Recent Developments in the Captive Insurance Industry,” Center for Insurance Policy Research (CIPR) Newsletter [January 2012], accessed February 7, 2014.

Comments

When we look around we are amazed at the speed with which the world is changing. Online fraud techniques such as Pharming and other cyber-crime attacks are at all time high. To overcome such challenges, we need to at least have some basic understanding of these terms. The intention of this informational document is to approach the problem with a solution.

What is Pharming

Pharming redirects Internet users from legitimate websites to malicious ones using a strategy called DNS Cache Poisoning – where corrupt data is inserted into the cache database of a DNS.

The attacker uses several ways to carry out pharming attacks, one of the most popular way is to modify the Host file. The Pharmer covertly hijacks your computer and takes you to a forged website. Your browser may display the legitimate URL, but you will not be on the legitimate server. This, in most cases, is a page that looks identical to that of your bank, financial institution or online shopping websites like, eBay, or Amazon. Here, the attacker seeks your confidential information like credit card numbers, account passwords, etc.

The Hosts fi­le allows storing IP & domain names to speed up sur­fing and avoid consulting a DNS server. So, every time a user enters the address into the browser, the PC accesses the Hosts fi­le fi­rst and, if it ­finds this domain name, it takes up the IP address of a website. Now if the Hosts file is modified, the user will be redirected to the wrong website, where the attacker will be waiting to steals the credentials.

To carry out a pharming attack, the attacker typically makes use of the following:


A Batch Script to write the malicious IP and domain names onto the Hosts ­files.

A Joiner to join the batch ­file onto another fi­le

A Code Obfuscator to help the executable escape detection from anti-virus software.




 

Phishing vs Pharming

You need to be clear about the difference between Pharming and Phishing. Phishing attacks start with the receipt of an e-mail asking you to visit a website where you may get compromised. Pharming attacks start at the DNS server level where you are redirected to a malicious website.

How to mitigate Pharming attack

Use an anti-virus program which protects you from unauthorized alterations of the Host file is one way. Also, you should regularly patch your operating system and the installed software.

More sophisticated pharming attacks target the DNS server which is usually handled by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In such a scenario, a user has few options at hand to handle the risk and he can do little against it, except using trustworthy DNS servers.

 

Comments

No one is safe online. Everyone is vulnerable and it is your responsibility to establish precautionary measures to protect yourself against cyberattacks. Make yourself well informed and updated on different schemes which cybercriminals used to deceive online users.

The simple tips below should help ensure your security online without ruining the convenience online access offers:

1. Your passwords should be strong enough that it cannot be easily guessed by hackers. Do not use obvious passwords using your personal information or do not use the most common passwords that are ridiculously easy to guess. Moreover, make sure that you use different passwords for your online accounts because having similar passwords on all accounts makes it easier for hackers to steal your identity.

2. Updating your software is very important. There are many good reasons why you need to update your software, thus make sure to take time updating and installing new versions of it.

3. Phishers do have the capability to copy the exact interface of a certain website and lure you into one. They will do everything to obtain personal information from you using those fake sites. Closely examine the site you are accessing before logging in your account and before giving out any personal and financial information.

4. A recovery contact is very important at times where you can’t login to your account. Make sure to set an account recovery contact in case you can’t access your own account.

5. Take advantage of setting up a two-step authentication as it serves as an added security to your accounts and will prevent hackers from accessing your account easily.

Dangers and threats are lurking on the Internet and hackers are always on the hunt looking for someone to victimize. Make yourself invincible and hard to hack, follow the basic ways above and be updated on latest schemes cybercriminals used.

 

Comments

There were an estimated 3.6 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences in a year, according to an official survey.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales included the offences for the first time in its annual report, which covered the year to September.

Separate figures recorded by police showed an 8% rise in offences overall.

The Office for National Statistics said crime recording improvements meant the police figures could not reveal trends.

'Crime has changed'

John Flatley, from the ONS, said: "In the past, burglary and theft of vehicles were the high-volume crimes driving trends but their numbers have fallen substantially since then.

"When the crime survey started [35 years ago], fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented.

"Today's figures demonstrate how crime has changed, with fraud now the most commonly experienced offence."

Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, told the You and Yours programme on BBC Radio 4 that many frauds went undetected and a great deal never got reported to the police.

"The amount of fraud that is taking place now is probably in epidemic proportions," he added. "The police are having to work very, very hard to keep up with even the ones they know about.

"The capability at police forces is quite skeletal and that needs to change and change a great deal."

The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime and incident recording, Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, said forces were working with the Home Office, police and crime commissioners, and industry experts to develop new tactics to fight cybercrime.

"The ability to commit crime online demonstrates the need for policing to adapt and transform to tackle these cyber challenges," he said.

Cyber and fraud: What is being counted?

  • Bank and credit account fraud - meaning criminals accessing bank accounts, credit cards or fraudulently using plastic card details
  • "Advance fee fraud" - crimes where the victim has been tricked into handing over cash after a communication, such as a lottery scam
  • "Non-investment fraud" - criminals conning a victim into buying something, often online, perhaps through a bogus phone call or email.
  • Other frauds including investment or fake charity scams
  • There are two broad categories of "computer misuse" crimes:
  • Unauthorised access to personal information, including hacking
  • Computer virus, malware or other incidents such as "DDoS" attacks aimed at online services


     

 

 

Comments

In 1993, cartoonist Peter Steiner of The New Yorker coined the phrase: ‘On the internet, no-one knows you’re a dog.’ More than 20 years later, the issue of internet privacy and a user’s ability to send and receive messages anonymously, remains a significant barrier to building online trust.

“The reality is, as individuals, if we really knew and appreciated the risks we face when dealing with financial services online, we simply wouldn’t do it,” suggests James Varga, chief executive officer of The ID Co. “15 years ago nobody knew about banking fraud, now everybody knows somebody who has been affected by fraud, phishing attacks, or identity theft.

“High profile hacks from TalkTalk, Yahoo and dating sites have exposed our personal data to potential misuse. The fact is, a lot of that risk comes from our online activities and the need to constantly prove we are who we say are.“

With online fraud growing every year, it is now estimated to cost the UK economy more than £11bn per year, with bank-funded crime prevention group Financial Fraud Action reporting that a financial scam was carried out every 15 seconds in 2016.

