Pandemic Highlights Need For Pivot To Digital

  • Amidst the pandemic, the tech sector is seeing growth and has the second highest number of jobs advertised following the healthcare sector.
  • Online digital skills courses provided by IoC partners have enrolled more than 600,000 learners to date, boosting their employability (almost 20% of learners on these courses are unemployed or looking for work and more than 50% are over the age of 25).
  • The IoC is addressing the national digital skills crisis along with the tech sector, which will play a critical role in the UK’s economic recovery.
  • In a survey of IoC learners, 52% of respondents said they don’t currently work in tech, but would like to move into a tech role or are in interested in tech.

The Institute of Coding is supporting the UK’s national economic recovery by helping people upskill and reskill for jobs in tech

As we live through another national lockdown, more than 1.6 million people are currently out of work in the UK, and the unemployment rate has hit a three-year high at 4.8%. Despite this worrying situation, the tech sector continues to be strong. New data from Tech Nation shows that digital tech has seen a 36% increase in vacancies from June to August 2020, and is second only to healthcare for the number of jobs advertised. This growth will continue as we move into a ‘new normal’ where the tech sector is expected to power our economic recovery as we emerge from the pandemic.

The Institute of Coding (IoC), a government-supported initiative designed to respond to the UK’s digital skills gap, is upskilling and reskilling a diverse group of people through university level digital skills courses, many of which are available online. By addressing the national skills crisis through the provision of flexible, short courses that have been created with input from major employers, the IoC is contributing to an inclusive, tech-driven economic recovery, with no one left behind.

Sheila Flavell CBE, COO of FDM Group and Chair of the IoC’s Industry Advisory Board, said: “The upskilling of the UK’s workforce is critical to our national economic recovery. We need to safeguard the pipeline of talent that is being created by the Institute of Coding’s sector-leading university and industry collaboration in order to ensure that all people can take advantage of the high-quality employment opportunities that are available in tech.” 

Julian David, CEO of techUK, the UK’s leading technology membership organisation, said: “Research from techUK shows that 71% of managers and decision makers believe that businesses will become more dependent on digital technology due to the pandemic.

“Our members have a growing need for employees with all levels of digital skills, from cyber security and data science specialists to people with more generalised digital and tech knowledge. A lack of digital skills and expertise is one key barrier they face when it comes to fully adopting digital technologies. Online learning is a great way for people to expand and upgrade their skills and will allow more of us to take advantage of the opportunities available in the tech sector.” 

The IoC’s short, flexible online courses are a proven pathway that people are using to upskill and reskill in digital, boosting their employment prospects. In a November survey with responses from more than 1,000 learners who have enrolled on one or more IoC-supported online course:

  • 75% said their digital skills had improved as a result of the course
  • 57% felt more prepared for their future career
  • 55% have more confidence working in tech

Further, 52% of people said they don’t currently work in tech, but would like to move into a tech role or are interested in tech. This feedback confirms the high level of interest in upskilling or reskilling for a career in tech, and the IoC is addressing this need.

The IoC project is currently scheduled to end on 31st March 2021, at a time where the national need for a pivot to digital skills education and training will be more important than ever.

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President of techUK and IoC Co-Chair, said: “There has never been a more critical time to learn how to live and work online. Economic recovery will be slower if this digital skills crisis is not addressed. The Institute of Coding is injecting targeted learning opportunities to pivot large numbers of learners across the country towards its new digital reality. Having enrolled 675,000 people on innovative and accessible digital skills courses, the IoC widens pathways for diverse talent to improve employability and prepare us all for what comes next.”

Government Presence: Digital Transformation openbusinesscouncil Summit Confirms The Presence Of Ministers of Japan, India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Vietnam

· Naokazu Takemoto Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy of Japan

· Som Parkash Union Minister of State, Commerce and Industry, Government of India,

· Saifuddin Abdullah Minister of Communications of Malaysia, 

· Summit on 9, 10th and a Masterclass on the 11th December 2020

The openbusinesscouncil summit is a leading 3-day global virtual event that aims to strengthen businesses, startups and governments’ with digital transformation strategies and how to deal with the economic challenges and technology disruption arising from COVID-19.

The three-day summit provides access to a unique audience of 100+ leading global speakers from over 30 countries and a direct reach of 10.000 participants and an indirect reach digital streaming in social media that reaches around 10 million people. The participants include potential partners and clients, leading global thought leaders, entrepreneurs, startup organisations, accelerators, investors, authors and governments.

