Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty in the EU and little growth in the UK, , Daniel Harrison, Senior Partner at True Potential explores the current savings gap and how technology can be used to engage investors and add value to IFA services.
The FSA’s retail distribution review (RDR), introduced on the 1st January this year, was drawn up with the aim to bring transparency to the relationship between the investing public, their independent financial advisers and the financial product providers. The biggest change introduced is that investors now have to pay their IFA for the advice they receive, either upfront or through a visible commission on the investment.
In light of the RDR, the appetite for using a service which is no longer viewed as ‘free’ could decrease. A report by Deloitte estimated that 24 per cent of investors would be likely to reduce the number of times they use an adviser.1
One of the real worries is the negative impact this would no doubt have on the UK savings gap, which is already at an all time high. Europe’s pension savings gap is currently estimated at €1.9tn, with research suggesting that the UK, France, Germany and Spain boast some of the largest shortfalls of the western European economies.2
It is estimated that as a result of the RDR, 5.5m potential investors might find themselves disenfranchised and unwilling to seek financial advice. These customers, who account for 11 per cent of UK adults, will represent a significant post-RDR advice gap.1
Previously employees may have been able to access financial advice via their employer’s financial adviser, accessing valuable information about the importance of saving and meeting their financial needs. Educating individuals is one of the things that financial advisers have been doing well for a very long time and the RDR may unfortunately have an impact on the uptake of such advice unless something is done to engage and encourage potential investors.
As IFAs begin to introduce charges for their services, it has become more important than ever for them to show added value and competitor differentiation to potential customers. The use of technology to do this should not be under-estimated. According to Ofcom, tablet ownership has jumped from 2 per cent to 11 per cent during 2012, while two fifths of UK adults now own a smartphone.3 IFAs should adapt to changing consumer behaviour and employ wealth management platforms that suit an investor’s lifestyle and enable them to access finances on the go.
The True Potential Single Integrated Wealth Platform is designed to empower investors to take control of their finances and also assist financial advisers by adding value to the advice process. Investors are able to effectively manage their relationship with their adviser by communicating through the platform as often or as infrequently as they require. The platform allows investors to monitor and amend their personal investment activities in a way that is engaging and interactive and fits into their current lifestyle. Such technologies therefore have the potential to bring new savers into the system and help to bridge the investment gap.
Online platforms also offer greater transparency to investors, which is essential to ensure trust and demonstrate compliance with the regulations within the RDR.
Using technology such as online wealth platforms, administration can be reduced, which means advisers are able to offer an improved service with more time to spend with clients. When combining the extra complexity of exams, new reporting and compliance requirements that have come into effect with RDR, this is even more important as workload and administration has increased dramatically.
To conclude, the RDR will improve the professionalism of IFA conduct but it does not seem to work hand in hand with wider policy direction. The current savings gap is a major concern, particularly as life expectancy continues to increase, and this is creating a need for advisers to add value to their services in order to reduce the number of disenfranchised investors choosing not to seek advice.
1. Bridging the advice gap: Delivering investment products in a post-RDR world, Deloitte. http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedKingdom/Local%20Assets/Documents/Industries/Financial%20Services/uk-fs-bridging-the-advice-gap.pdf
3. The Communications Market Report 2012: United Kingdom http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/market-data/communications-market-reports/cmr12/uk/
Endpoint Security Industry: An Overview
Endpoint protection is the practice of stopping unauthorised actors and campaigns from targeting endpoints or access points of end-user computers like desktops, notebooks, and handheld devices. Endpoint security solutions guard against cybersecurity risks to these access points on a network.
From standard antivirus applications, endpoint security has developed to offer robust protection from advanced ransomware and emerging zero-day attacks. Nation-states, organised crime, hacktivists and deliberate and unintentional insider attacks are at risk of organisations of all sizes. Endpoint defence is also seen as the forefront in cybersecurity, which is one of the first locations businesses look to protect their business networks. Digital Audio Workstations [DAWs] Market
Modern EPPs harness the cloud’s ability to manage an ever-growing hazard intelligence database, release bloat endpoints correlated with locally storing all this intelligence, and the maintenance needed to keep these databases up-to-date. It also provides superior speed as well as scalability to access this data in the cloud. The EPP includes a single console for system administrators that is mounted on a network gateway or server that enables cybersecurity experts to centrally monitor the protection of each computer.
An Evolution in Endpoint Security
Over the years, the defence of endpoints has progressed from primitive antiviruses to more sophisticated next-generation antiviruses using advanced technologies, new and improved identification and the response of endpoints, and the OS-Centric Optimistic Security strategy. In a constant basis, it shifts. Network vulnerabilities from yesterday are today’s strengths.