However, in a world where 71 per cent of millennials in the US would rather visit the dentist than open a bank account, it’s clear that not only does the modern world of financial services face an issue with establishing trust, it must also meet market demand for convenience.

As one of a number of disruptive fintech businesses headquartered in Edinburgh, The ID Co aims to meet both needs.

“No-one likes banks. However, despite damage to the sector’s reputation following the financial crisis, everyone trusts their bank. Banks are built on the premise of trust,” adds James. “The whole business, the regulatory framework in which they operate, is built on the foundation of trust, reliance and security. As a fintech business, we aim to leverage the trust that users have with their bank and share that trust with other organisations.

“We want to provide online users with the same level of convenience and security that a passport brings when you travel.”

Through its DirectID offer, The ID Co connects a user’s online profile with their bank, in effect helping the user prove they are who they say are, and allowing them to control precisely what information they share with any third party.

A regulatory watershed

In his role as CEO, James has spent the past five years playing an active part in the UK’s Open Bank Working Group,

“We began discussions with GSMA, the trade association for the mobile industry, as well as Verify.gov a number of years ago. As part of those discussions, we were invited by HM Treasury to participate in the development of the latest pan-European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) programme, where I co-chaired the data sub-group.

For fintech businesses, the ongoing adoption of PSD2 across Europe – a two-year process that is expected to be complete by January 2018 – represents a watershed moment. The key requirement of PSD2 requires banks to provide access, via secure APIs, to their customer accounts and provide account information to third party apps, if the account holder wishes.

“It establishes standardised interactions between consumers and their banks – seamlessly and securely.”

The implementation of PSD2, which has been driven largely from the UK, will enable fintech businesses to accelerate disruption in a sector recognised for limited innovation and being understandably risk averse.

According to data from the World Economic Forum investment in fintech has soared in the past decade – from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2015.

The majority of that investment has targeted the most profitable areas of global banking – namely personal and corporate finance. While fintech investment continues to be dominated by Silicon Valley, London remains the undisputed fintech capital of Europe, while pre-Brexit research by Ernst & Young singled out the UK as a whole as the world’s leading fintech centre.

Comments
More

Eastern, Inova, and alternative insurance. A history of security and stability.

The concept of alternative insurance, commonly known as “captives,” has been around as long as insurance itself.1 The idea dates back to the 1600s when ship owners sat down at Lloyd’s Coffee House in London to discuss common sense solutions to protecting their vessels and cargo from financial loss. The rest is “Lloyd’s of London” history.

The modern day “captive” was born in 1958 by insurance innovator Fred Reiss, when he formed a “self-insurance” company to insulate his first client from the insecurities and instabilities of traditional insurance. As a wholly owned subsidiary located in Bermuda, this insurance company was literally a “captive” of the parent.

In recent decades, captives’ inherent security and stability have garnered widespread global acceptance and popularity. More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies have one or more captives. The ever-evolving sophistication of captives makes them attractive solutions for organizations of all types and sizes in search of an alternative to traditional insurance.

Eastern and Inova. True leadership in alternative insurance.

Inova's leadership in alternative insurance began in March 1998 when Cayman-based Eastern Re Ltd. became the first Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC) authorized by the Cayman Island Monetary Authority (CIMA). An SPC is a single legal entity comprised of individual “protected cells” that protect each insured organization’s assets and liabilities within a secure, stable environment.

Inova’s Eastern Re was the first SPC to be assigned a financial strength rating by A.M. Best Company. On August 13, 2014, A.M. Best Company reaffirmed Eastern Re’s A (Excellent) financial strength rating.

Inova's strength is reinforced by Eastern’s solid partnerships with globally respected industry leaders, including Lloyd’s of London (insurer/reinsurer), Global Captive Management Ltd. (insurance manager), Ernst & Young LLP (actuary/auditor), and Deustche Bank (SPC investment manager).

As of December 31, 2014, Inova includes 20 active programs totaling in excess of $60M in direct written premium.

1 Shanique Hall, “Recent Developments in the Captive Insurance Industry,” Center for Insurance Policy Research (CIPR) Newsletter [January 2012], accessed February 7, 2014.

Comments

When we look around we are amazed at the speed with which the world is changing. Online fraud techniques such as Pharming and other cyber-crime attacks are at all time high. To overcome such challenges, we need to at least have some basic understanding of these terms. The intention of this informational document is to approach the problem with a solution.

What is Pharming

Pharming redirects Internet users from legitimate websites to malicious ones using a strategy called DNS Cache Poisoning – where corrupt data is inserted into the cache database of a DNS.

The attacker uses several ways to carry out pharming attacks, one of the most popular way is to modify the Host file. The Pharmer covertly hijacks your computer and takes you to a forged website. Your browser may display the legitimate URL, but you will not be on the legitimate server. This, in most cases, is a page that looks identical to that of your bank, financial institution or online shopping websites like, eBay, or Amazon. Here, the attacker seeks your confidential information like credit card numbers, account passwords, etc.

The Hosts fi­le allows storing IP & domain names to speed up sur­fing and avoid consulting a DNS server. So, every time a user enters the address into the browser, the PC accesses the Hosts fi­le fi­rst and, if it ­finds this domain name, it takes up the IP address of a website. Now if the Hosts file is modified, the user will be redirected to the wrong website, where the attacker will be waiting to steals the credentials.

To carry out a pharming attack, the attacker typically makes use of the following:


A Batch Script to write the malicious IP and domain names onto the Hosts ­files.

A Joiner to join the batch ­file onto another fi­le

A Code Obfuscator to help the executable escape detection from anti-virus software.




 

Phishing vs Pharming

You need to be clear about the difference between Pharming and Phishing. Phishing attacks start with the receipt of an e-mail asking you to visit a website where you may get compromised. Pharming attacks start at the DNS server level where you are redirected to a malicious website.

How to mitigate Pharming attack

Use an anti-virus program which protects you from unauthorized alterations of the Host file is one way. Also, you should regularly patch your operating system and the installed software.