The summit has a solid focus on businesses and governments’ digital transformation strategies, and it will provide a road map of solutions, covering opportunities of how to work and collaborate as governments, businesses, cities, citizens and nations move forward with 4IR – Society 5.0. The summit will provide an international business and brand exposure through our media partners.

Dinis Guarda and Hilton Supra, founders of openbusinesscouncil.org citiesabc.com and leading personalities on 4IR, AI, blockchain and smart cities, the curators of the event say:

“With businesses and startups facing uncertain times, a recession, drop in sales, and limited funding, the openbusinesscouncil summit will address today’s most pressing challenges with digital transformation solutions and what’s next for industries, cities, governments and businesses.”

The openbusinesscouncil summit program includes leading speakers, VCs and entrepreneurs in Digital transformation, AI, Blockchain, COVID19 Impact, Smart Cities, Automation, Fintech, Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity, Corporate Innovation, and more.

The program offers keynote and panels with speakers, Ministers and representatives of European Union, Malaysia, Pakistan, Mauritius, Portugal, Scotland, UK, World Smart City Forum with global influencers and academics such as Debra Ruh, Yu Xiong, Antonio Santos, Efi Pylarinou, representatives from InvestHK, MDEC, UNESCO, Tencent, Siemens, SOSV, Hyundai, Deloitte, and many of the biggest VCs, Fintechs and the fastest-growing startups.

The openbusinesscouncil is a leading global digital business directory, certification and marketplace, created by ztudium group’s team of leading business experts and global thought leaders with decades of experience, working with governments, investment companies, business networks, tech ecosystems and universities. The openbusinesscouncil offers a digital business directory submission, and blockchain AI certificate for businesses and professionals.

The summit and masterclass will be online streamed in Dinis Guarda citiesabc openbusinesscouncil  Youtube Podcast Series, intelligenthq.com, Periscope and major social media channels.

A series of videos have been released showcasing major topics that will be discussed in the summit:

Film 1: #DigitalTransformation openbusinesscouncil.org/summit Impact of #Covid19 Challenges #4IR #Society5.0 #AI #obcsummit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkjMwlNVhf0&t=4s

Film 2: Why #Businesses #Governments Must Change  with #SmartCities #4IR  #AI #blockchain #obcsummit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys6mmDYq4G8

Film 3: Smart Cities – 4IR, AI, Blockchain, IoT The Heartbeat Of The XXI Century

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkjMwlNVhf0&t=2s

Film 4: How Businesses Governments Can Build Digital Transformation Solutions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp7fDPYTW4Y&t=3s

Film 5: Blockchain & AI Convergence

https://youtu.be/zPkTXdIzgus

4IR And Blockchain Solutions To Be Highlighted On openbusinesscouncil Summit Masterclass Day

Delve into the future of business and finance at the openbusinesscouncil Summit Masterclass Day. The masterclass will take place on day 3 of the openbusinesscouncil summit led by mentors Babak Behboudi, CEO of Synchronium, a blockchain ecosystem framework to accelerate innovation, and Dinis Guarda, Founder and CEO of openbusinesscouncil.org and ztudium on 4IR Tech solutions for businesses and the future of crypto and DeFi, along with other experts.

The 4IR is disrupting every sector and industry, and all the businesses within them. From AI to blockchain, the digital has become the new normal and with it comes many challenges: how to gather and use data smartly, boost productivity, improve legacy systems, deploy better cybersecurity systems… Dinis Guarda, a serial entrepreneur and author, will provide you with invaluable insights about how to embrace all that 4IR can offer, including blockchain, AI, IoT, Fintech solutions.

Likewise, the financial system is going through deep changes. Blockchain and Crypto are opening opportunities to create fairer and more transparent finance for all. But they also come with their challenges. Join serial entrepreneur and innovator Babak Behboudi and learn the latest trends in crypto, including the next big thing: DeFi.

This Masterclass will be the final brochure to 3 days of a global digital event. The three-day summit provides access to a unique audience of 100+ leading global speakers from over 30 countries and a direct reach of 10.000 participants and an indirect reach digital streaming in social media that reaches around 10 million people. The participants include potential partners and clients, leading global thought leaders, entrepreneurs, startup organisations, accelerators, investors, authors and governments.

Masterclass: 4IR: Blockchain, Fintech, AI by Dinis Guarda

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres, collectively referred to as cyber-physical systems. Over the past decade, a number of important technologies such as AI, Blockchain, Fintech, IoT evolved so quickly that they became the core drivers around which we govern our lives. How are the 4IR and its technologies impacting businesses and governments, and how should these prepare for its inherent opportunities but also challenges? And how to apply these new emergent technologies in your project/business/organization in a simple and effective way?

