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How investment dealers can get advisors to play a role in cybersecurity readiness – The Globe and Mail

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The key to reporting cybersecurity incidents successfully is ensuring that advisors know what to do in those situations – namely, escalating the incident quickly so that the right people can deal with it.

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As concerns about the digital security of Canada’s financial system continue to increase, regulators have introduced new rules requiring investment dealers to report any cybersecurity incidents. A big challenge is how those companies will get their investment advisors to be their eyes and ears on the ground.

In mid-November, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) introduced mandatory cybersecurity incident reporting for its member dealers. They must inform the self-regulatory organization (SRO) of any cybersecurity incidents that disrupt their businesses in two ways. According to the rules, they must first “provide a preliminary description of the incident and steps taken to mitigate” its impact within three days. Then they “must provide a detailed investigation report, outlining the cause and scope of the issue, and steps taken to mitigate the risk of harm to investors and to the firm” within 30 days.

These new rules arrived just days before the Bank of Canada published its biannual Financial System Survey, in which senior experts who specialize in risk management provide their views on the resilience of Canada’s financial system. The danger of a large cyber incident ranked among the top three risks along with a general deterioration in the global economic outlook and a materialization of geopolitical risk events.

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Dealers rely heavily on everyone in the organization when responding to cybersecurity incidents, says Bradley Freedman, partner and national co-leader of the cybersecurity law group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Vancouver.

“Cybersecurity and privacy are team sports because they require a co-ordinated response.”

Advisors are a part of that team. As they deal with clients and their sensitive information every day, they represent the front line in any cybersecurity-related effort, says J.R. Cunningham, vice-president of strategic solutions at Herjavec Group, a Toronto-based provider of cybersecurity products and services to enterprises.

“In a lot of other campaigns centered around awareness, ‘If you see something, say something’ is a great tagline,” he says.

Advisors have a responsibility to educate themselves about cybersecurity, says Irene Winel, IIROC’s senior vice-president of member regulation and strategy.

“It’s a matter of good service and good business practice for advisors to stay up to date.”

Ms. Winel points to several IIROC resources to help advisors spot and report suspicious incidents. These include a Cybersecurity Best Practices Guide, a Cyber Incident Management Planning Guide and a Cybersecurity Tips for Advisors webcast continuing-education course.

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At the same time, dealers themselves can be proactive in helping their advisors be aware of what to look for, Mr. Freedman says.

“An essential part of cyber risk management and privacy protection is education and training,” he says. “It can be done at a relatively low cost with significant return.”

Dealers can teach advisors what to watch out for without requiring them to be experts in technology-related matters, Mr. Cunningham says. They don’t have to be tech-savvy to understand what personally identifiable information means.

Dealers must make cybersecurity awareness training relevant to advisors, he adds. That means moving beyond dry lectures in an airless conference room and engaging advisors with practical exercises. In one increasingly common approach, companies send out fake phishing campaigns to test employees’ and contractors’ cybersecurity readiness. Companies can even gamify these exercises to help create a sense of healthy competition.

In many cases, it will be obvious to advisors immediately when they’ve done something wrong. “We’ve all had that lump in our throat after we clicked on a link and thought, ‘I shouldn’t have done that,’” Mr. Cunningham says.

The key to reporting cybersecurity incidents successfully is ensuring that advisors know what to do in those situations – namely, escalating the incident quickly so that the right people can deal with it.

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“If something doesn’t seem right, knowing who to call and who to engage at a given time is what’s really important,” Mr. Cunningham says.

Advisors – especially those who report their own mistakes – must feel confident that they won’t be punished. It’s up to executives to create an atmosphere of trust, Mr. Cunningham adds.

Dealers may even consider giving advisors an incentive to report any cybersecurity incident, he suggests. That can be especially useful when dealing with large networks of independent advisors. Mr. Cunningham often sees this in retail and restaurant franchises.

“They’ll say, ‘If you adopt our standards, maybe we’ll help underwrite your cyber insurance risk or we’ll pay for your cyber policy because we’re confident that if you follow our technical standards, you’re not going to be breached.’”

Dealers could also engage advisors as active cybersecurity partners by brokering cybersecurity services. An investment company could procure technology protection tools and offer them to advisors at preferential rates to help engage them in cybersecurity reporting practices.

At the end of the day, advisors will need to keep honing their skills as dealers innovate with new technologies and hackers get ever more dangerous, Mr. Freedman warns.

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“This is a permanent state of being for the foreseeable future. Organizations have to be on guard. They have to invest in people, processes and technologies to manage cyber risks and to protect the privacy of personal information.”

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Investment firm head joins Algoma Steel's board – Sault Star

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The president and chief executive officer of a New York-based investment firm is a new Algoma Steel board member.

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Eric Rosenfeld founded Crescendo Partners in 1998.

He is a master of business administration graduate from Harvard University. Rosenfeld also serves on the boards of Primo Water Corp., CPI Aerostructures, Aecon Group and Pangaea Logistics Solutions, a release says.

He has served on boards since 1998. His first directorship was with Spar Aerospace, the company that developed the Canadarm used in space flights. Rosenfeld also served on the board of beverage maker Cott Corp.