More sophisticated pharming attacks target the DNS server which is usually handled by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In such a scenario, a user has few options at hand to handle the risk and he can do little against it, except using trustworthy DNS servers.

 

Comments

No one is safe online. Everyone is vulnerable and it is your responsibility to establish precautionary measures to protect yourself against cyberattacks. Make yourself well informed and updated on different schemes which cybercriminals used to deceive online users.

The simple tips below should help ensure your security online without ruining the convenience online access offers:

1. Your passwords should be strong enough that it cannot be easily guessed by hackers. Do not use obvious passwords using your personal information or do not use the most common passwords that are ridiculously easy to guess. Moreover, make sure that you use different passwords for your online accounts because having similar passwords on all accounts makes it easier for hackers to steal your identity.

2. Updating your software is very important. There are many good reasons why you need to update your software, thus make sure to take time updating and installing new versions of it.

3. Phishers do have the capability to copy the exact interface of a certain website and lure you into one. They will do everything to obtain personal information from you using those fake sites. Closely examine the site you are accessing before logging in your account and before giving out any personal and financial information.

4. A recovery contact is very important at times where you can’t login to your account. Make sure to set an account recovery contact in case you can’t access your own account.

5. Take advantage of setting up a two-step authentication as it serves as an added security to your accounts and will prevent hackers from accessing your account easily.

Dangers and threats are lurking on the Internet and hackers are always on the hunt looking for someone to victimize. Make yourself invincible and hard to hack, follow the basic ways above and be updated on latest schemes cybercriminals used.

 

Comments

There were an estimated 3.6 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences in a year, according to an official survey.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales included the offences for the first time in its annual report, which covered the year to September.

Separate figures recorded by police showed an 8% rise in offences overall.

The Office for National Statistics said crime recording improvements meant the police figures could not reveal trends.

'Crime has changed'

John Flatley, from the ONS, said: "In the past, burglary and theft of vehicles were the high-volume crimes driving trends but their numbers have fallen substantially since then.

"When the crime survey started [35 years ago], fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented.

"Today's figures demonstrate how crime has changed, with fraud now the most commonly experienced offence."

Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, told the You and Yours programme on BBC Radio 4 that many frauds went undetected and a great deal never got reported to the police.

"The amount of fraud that is taking place now is probably in epidemic proportions," he added. "The police are having to work very, very hard to keep up with even the ones they know about.

"The capability at police forces is quite skeletal and that needs to change and change a great deal."

The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime and incident recording, Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, said forces were working with the Home Office, police and crime commissioners, and industry experts to develop new tactics to fight cybercrime.

"The ability to commit crime online demonstrates the need for policing to adapt and transform to tackle these cyber challenges," he said.

Cyber and fraud: What is being counted?

  • Bank and credit account fraud - meaning criminals accessing bank accounts, credit cards or fraudulently using plastic card details
  • "Advance fee fraud" - crimes where the victim has been tricked into handing over cash after a communication, such as a lottery scam
  • "Non-investment fraud" - criminals conning a victim into buying something, often online, perhaps through a bogus phone call or email.
  • Other frauds including investment or fake charity scams
  • There are two broad categories of "computer misuse" crimes:
  • Unauthorised access to personal information, including hacking
  • Computer virus, malware or other incidents such as "DDoS" attacks aimed at online services


     

 

 

Comments

In 1993, cartoonist Peter Steiner of The New Yorker coined the phrase: ‘On the internet, no-one knows you’re a dog.’ More than 20 years later, the issue of internet privacy and a user’s ability to send and receive messages anonymously, remains a significant barrier to building online trust.

“The reality is, as individuals, if we really knew and appreciated the risks we face when dealing with financial services online, we simply wouldn’t do it,” suggests James Varga, chief executive officer of The ID Co. “15 years ago nobody knew about banking fraud, now everybody knows somebody who has been affected by fraud, phishing attacks, or identity theft.

“High profile hacks from TalkTalk, Yahoo and dating sites have exposed our personal data to potential misuse. The fact is, a lot of that risk comes from our online activities and the need to constantly prove we are who we say are.“

With online fraud growing every year, it is now estimated to cost the UK economy more than £11bn per year, with bank-funded crime prevention group Financial Fraud Action reporting that a financial scam was carried out every 15 seconds in 2016.

However, in a world where 71 per cent of millennials in the US would rather visit the dentist than open a bank account, it’s clear that not only does the modern world of financial services face an issue with establishing trust, it must also meet market demand for convenience.

As one of a number of disruptive fintech businesses headquartered in Edinburgh, The ID Co aims to meet both needs.

“No-one likes banks. However, despite damage to the sector’s reputation following the financial crisis, everyone trusts their bank. Banks are built on the premise of trust,” adds James. “The whole business, the regulatory framework in which they operate, is built on the foundation of trust, reliance and security. As a fintech business, we aim to leverage the trust that users have with their bank and share that trust with other organisations.

“We want to provide online users with the same level of convenience and security that a passport brings when you travel.”

Through its DirectID offer, The ID Co connects a user’s online profile with their bank, in effect helping the user prove they are who they say are, and allowing them to control precisely what information they share with any third party.

A regulatory watershed

In his role as CEO, James has spent the past five years playing an active part in the UK’s Open Bank Working Group,

“We began discussions with GSMA, the trade association for the mobile industry, as well as Verify.gov a number of years ago. As part of those discussions, we were invited by HM Treasury to participate in the development of the latest pan-European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) programme, where I co-chaired the data sub-group.

For fintech businesses, the ongoing adoption of PSD2 across Europe – a two-year process that is expected to be complete by January 2018 – represents a watershed moment. The key requirement of PSD2 requires banks to provide access, via secure APIs, to their customer accounts and provide account information to third party apps, if the account holder wishes.

“It establishes standardised interactions between consumers and their banks – seamlessly and securely.”

The implementation of PSD2, which has been driven largely from the UK, will enable fintech businesses to accelerate disruption in a sector recognised for limited innovation and being understandably risk averse.

According to data from the World Economic Forum investment in fintech has soared in the past decade – from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2015.

The majority of that investment has targeted the most profitable areas of global banking – namely personal and corporate finance. While fintech investment continues to be dominated by Silicon Valley, London remains the undisputed fintech capital of Europe, while pre-Brexit research by Ernst & Young singled out the UK as a whole as the world’s leading fintech centre.