Tomorrow’s vectors of attack will inevitably be defended. And then, it’s off. Yet there has been a step-change in the cybersecurity world. The global pandemic got humanity to fewer than 12 parsecs in the Future of Jobs. In two weeks, strategy plans that were set out to be applied in two years were followed. Attacks grew as the perimeter of the network extended indefinitely. And the CISO obeyed and kept the company secure. To focus on endpoint defence, the cybersecurity world aligns.
Key Components of Endpoint Security
Endpoint encryption and application control, two main components of an efficient endpoint protection solution, are important endpoint security layers that prevent problems such as data leaks from occurring deliberately or accidentally by copying or moving data to removable media devices. Endpoint encryption completely encrypts endpoint data, like notebooks, cell devices, and other endpoints, as well as directories, archives, and portable storage devices, such as CDs and USB drives, for your business.
Application monitoring, a key component of robust endpoint protection initiatives, avoids the operation of unauthorised software on endpoints. Regulation of software addresses the problem of workers installing unauthorised or unsafe software on mobile devices that may build network bugs and result in unauthorised entry.
Endpoint security is handled in the business environment by a central management server that tracks and handles all endpoint connexions to the network. However, security solutions such as antivirus software are monitored and managed at individual endpoints in the consumer environment, without the need for central administration.
The Risks of Endpoint Threats
Security is rapidly changing in today’s mobile world, and endpoints now form a new perimeter, and companies need to secure their data across networks. As companies expand, so do their vulnerabilities, and all businesses must secure endpoints regardless of size or stature. However, there is no apparent, easily guarded line that can hold all the data in and attackers out of the system with the growth in telecommuting, more workers requested or compelled to operate from home, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud services.
Endpoint threats help to know what kind of susceptibilities exist to gain an improved understanding of what is required from endpoint protection. A few kinds of attacks that are or are becoming more common are listed below. It is necessary to bear in mind, however, that many more forms of attacks exist and attackers every day learn new methods. Legal ramifications: Infringement of data and loss of personal or confidential information is a serious problem that can lead to considerable legal harm. Reputational damage: Businesses suffering data breaches and cyber-attacks are at risk of adverse public opinion, leading to reduced brand and reputational damage.
A Glance at Importance of Endpoint Security in Today’s World
Endpoint security strategies play a significant role in defending against today’s increasingly advanced cyber threats. Today’s cyber-attacks need a new line of security protection. For a variety of factors, an endpoint defence framework is a critical part of enterprise cybersecurity. First of all, data is often the most important asset a company has in today’s business environment and losing that data or access to that data could put the whole business at risk of insolvency.
Businesses have now had to deal with not only a rising number of endpoints but also an increase in the number of endpoint forms. These variables make it more difficult for enterprise endpoint protection on their own, but they are exacerbated by remote work and BYOD policies that make perimeter security increasingly inadequate and generate vulnerabilities.
The threat landscape is also becoming more complex: hackers are constantly seeking new ways to gain access, steal data or trick employees into distributing confidential data. The endpoint security platforms have become a must-have in terms of protecting modern companies because of the cost of a large-scale breach, cost of transferring resources from business objectives to tackling threats and the actual financial cost of enforcement breaches.
An entry point for threats is given by any computer, such as a tablet, smartphone or laptop. Endpoint security seeks to properly protect any endpoint connecting to a network at these points of entry to block access attempts and other risky activities. The corporate network security perimeter has effectively collapsed as more companies accept activities including BYOD (Bring Your Device) and remote/mobile workers.
The need for effective endpoint protection measures, especially because of the increase in mobile threats, has increased substantially. A centralised security solution is no longer sufficient for today’s ever-shifting and undefinable security limit, with workers relying on mobile devices and laptops to work and connect to business networks. Endpoint security offers a further shield to centralized security controls at the point of entry for some attacks and the point of exit for sensitive information.
Differentiating Endpoint Security from Anti-Virus Software
What separates endpoint protection from popular anti-virus applications is that endpoints are responsible for or more of their protection in the endpoint security framework. This goes against network security, where security measures protect the network as a whole instead of certain computers and servers. Endpoint defence, however, is not carried out exclusively on smartphones.
Common endpoint defence techniques with security tools on a central server or control board and tools on individual devices provide a two-pronged approach. Still, by some definitions, certain simpler types of protection fall under the safety umbrella of the endpoint. That said, modern concepts of endpoint protection typically define more sophisticated methodologies, including intrusion detection and behaviour-blocking elements that either end-users or intruders recognise and block threatening activities and behaviours.
Common Trends in Endpoint Security
Endpoint security trends forecast the future of endpoint threat management and the solution features that we will see in the future in the industry. As trends for the year 2018, several developments have been facing, including machine learning and AI, SaaS-based endpoint defence, layered protection against file-less attacks, putting IoT devices under the protective umbrella, etc.
Today’s methods can achieve better remediation, which ensures that operations such as deleting data, terminating procedures, and rolling back photos of the system can spare IT, employees, the tedium of manually reimaging violated systems.