He headed the arbitrage department of Oppenheimer & Co., an investment and brokerage bank, for 14 years before establishing Crescendo Partners.

Mary Anne Bueschkens, Gale Rubenstein, James Gouin, David Sgro, Brian Pratt and Rosenfeld join chair Andrew Harshaw, Andrew Schultz and Michael McQuade, a release says.

Our new board members bring critical expertise and diversity to the team,” said McQuade.

The other new members have backgrounds in the automotive, legal and construction sectors.

Bueschkens is a lawyer who has held various roles, including president and CEO of ABC Technologies, an automotive parts supplier.

Rubenstein is a partner in the Toronto-based law firm Goodmans LLP. She is counsel in the firm’s corporate restructuring group.

Gouin is a former head of Tower International, a global manufacturer of automotive products. He also worked 28 years at Ford Motor Company. He held two vice-president roles with the automaker.

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Sgro is a senior managing director at Crescendo Partners. The firm’s services include consulting, mergers, acquisitions and capital raising support and private equity investment.

Pratt is a former chair and director of Primoris Services Corp., a parent company of construction and engineering firms. He was also president and chief executive officer and board chair of the Dallas-based Primoris, and its predecessor entity, ARB Inc., from 1983 to 2015. Pratt is a former chair of Legato Merger Corp.

All the board members are independent, except McQuade. He is ASI’s CEO.

The Sault Ste. Marie steelmaker started trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

– with files from Postmedia Network

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Micron Urges Government Investment with R&D Spend – The Next Platform

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Over the last twenty years, memory has risen from 10% of the semiconductor market to almost 30%, a trend that is expected to continue, propelled by compute at the edge all the way up to datacenter. To meet these demands, memory giant, Micron, has announced it will make $150 billion in internal investments, ranging from manufacturing and fab facilities to R&D to support new materials and memory technologies.

The nature of the announcement serves two purposes. The first is obvious, Micron is putting a stake in the ground around its bullish view for edge to datacenter growth and their role as a primary component maker. The second is only slightly less obvious: to compel the U.S. to match funds or continue new investment strategies to support U.S. fabs and semiconductor R&D.

While $150 billion is a sizable investment, the fab component of Micron’s plans will gobble up a significant fraction. While no fab is created equally, consider TSMC’s investments in new facilities, which are upwards of $9 billion. Such investments can take two to three years to yield but the time is certainly right. Gartner, for instance, estimates the costs for leading-edge semiconductor facilities to increase between 7-10%.

While DRAM and NAND are less expensive than leading edge technologies, Micron will need to choose carefully as it sets its plans in motion. Luckily, there is ample government support building in the U.S. for all homegrown semiconductor industry, although it is unclear how federal investments, including the $52 billion CHIPS Act, will augment Micron’s own ambitions.

Micron is seeking the attention of government with its broad R&D and manufacturing investment, pointing to the creation of “tens of thousands” of new jobs and “significant economic growth.” In a statement, Micron explained that memory manufacturing costs are 35-45% higher than in lower-end semiconductor markets, “making funding to support new semiconductor manufacturing capacity and a refundable investment tax credit critical to potential expansion of U.S. manufacturing as part of Micron’s targeted investment.”

“The growth of the data economy is driving increased customer demand for memory and storage,” said Executive Vice President of Global Operations Manish Bhatia. “Leading-edge memory manufacturing at scale requires production of advanced semiconductor technology that is pushing the laws of physics, and our markets demand cost-competitive operations. Sustained government support is essential for Micron to ensure a resilient supply chain and reinforce technology leadership for the long term.”

Micron CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra says the company will “look forward to working with governments around the world, including in the U.S. where CHIPS funding and the FABS Act would open the door to new industry investments, as we consider sites to support future expansion.” The subtext there is that the U.S. is only one country in the running, among others making investments.

Increasing government support will likely align with fabs and facilities but Micron says it’s working on next generation technologies set to keep pace with growing demand.

This is part of the company’s 2030-era plan for memory technology. Micron sees edge and cloud deployments expanding but also points to AI as the leading workload across deployment types. The company’s senior VP and GM for Compute and Networking, former Intel HPC lead, Raj Hazra, says that by 2025, 75% of all organizations will have moved beyond the AI experimentation stage into production.

To support this more practically, Micron has set forth some ambitious near-term targets, including reaching for 40% improvements in memory densities over existing DRAM, double SSD read throughput speeds over current 1TB SSDs, 15% power reductions over existing DRAM and 15% better performance for mixed workloads over existing NAND.

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Walmart allowing some shoppers to buy bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks

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Walmart Inc said on Thursday customers at some of its U.S. stores will be able to purchase bitcoin using ATM-like machines installed by  Coinstar.

Coinstar, known for its machines that can exchange physical coins for cash, has partnered with digital currency exchange CoinMe to let customers buy bitcoin at some of its kiosks.

There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that will allow customers to buy bitcoin, a Walmart spokesperson said.

Walmart was subject to a cryptocurrency hoax in September when a fake press release was published announcing a partnership between the world’s largest retailer and litecoin. The news had briefly sent prices of the little known cryptocurrency surging.

 

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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