Comments
More

Eastern, Inova, and alternative insurance. A history of security and stability.

The concept of alternative insurance, commonly known as “captives,” has been around as long as insurance itself.1 The idea dates back to the 1600s when ship owners sat down at Lloyd’s Coffee House in London to discuss common sense solutions to protecting their vessels and cargo from financial loss. The rest is “Lloyd’s of London” history.

The modern day “captive” was born in 1958 by insurance innovator Fred Reiss, when he formed a “self-insurance” company to insulate his first client from the insecurities and instabilities of traditional insurance. As a wholly owned subsidiary located in Bermuda, this insurance company was literally a “captive” of the parent.

In recent decades, captives’ inherent security and stability have garnered widespread global acceptance and popularity. More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies have one or more captives. The ever-evolving sophistication of captives makes them attractive solutions for organizations of all types and sizes in search of an alternative to traditional insurance.

Eastern and Inova. True leadership in alternative insurance.

Inova's leadership in alternative insurance began in March 1998 when Cayman-based Eastern Re Ltd. became the first Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC) authorized by the Cayman Island Monetary Authority (CIMA). An SPC is a single legal entity comprised of individual “protected cells” that protect each insured organization’s assets and liabilities within a secure, stable environment.

Inova’s Eastern Re was the first SPC to be assigned a financial strength rating by A.M. Best Company. On August 13, 2014, A.M. Best Company reaffirmed Eastern Re’s A (Excellent) financial strength rating.

Inova's strength is reinforced by Eastern’s solid partnerships with globally respected industry leaders, including Lloyd’s of London (insurer/reinsurer), Global Captive Management Ltd. (insurance manager), Ernst & Young LLP (actuary/auditor), and Deustche Bank (SPC investment manager).

As of December 31, 2014, Inova includes 20 active programs totaling in excess of $60M in direct written premium.

1 Shanique Hall, “Recent Developments in the Captive Insurance Industry,” Center for Insurance Policy Research (CIPR) Newsletter [January 2012], accessed February 7, 2014.

Comments

When we look around we are amazed at the speed with which the world is changing. Online fraud techniques such as Pharming and other cyber-crime attacks are at all time high. To overcome such challenges, we need to at least have some basic understanding of these terms. The intention of this informational document is to approach the problem with a solution.

What is Pharming

Pharming redirects Internet users from legitimate websites to malicious ones using a strategy called DNS Cache Poisoning – where corrupt data is inserted into the cache database of a DNS.

The attacker uses several ways to carry out pharming attacks, one of the most popular way is to modify the Host file. The Pharmer covertly hijacks your computer and takes you to a forged website. Your browser may display the legitimate URL, but you will not be on the legitimate server. This, in most cases, is a page that looks identical to that of your bank, financial institution or online shopping websites like, eBay, or Amazon. Here, the attacker seeks your confidential information like credit card numbers, account passwords, etc.

The Hosts fi­le allows storing IP & domain names to speed up sur­fing and avoid consulting a DNS server. So, every time a user enters the address into the browser, the PC accesses the Hosts fi­le fi­rst and, if it ­finds this domain name, it takes up the IP address of a website. Now if the Hosts file is modified, the user will be redirected to the wrong website, where the attacker will be waiting to steals the credentials.

To carry out a pharming attack, the attacker typically makes use of the following:


A Batch Script to write the malicious IP and domain names onto the Hosts ­files.

A Joiner to join the batch ­file onto another fi­le

A Code Obfuscator to help the executable escape detection from anti-virus software.




 

Phishing vs Pharming

You need to be clear about the difference between Pharming and Phishing. Phishing attacks start with the receipt of an e-mail asking you to visit a website where you may get compromised. Pharming attacks start at the DNS server level where you are redirected to a malicious website.

How to mitigate Pharming attack

Use an anti-virus program which protects you from unauthorized alterations of the Host file is one way. Also, you should regularly patch your operating system and the installed software.

More sophisticated pharming attacks target the DNS server which is usually handled by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In such a scenario, a user has few options at hand to handle the risk and he can do little against it, except using trustworthy DNS servers.

 

Comments

No one is safe online. Everyone is vulnerable and it is your responsibility to establish precautionary measures to protect yourself against cyberattacks. Make yourself well informed and updated on different schemes which cybercriminals used to deceive online users.

The simple tips below should help ensure your security online without ruining the convenience online access offers:

1. Your passwords should be strong enough that it cannot be easily guessed by hackers. Do not use obvious passwords using your personal information or do not use the most common passwords that are ridiculously easy to guess. Moreover, make sure that you use different passwords for your online accounts because having similar passwords on all accounts makes it easier for hackers to steal your identity.

2. Updating your software is very important. There are many good reasons why you need to update your software, thus make sure to take time updating and installing new versions of it.

3. Phishers do have the capability to copy the exact interface of a certain website and lure you into one. They will do everything to obtain personal information from you using those fake sites. Closely examine the site you are accessing before logging in your account and before giving out any personal and financial information.

4. A recovery contact is very important at times where you can’t login to your account. Make sure to set an account recovery contact in case you can’t access your own account.

5. Take advantage of setting up a two-step authentication as it serves as an added security to your accounts and will prevent hackers from accessing your account easily.

Dangers and threats are lurking on the Internet and hackers are always on the hunt looking for someone to victimize. Make yourself invincible and hard to hack, follow the basic ways above and be updated on latest schemes cybercriminals used.

 

Comments

There were an estimated 3.6 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences in a year, according to an official survey.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales included the offences for the first time in its annual report, which covered the year to September.

Separate figures recorded by police showed an 8% rise in offences overall.

The Office for National Statistics said crime recording improvements meant the police figures could not reveal trends.

'Crime has changed'

John Flatley, from the ONS, said: "In the past, burglary and theft of vehicles were the high-volume crimes driving trends but their numbers have fallen substantially since then.

"When the crime survey started [35 years ago], fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented.

"Today's figures demonstrate how crime has changed, with fraud now the most commonly experienced offence."

Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, told the You and Yours programme on BBC Radio 4 that many frauds went undetected and a great deal never got reported to the police.