Endpoint Security Software Features to Look for in 2020
There were 4.1 billion accounts of data threats in the first half of 2019 alone. Therefore, employing an endpoint security framework has become essential for every enterprise. Some of the top endpoint security software features to look for: Securing devices, especially USB ports, generating reports, Device-based and user-based security policies, Application Control, Remote patch installation to quickly fix critical vulnerabilities, Strong secure communication encryption algorithm, Receiving configuration security/status alerts, Browser management
In 2020, companies must secure more ends than ever with the global pandemic COVID-19 requiring more workers to operate remotely. Attackers know that human beings, who now often operate beyond the regulated environment created by office computers and networks, are the weakest link to security. Forced outside of the formal system, individuals are more vulnerable to weaknesses and generate openings for attack.
The Future of Endpoint Security
In 2020 and the near future, enhancing endpoint protection needs to be a top priority. The borderless and non-discriminatory existence of cyber-attacks means that sharing their experiences and working together to defend themselves and the general population is essential for the cybersecurity industry. Endpoint security has grown from modest beginnings of protecting standard PCs to protect complex networks in large enterprises, protecting varied environments like business-issued hardware, programmes for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and more.
For corporations and private clients, cybersecurity used to be all about protecting the endpoint. Since then, rapid technological growth has forced security firms, such as Bitdefender, to develop new techniques and business strategies that could meet the needs of ever-larger organisations. 86% of all infringements are financially motivated, where risk actors are after financial data, intellectual property, health records, and consumer identities of companies that can be easily sold on the Dark Web.
Cybersecurity has repeatedly become one of the leading anxieties for companies around the world in recent years, and this pattern will worsen in 2020. We expect to see an increase in new specifications as businesses increasingly recover from the current pandemic. The evolution of large-scale breaches symbolises a growing trend in the number and gravity of security breaches. Data breaches frequently disclose confidential information that also puts consumers at risk of identity fraud, damages the reputations of firms, and puts businesses responsible for violations of compliance. Cyber Observer, a comprehensive solution for cybersecurity management and understanding, estimates that by 2021, cybercrime harm is expected to exceed $6 trillion annually.
Security is constantly evolving and there is a possibility that the future might hold much more than what we have seen. We cannot, however, ignore the changes that have been seen from the past several years to where we have gotten to today.
Who We Are
Adroit Market Research is a global business analytics and consulting company. Our target audience is a wide range of corporations, manufacturing companies, product/technology development institutions and industry associations that require understanding of a market’s size, key trends, participants and future outlook of an industry. We intend to become our clients’ knowledge partner and provide them with valuable market insights to help create opportunities that increase their revenues. We follow a code– Explore, Learn and Transform. At our core, we are curious people who love to identify and understand industry patterns, create an insightful study around our findings and churn out money-making roadmaps.
Technology: the saving grace of the month-end headache in financial reporting
By Tiffany Newkirk, Financial Solutions Manager at SplashBI
The end of the month is a challenging time for many accountants and financial analysts as they race to close their books and complete their reporting on time. Whether they are using Oracle Cloud or on premise solutions, the final hurdle has its highs and lows. With accounts to reconcile and financial statements to analyse, accountants and financial analysts are left with little time before the crucial deadlines are in front of them. As a result, time needs to be maximised so that they have all the answers at their fingertips when presenting to the business, board members and executives. These are the aspects of the role that financial analysts adore – and manual intervention shouldn’t be the blocking stone of success.
Preparation for month-end reporting involves financial analysts spending long periods of time focused on analysing spreadsheet after spreadsheet. Tiffany Newkirk, Financial Solutions Manager at SplashBI, explains that month-end reporting shouldn’t be as problematic and frustrating as it is. To move forward, financial analysts need to incorporate technology to provide a visual representation of the data so their role becomes as efficient and sustainable as possible.
A new beginning
Overtime and stress are two common issues that accountants and financial analysts experience when completing month-end close reporting. As many as one in four financial analysts describe the pressure of financial reporting being overwhelming, resulting in employees leaving the job they love; a situation that no senior management team wants to occur.
According to a recent survey, as many as 73% of accountants and financial analysts are still operating in a manually intensive, spreadsheet-driven system that limits or removes any time for analysis. In the same survey, 84% said they would prefer the financial close process to take up less time, that could in turn be devoted to more strategic financial projects. From a health and wellbeing perspective, the drive to utilise technology will help improve the efficiency and accuracy, especially at this turbulent time, and allow more time to be spent exploring the results and having the answers readily available for senior-level discussions.
A long-awaited transition
Companies of all shapes and sizes have long sought ways to streamline their processes so that accountants can spend less time collecting numbers and more time analysing the impact and results with senior stakeholders. Finding the right equilibrium between speed, accuracy and employees’ needs is key, and financial experts need to embrace technology and its visual qualities in order to achieve this.