"The amount of fraud that is taking place now is probably in epidemic proportions," he added. "The police are having to work very, very hard to keep up with even the ones they know about.

"The capability at police forces is quite skeletal and that needs to change and change a great deal."

The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime and incident recording, Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, said forces were working with the Home Office, police and crime commissioners, and industry experts to develop new tactics to fight cybercrime.

"The ability to commit crime online demonstrates the need for policing to adapt and transform to tackle these cyber challenges," he said.

Cyber and fraud: What is being counted?

  • Bank and credit account fraud - meaning criminals accessing bank accounts, credit cards or fraudulently using plastic card details
  • "Advance fee fraud" - crimes where the victim has been tricked into handing over cash after a communication, such as a lottery scam
  • "Non-investment fraud" - criminals conning a victim into buying something, often online, perhaps through a bogus phone call or email.
  • Other frauds including investment or fake charity scams
  • There are two broad categories of "computer misuse" crimes:
  • Unauthorised access to personal information, including hacking
  • Computer virus, malware or other incidents such as "DDoS" attacks aimed at online services


     

 

 

Comments

In 1993, cartoonist Peter Steiner of The New Yorker coined the phrase: ‘On the internet, no-one knows you’re a dog.’ More than 20 years later, the issue of internet privacy and a user’s ability to send and receive messages anonymously, remains a significant barrier to building online trust.

“The reality is, as individuals, if we really knew and appreciated the risks we face when dealing with financial services online, we simply wouldn’t do it,” suggests James Varga, chief executive officer of The ID Co. “15 years ago nobody knew about banking fraud, now everybody knows somebody who has been affected by fraud, phishing attacks, or identity theft.

“High profile hacks from TalkTalk, Yahoo and dating sites have exposed our personal data to potential misuse. The fact is, a lot of that risk comes from our online activities and the need to constantly prove we are who we say are.“

With online fraud growing every year, it is now estimated to cost the UK economy more than £11bn per year, with bank-funded crime prevention group Financial Fraud Action reporting that a financial scam was carried out every 15 seconds in 2016.

However, in a world where 71 per cent of millennials in the US would rather visit the dentist than open a bank account, it’s clear that not only does the modern world of financial services face an issue with establishing trust, it must also meet market demand for convenience.

As one of a number of disruptive fintech businesses headquartered in Edinburgh, The ID Co aims to meet both needs.

“No-one likes banks. However, despite damage to the sector’s reputation following the financial crisis, everyone trusts their bank. Banks are built on the premise of trust,” adds James. “The whole business, the regulatory framework in which they operate, is built on the foundation of trust, reliance and security. As a fintech business, we aim to leverage the trust that users have with their bank and share that trust with other organisations.

“We want to provide online users with the same level of convenience and security that a passport brings when you travel.”

Through its DirectID offer, The ID Co connects a user’s online profile with their bank, in effect helping the user prove they are who they say are, and allowing them to control precisely what information they share with any third party.

A regulatory watershed

In his role as CEO, James has spent the past five years playing an active part in the UK’s Open Bank Working Group,

“We began discussions with GSMA, the trade association for the mobile industry, as well as Verify.gov a number of years ago. As part of those discussions, we were invited by HM Treasury to participate in the development of the latest pan-European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) programme, where I co-chaired the data sub-group.

For fintech businesses, the ongoing adoption of PSD2 across Europe – a two-year process that is expected to be complete by January 2018 – represents a watershed moment. The key requirement of PSD2 requires banks to provide access, via secure APIs, to their customer accounts and provide account information to third party apps, if the account holder wishes.

“It establishes standardised interactions between consumers and their banks – seamlessly and securely.”

The implementation of PSD2, which has been driven largely from the UK, will enable fintech businesses to accelerate disruption in a sector recognised for limited innovation and being understandably risk averse.

According to data from the World Economic Forum investment in fintech has soared in the past decade – from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2015.

The majority of that investment has targeted the most profitable areas of global banking – namely personal and corporate finance. While fintech investment continues to be dominated by Silicon Valley, London remains the undisputed fintech capital of Europe, while pre-Brexit research by Ernst & Young singled out the UK as a whole as the world’s leading fintech centre.

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Eastern, Inova, and alternative insurance. A history of security and stability.

The concept of alternative insurance, commonly known as “captives,” has been around as long as insurance itself.1 The idea dates back to the 1600s when ship owners sat down at Lloyd’s Coffee House in London to discuss common sense solutions to protecting their vessels and cargo from financial loss. The rest is “Lloyd’s of London” history.

The modern day “captive” was born in 1958 by insurance innovator Fred Reiss, when he formed a “self-insurance” company to insulate his first client from the insecurities and instabilities of traditional insurance. As a wholly owned subsidiary located in Bermuda, this insurance company was literally a “captive” of the parent.

In recent decades, captives’ inherent security and stability have garnered widespread global acceptance and popularity. More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies have one or more captives. The ever-evolving sophistication of captives makes them attractive solutions for organizations of all types and sizes in search of an alternative to traditional insurance.

Eastern and Inova. True leadership in alternative insurance.

Inova's leadership in alternative insurance began in March 1998 when Cayman-based Eastern Re Ltd. became the first Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC) authorized by the Cayman Island Monetary Authority (CIMA). An SPC is a single legal entity comprised of individual “protected cells” that protect each insured organization’s assets and liabilities within a secure, stable environment.

Inova’s Eastern Re was the first SPC to be assigned a financial strength rating by A.M. Best Company. On August 13, 2014, A.M. Best Company reaffirmed Eastern Re’s A (Excellent) financial strength rating.

Inova's strength is reinforced by Eastern’s solid partnerships with globally respected industry leaders, including Lloyd’s of London (insurer/reinsurer), Global Captive Management Ltd. (insurance manager), Ernst & Young LLP (actuary/auditor), and Deustche Bank (SPC investment manager).

As of December 31, 2014, Inova includes 20 active programs totaling in excess of $60M in direct written premium.

1 Shanique Hall, “Recent Developments in the Captive Insurance Industry,” Center for Insurance Policy Research (CIPR) Newsletter [January 2012], accessed February 7, 2014.

Comments

When we look around we are amazed at the speed with which the world is changing. Online fraud techniques such as Pharming and other cyber-crime attacks are at all time high. To overcome such challenges, we need to at least have some basic understanding of these terms. The intention of this informational document is to approach the problem with a solution.

What is Pharming

Pharming redirects Internet users from legitimate websites to malicious ones using a strategy called DNS Cache Poisoning – where corrupt data is inserted into the cache database of a DNS.

The attacker uses several ways to carry out pharming attacks, one of the most popular way is to modify the Host file. The Pharmer covertly hijacks your computer and takes you to a forged website. Your browser may display the legitimate URL, but you will not be on the legitimate server. This, in most cases, is a page that looks identical to that of your bank, financial institution or online shopping websites like, eBay, or Amazon. Here, the attacker seeks your confidential information like credit card numbers, account passwords, etc.

The Hosts fi­le allows storing IP & domain names to speed up sur­fing and avoid consulting a DNS server. So, every time a user enters the address into the browser, the PC accesses the Hosts fi­le fi­rst and, if it ­finds this domain name, it takes up the IP address of a website. Now if the Hosts file is modified, the user will be redirected to the wrong website, where the attacker will be waiting to steals the credentials.

To carry out a pharming attack, the attacker typically makes use of the following:


A Batch Script to write the malicious IP and domain names onto the Hosts ­files.

A Joiner to join the batch ­file onto another fi­le

A Code Obfuscator to help the executable escape detection from anti-virus software.




 

Phishing vs Pharming

You need to be clear about the difference between Pharming and Phishing. Phishing attacks start with the receipt of an e-mail asking you to visit a website where you may get compromised. Pharming attacks start at the DNS server level where you are redirected to a malicious website.

How to mitigate Pharming attack

Use an anti-virus program which protects you from unauthorized alterations of the Host file is one way. Also, you should regularly patch your operating system and the installed software.

More sophisticated pharming attacks target the DNS server which is usually handled by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In such a scenario, a user has few options at hand to handle the risk and he can do little against it, except using trustworthy DNS servers.

 

Comments

No one is safe online. Everyone is vulnerable and it is your responsibility to establish precautionary measures to protect yourself against cyberattacks. Make yourself well informed and updated on different schemes which cybercriminals used to deceive online users.

The simple tips below should help ensure your security online without ruining the convenience online access offers:

1. Your passwords should be strong enough that it cannot be easily guessed by hackers. Do not use obvious passwords using your personal information or do not use the most common passwords that are ridiculously easy to guess. Moreover, make sure that you use different passwords for your online accounts because having similar passwords on all accounts makes it easier for hackers to steal your identity.

2. Updating your software is very important. There are many good reasons why you need to update your software, thus make sure to take time updating and installing new versions of it.

3. Phishers do have the capability to copy the exact interface of a certain website and lure you into one. They will do everything to obtain personal information from you using those fake sites. Closely examine the site you are accessing before logging in your account and before giving out any personal and financial information.

4. A recovery contact is very important at times where you can’t login to your account. Make sure to set an account recovery contact in case you can’t access your own account.

5. Take advantage of setting up a two-step authentication as it serves as an added security to your accounts and will prevent hackers from accessing your account easily.

Dangers and threats are lurking on the Internet and hackers are always on the hunt looking for someone to victimize. Make yourself invincible and hard to hack, follow the basic ways above and be updated on latest schemes cybercriminals used.

 

Comments

There were an estimated 3.6 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences in a year, according to an official survey.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales included the offences for the first time in its annual report, which covered the year to September.

Separate figures recorded by police showed an 8% rise in offences overall.

The Office for National Statistics said crime recording improvements meant the police figures could not reveal trends.

'Crime has changed'

John Flatley, from the ONS, said: "In the past, burglary and theft of vehicles were the high-volume crimes driving trends but their numbers have fallen substantially since then.

"When the crime survey started [35 years ago], fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented.

"Today's figures demonstrate how crime has changed, with fraud now the most commonly experienced offence."

Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, told the You and Yours programme on BBC Radio 4 that many frauds went undetected and a great deal never got reported to the police.

"The amount of fraud that is taking place now is probably in epidemic proportions," he added. "The police are having to work very, very hard to keep up with even the ones they know about.

"The capability at police forces is quite skeletal and that needs to change and change a great deal."

The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime and incident recording, Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, said forces were working with the Home Office, police and crime commissioners, and industry experts to develop new tactics to fight cybercrime.

"The ability to commit crime online demonstrates the need for policing to adapt and transform to tackle these cyber challenges," he said.

Cyber and fraud: What is being counted?

  • Bank and credit account fraud - meaning criminals accessing bank accounts, credit cards or fraudulently using plastic card details
  • "Advance fee fraud" - crimes where the victim has been tricked into handing over cash after a communication, such as a lottery scam
  • "Non-investment fraud" - criminals conning a victim into buying something, often online, perhaps through a bogus phone call or email.
  • Other frauds including investment or fake charity scams
  • There are two broad categories of "computer misuse" crimes:
  • Unauthorised access to personal information, including hacking
  • Computer virus, malware or other incidents such as "DDoS" attacks aimed at online services


     

 

 

Comments

In 1993, cartoonist Peter Steiner of The New Yorker coined the phrase: ‘On the internet, no-one knows you’re a dog.’ More than 20 years later, the issue of internet privacy and a user’s ability to send and receive messages anonymously, remains a significant barrier to building online trust.

“The reality is, as individuals, if we really knew and appreciated the risks we face when dealing with financial services online, we simply wouldn’t do it,” suggests James Varga, chief executive officer of The ID Co. “15 years ago nobody knew about banking fraud, now everybody knows somebody who has been affected by fraud, phishing attacks, or identity theft.

“High profile hacks from TalkTalk, Yahoo and dating sites have exposed our personal data to potential misuse. The fact is, a lot of that risk comes from our online activities and the need to constantly prove we are who we say are.“

With online fraud growing every year, it is now estimated to cost the UK economy more than £11bn per year, with bank-funded crime prevention group Financial Fraud Action reporting that a financial scam was carried out every 15 seconds in 2016.