While spreadsheets are a useful tool, they can be prone to errors, especially if formulas are entered incorrectly. Management teams want to understand the implications of the data in front of them, and with the aid of financial experts, bring the data to life in a much more visual and empowering way, ready to spot the next business opportunity. Working solely in a spreadsheet rarely allows this to happen.
Instead, technology can help drive smarter decisions, by making the data come to life and presented in a variety of visual formats. By combining the numerous, disparate systems required to achieve a successful month end close, financial analysts and CMOs can view real time data at a click of a button to make informed decisions in the future.
In an increasingly digitised world, real time financial reporting and accurate forecasting are more vital than ever to achieve a sustainable and efficient business model. Given the circumstances faced throughout 2020, effective financial management provides businesses with a competitive advantage and greater insights to drive profitability and efficiency.
Letting go of tired and archaic practices will drive financial roles forward and open the door for a myriad of opportunities when accountants and financial analysts expand their reliance on technology and move away from traditional methods. Moving forward, organisations that don’t incorporate technology into their month end reporting will be left behind, and not reap the rewards. It’s time for the face of financial reporting and analytics to change to become a seamless, stress-free and data-driven process.
Entersekt provides clarity on Secure Remote Commerce authentication techniques for financial institutions
New whitepaper from Mercator available: Revisiting Authentication in the Age of SRC and EMV 3-D Secure
Is it time for a new authentication strategy in light of international mandates for Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) and EMV 3-D Secure? This is the question posed to financial institutions (FIs) in a new Mercator Advisory Group whitepaper entitled Revisiting Authentication in the Age of SRC and EMV 3-D Secure.
The paper, licensed by Entersekt for public distribution, delves into the role SRC and EMV 3-D Secure will play in the European Union’s Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). It finds that now would be the ideal time for FIs to rethink customer authentication strategies, particularly with the deadline for full SCA compliance approaching on the 1st of January 2021.
“Consumers face an increasingly complex authentication landscape, which can vary greatly depending on the communication channels they use,” said Frans Labuschagne, UK&I country manager at Entersekt. “Multiple authentication techniques create unwanted friction and uncertainty. This paper gives actionable advice to FIs that need to keep security top of mind while also providing a good user experience.”
All card issuers competing for top of wallet will find useful insights in this whitepaper, which states that, “Since it is well recognised that convenience is critical to consumer adoption, it is time for financial institutions to rein in the multiplicity of authentication methods they use to identify account holders and even employees.”
Some of the key findings include:
- The lack of an integrated solution results in an inconsistent user interface.
- Inconsistency not only detracts from a customer’s experience but is likely to disrupt any cross-channel implementation plans an organisation might have.
- A customer who is presented with the same authentication technique for every interaction becomes more familiar with that technique.
- The authentication technique should be implemented on a smartphone, which 89% of UK residents between 16 and 75 already have.
- Consumers increasingly trust smartphone-based biometrics and are growing accustomed to using smart speakers for a range of use cases.
To download the whitepaper in full, please visit: https://www.entersekt.com/resources/white-papers/revisiting-authentication-src-3ds
This is a Sponsored Feature
The UK’s National Data Strategy – Too Much Love?
By Julian Hayes, Partner at BCL Solicitors LLP “We want the UK….to be the best place in the world to...
B2B plays a big role in our economy, but how can it contribute to our recovery?
By Richard Parsons from True, creative B2B marketing agency, discusses the current state of marketing and looks ahead to what...
UK leads the way in sustainable finance with the first set of requirements for investment management
BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, has today published the first specification for responsible and sustainable...
Why investing should be treated like healthcare
By Qiaojia Li, co-founder and CEO at the award winning wealthtech company, Rosecut For many people, the process of investing...
Endpoint Security Industry: An Overview
Endpoint protection is the practice of stopping unauthorised actors and campaigns from targeting endpoints or access points of end-user computers...
Tech-enabled cash management strategies have come to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic – and will be key to firms’ recovery from it
By Ed Thurman, managing director and head of Global Transaction Banking at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, outlines how technology-enabled solutions are...
5 ways to keep your team connected with split working
By Sam Hill, Head of People and Culture at BizSpace As the government switches its message back to “work from...
How to overcome the ‘groundhog day’ effect Of remote working
By Chris Farmer, leadership and management training expert and founder of Corporate Coach Group The ongoing pandemic means that for...
FinTech in Credit Markets: Efficiency and Potential Risks – Free webinar
As the financial industry’s landscape continually changes, the ever-quickening development in information technology has led to an unprecedented wave of...
The new virtual leaders – adapting your leadership style for a changed workforce
By Debbie Clifford, Head of People and Talent at Olive During this pandemic, organisations across all sectors have witnessed a dramatic...