However, in a world where 71 per cent of millennials in the US would rather visit the dentist than open a bank account, it’s clear that not only does the modern world of financial services face an issue with establishing trust, it must also meet market demand for convenience.

As one of a number of disruptive fintech businesses headquartered in Edinburgh, The ID Co aims to meet both needs.

“No-one likes banks. However, despite damage to the sector’s reputation following the financial crisis, everyone trusts their bank. Banks are built on the premise of trust,” adds James. “The whole business, the regulatory framework in which they operate, is built on the foundation of trust, reliance and security. As a fintech business, we aim to leverage the trust that users have with their bank and share that trust with other organisations.

“We want to provide online users with the same level of convenience and security that a passport brings when you travel.”

Through its DirectID offer, The ID Co connects a user’s online profile with their bank, in effect helping the user prove they are who they say are, and allowing them to control precisely what information they share with any third party.

A regulatory watershed

In his role as CEO, James has spent the past five years playing an active part in the UK’s Open Bank Working Group,

“We began discussions with GSMA, the trade association for the mobile industry, as well as Verify.gov a number of years ago. As part of those discussions, we were invited by HM Treasury to participate in the development of the latest pan-European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) programme, where I co-chaired the data sub-group.

For fintech businesses, the ongoing adoption of PSD2 across Europe – a two-year process that is expected to be complete by January 2018 – represents a watershed moment. The key requirement of PSD2 requires banks to provide access, via secure APIs, to their customer accounts and provide account information to third party apps, if the account holder wishes.

“It establishes standardised interactions between consumers and their banks – seamlessly and securely.”

The implementation of PSD2, which has been driven largely from the UK, will enable fintech businesses to accelerate disruption in a sector recognised for limited innovation and being understandably risk averse.

According to data from the World Economic Forum investment in fintech has soared in the past decade – from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2015.

The majority of that investment has targeted the most profitable areas of global banking – namely personal and corporate finance. While fintech investment continues to be dominated by Silicon Valley, London remains the undisputed fintech capital of Europe, while pre-Brexit research by Ernst & Young singled out the UK as a whole as the world’s leading fintech centre.

Comments
More

Eastern, Inova, and alternative insurance. A history of security and stability.

The concept of alternative insurance, commonly known as “captives,” has been around as long as insurance itself.1 The idea dates back to the 1600s when ship owners sat down at Lloyd’s Coffee House in London to discuss common sense solutions to protecting their vessels and cargo from financial loss. The rest is “Lloyd’s of London” history.

The modern day “captive” was born in 1958 by insurance innovator Fred Reiss, when he formed a “self-insurance” company to insulate his first client from the insecurities and instabilities of traditional insurance. As a wholly owned subsidiary located in Bermuda, this insurance company was literally a “captive” of the parent.

In recent decades, captives’ inherent security and stability have garnered widespread global acceptance and popularity. More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies have one or more captives. The ever-evolving sophistication of captives makes them attractive solutions for organizations of all types and sizes in search of an alternative to traditional insurance.

Eastern and Inova. True leadership in alternative insurance.

Inova's leadership in alternative insurance began in March 1998 when Cayman-based Eastern Re Ltd. became the first Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC) authorized by the Cayman Island Monetary Authority (CIMA). An SPC is a single legal entity comprised of individual “protected cells” that protect each insured organization’s assets and liabilities within a secure, stable environment.

Inova’s Eastern Re was the first SPC to be assigned a financial strength rating by A.M. Best Company. On August 13, 2014, A.M. Best Company reaffirmed Eastern Re’s A (Excellent) financial strength rating.

Inova's strength is reinforced by Eastern’s solid partnerships with globally respected industry leaders, including Lloyd’s of London (insurer/reinsurer), Global Captive Management Ltd. (insurance manager), Ernst & Young LLP (actuary/auditor), and Deustche Bank (SPC investment manager).

As of December 31, 2014, Inova includes 20 active programs totaling in excess of $60M in direct written premium.

1 Shanique Hall, “Recent Developments in the Captive Insurance Industry,” Center for Insurance Policy Research (CIPR) Newsletter [January 2012], accessed February 7, 2014.

Comments

When we look around we are amazed at the speed with which the world is changing. Online fraud techniques such as Pharming and other cyber-crime attacks are at all time high. To overcome such challenges, we need to at least have some basic understanding of these terms. The intention of this informational document is to approach the problem with a solution.

What is Pharming

Pharming redirects Internet users from legitimate websites to malicious ones using a strategy called DNS Cache Poisoning – where corrupt data is inserted into the cache database of a DNS.

The attacker uses several ways to carry out pharming attacks, one of the most popular way is to modify the Host file. The Pharmer covertly hijacks your computer and takes you to a forged website. Your browser may display the legitimate URL, but you will not be on the legitimate server. This, in most cases, is a page that looks identical to that of your bank, financial institution or online shopping websites like, eBay, or Amazon. Here, the attacker seeks your confidential information like credit card numbers, account passwords, etc.

The Hosts fi­le allows storing IP & domain names to speed up sur­fing and avoid consulting a DNS server. So, every time a user enters the address into the browser, the PC accesses the Hosts fi­le fi­rst and, if it ­finds this domain name, it takes up the IP address of a website. Now if the Hosts file is modified, the user will be redirected to the wrong website, where the attacker will be waiting to steals the credentials.

To carry out a pharming attack, the attacker typically makes use of the following:


A Batch Script to write the malicious IP and domain names onto the Hosts ­files.

A Joiner to join the batch ­file onto another fi­le

A Code Obfuscator to help the executable escape detection from anti-virus software.




 

Phishing vs Pharming

You need to be clear about the difference between Pharming and Phishing. Phishing attacks start with the receipt of an e-mail asking you to visit a website where you may get compromised. Pharming attacks start at the DNS server level where you are redirected to a malicious website.

How to mitigate Pharming attack

Use an anti-virus program which protects you from unauthorized alterations of the Host file is one way. Also, you should regularly patch your operating system and the installed software.

More sophisticated pharming attacks target the DNS server which is usually handled by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In such a scenario, a user has few options at hand to handle the risk and he can do little against it, except using trustworthy DNS servers.

 

Comments

No one is safe online. Everyone is vulnerable and it is your responsibility to establish precautionary measures to protect yourself against cyberattacks. Make yourself well informed and updated on different schemes which cybercriminals used to deceive online users.

The simple tips below should help ensure your security online without ruining the convenience online access offers:

1. Your passwords should be strong enough that it cannot be easily guessed by hackers. Do not use obvious passwords using your personal information or do not use the most common passwords that are ridiculously easy to guess. Moreover, make sure that you use different passwords for your online accounts because having similar passwords on all accounts makes it easier for hackers to steal your identity.

2. Updating your software is very important. There are many good reasons why you need to update your software, thus make sure to take time updating and installing new versions of it.

3. Phishers do have the capability to copy the exact interface of a certain website and lure you into one. They will do everything to obtain personal information from you using those fake sites. Closely examine the site you are accessing before logging in your account and before giving out any personal and financial information.

4. A recovery contact is very important at times where you can’t login to your account. Make sure to set an account recovery contact in case you can’t access your own account.

5. Take advantage of setting up a two-step authentication as it serves as an added security to your accounts and will prevent hackers from accessing your account easily.

Dangers and threats are lurking on the Internet and hackers are always on the hunt looking for someone to victimize. Make yourself invincible and hard to hack, follow the basic ways above and be updated on latest schemes cybercriminals used.

 

Comments

There were an estimated 3.6 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences in a year, according to an official survey.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales included the offences for the first time in its annual report, which covered the year to September.

Separate figures recorded by police showed an 8% rise in offences overall.

The Office for National Statistics said crime recording improvements meant the police figures could not reveal trends.

'Crime has changed'

John Flatley, from the ONS, said: "In the past, burglary and theft of vehicles were the high-volume crimes driving trends but their numbers have fallen substantially since then.

"When the crime survey started [35 years ago], fraud was not considered a significant threat and the internet had yet to be invented.

"Today's figures demonstrate how crime has changed, with fraud now the most commonly experienced offence."

Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, told the You and Yours programme on BBC Radio 4 that many frauds went undetected and a great deal never got reported to the police.

"The amount of fraud that is taking place now is probably in epidemic proportions," he added. "The police are having to work very, very hard to keep up with even the ones they know about.

"The capability at police forces is quite skeletal and that needs to change and change a great deal."

The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime and incident recording, Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, said forces were working with the Home Office, police and crime commissioners, and industry experts to develop new tactics to fight cybercrime.

"The ability to commit crime online demonstrates the need for policing to adapt and transform to tackle these cyber challenges," he said.

Cyber and fraud: What is being counted?

  • Bank and credit account fraud - meaning criminals accessing bank accounts, credit cards or fraudulently using plastic card details
  • "Advance fee fraud" - crimes where the victim has been tricked into handing over cash after a communication, such as a lottery scam
  • "Non-investment fraud" - criminals conning a victim into buying something, often online, perhaps through a bogus phone call or email.
  • Other frauds including investment or fake charity scams
  • There are two broad categories of "computer misuse" crimes:
  • Unauthorised access to personal information, including hacking
  • Computer virus, malware or other incidents such as "DDoS" attacks aimed at online services


     

 

 

Comments

In 1993, cartoonist Peter Steiner of The New Yorker coined the phrase: ‘On the internet, no-one knows you’re a dog.’ More than 20 years later, the issue of internet privacy and a user’s ability to send and receive messages anonymously, remains a significant barrier to building online trust.

“The reality is, as individuals, if we really knew and appreciated the risks we face when dealing with financial services online, we simply wouldn’t do it,” suggests James Varga, chief executive officer of The ID Co. “15 years ago nobody knew about banking fraud, now everybody knows somebody who has been affected by fraud, phishing attacks, or identity theft.

“High profile hacks from TalkTalk, Yahoo and dating sites have exposed our personal data to potential misuse. The fact is, a lot of that risk comes from our online activities and the need to constantly prove we are who we say are.“

With online fraud growing every year, it is now estimated to cost the UK economy more than £11bn per year, with bank-funded crime prevention group Financial Fraud Action reporting that a financial scam was carried out every 15 seconds in 2016.

However, in a world where 71 per cent of millennials in the US would rather visit the dentist than open a bank account, it’s clear that not only does the modern world of financial services face an issue with establishing trust, it must also meet market demand for convenience.

As one of a number of disruptive fintech businesses headquartered in Edinburgh, The ID Co aims to meet both needs.

“No-one likes banks. However, despite damage to the sector’s reputation following the financial crisis, everyone trusts their bank. Banks are built on the premise of trust,” adds James. “The whole business, the regulatory framework in which they operate, is built on the foundation of trust, reliance and security. As a fintech business, we aim to leverage the trust that users have with their bank and share that trust with other organisations.

“We want to provide online users with the same level of convenience and security that a passport brings when you travel.”

Through its DirectID offer, The ID Co connects a user’s online profile with their bank, in effect helping the user prove they are who they say are, and allowing them to control precisely what information they share with any third party.

A regulatory watershed

In his role as CEO, James has spent the past five years playing an active part in the UK’s Open Bank Working Group,

“We began discussions with GSMA, the trade association for the mobile industry, as well as Verify.gov a number of years ago. As part of those discussions, we were invited by HM Treasury to participate in the development of the latest pan-European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) programme, where I co-chaired the data sub-group.

For fintech businesses, the ongoing adoption of PSD2 across Europe – a two-year process that is expected to be complete by January 2018 – represents a watershed moment. The key requirement of PSD2 requires banks to provide access, via secure APIs, to their customer accounts and provide account information to third party apps, if the account holder wishes.

“It establishes standardised interactions between consumers and their banks – seamlessly and securely.”

The implementation of PSD2, which has been driven largely from the UK, will enable fintech businesses to accelerate disruption in a sector recognised for limited innovation and being understandably risk averse.

According to data from the World Economic Forum investment in fintech has soared in the past decade – from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2015.

The majority of that investment has targeted the most profitable areas of global banking – namely personal and corporate finance. While fintech investment continues to be dominated by Silicon Valley, London remains the undisputed fintech capital of Europe, while pre-Brexit research by Ernst & Young singled out the UK as a whole as the world’s leading fintech centre.

Comments
More


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