Dinis Guarda, founder of openbusinesscouncil.org citiesabc.com and leading personality on 4IR, AI, blockchain and smart cities, the curator of the event says: “With businesses and startups facing uncertain times, a recession, drop in sales, and limited funding, the openbusinesscouncil summit will address today’s most pressing challenges with digital transformation solutions and what’s next for industries, cities, governments and businesses.”

Masterclass: 4IR: Blockchain, Fintech, AI by Dinis Guarda

Masterclass: Cryptocurrencies, DeFi – Trading & Investment – by Babak Behboudi

One area in the cryptocurrency market attracting huge attention is DeFi or Decentralized finance. This refers to an experimental form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries and instead utilizes blockchains. As DeFi apps are still in early stages, investors and traders face many unknowns: Is investing in DeFi safe? How do I make money with DeFi? When will DeFi go mainstream?

Synchronium CEO Babak Behboudi said about blockchain and crypto: “The main challenges I have seen are regarding regulation and culture. Regulators move very slowly when it comes to financing and new technologies as disruptive as this one. But even more challenging is corporate culture, companies are really reluctant to develop and implement new processes or new solutions if it modifies the ones they have in place. They fear risking breaking things that work, even if that means that their processes can be upgraded and improved greatly. And to change that, what we need to do is to change our mindset to this new technology first and then show them all they are missing by not adopting, or at least researching about it.”

Masterclass: Cryptocurrencies, DeFi – Trading & Investment – by Babak Behboudi

Register to get your free ticket.

About openbusinesscouncil Summit

The openbusinesscouncil summit is a leading 3-day global virtual event that aims to strengthen businesses, startups and governments’ with digital transformation strategies and how to deal with the economic challenges and technology disruption arising from COVID-19.

The three-day summit provides access to a unique audience of 100+ leading global speakers from over 30 countries and a direct reach of 10.000 participants and an indirect reach digital streaming in social media that reaches around 10 million people. The participants include potential partners and clients, leading global thought leaders, entrepreneurs, startup organisations, accelerators, investors, authors and governments.

The summit has a solid focus on businesses and governments’ digital transformation strategies, and it will provide a road map of solutions, covering opportunities of how to work and collaborate as governments, businesses, cities, citizens and nations move forward with 4IR – Society 5.0. The summit will provide an international business and brand exposure through our media partners.

The openbusinesscouncil summit program includes leading speakers, VCs and entrepreneurs in Digital transformation, AI, Blockchain, COVID19 Impact, Smart Cities, Automation, Fintech, Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity, Corporate Innovation, and more.

The program offers keynote and panels with speakers, Ministers and representatives of European Union, Malaysia, Pakistan, Mauritius, Portugal, Scotland, UK, World Smart City Forum with global influencers and academics such as Debra Ruh, Yu Xiong, Antonio Santos, Efi Pylarinou, representatives from InvestHK, MDEC, UNESCO, Tencent, Siemens, SOSV, Hyundai, Deloitte, and many of the biggest VCs, Fintechs and the fastest-growing startups.

W20 Welcomes G20 Leaders’ Recognition of Women as Key Drivers of Economic Growth and the Call for Action to Empower Women and Girls

In response to the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, the Women 20 (W20), the non-governmental women’s engagement group to the G20, welcomes the G20 leaders’ commitment to lead the world “in shaping a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive post-COVID-19 era,” which specifically recognizes the critical role for women and girls in rebuilding our economies.

The W20, recognizing the many pressing concerns before G20 leaders, especially during this global pandemic, is committed to supporting G20 members to achieve our mutual goals for an equitable, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive recovery from the health, social, and economic crisis the world is currently facing due to COVID-19.

The W20 welcomes the  G20 Leaders’ Declaration that specifically addresses women:

Women’s Empowerment: As many women have been disproportionately affected by the crisis, we will work to ensure that the pandemic does not widen gender inequalities and undermine the progress made in recent decades. Recalling relevant UN declarations, processes, and calls to action to empower women and girls, we reaffirm the importance of women’s and girls’ empowerment as a cross-cutting issue in all aspects of our policies and recognize that women are a key driver of economic growth. We will continue to promote gender equality, as well as combat stereotypes, reduce pay gaps, and address the unequal distribution of unpaid work and care responsibilities between men and women. We will step up our efforts towards achieving the Brisbane Goal to reduce the gap in labor force participation between men and women by 25 percent by 2025 along with improving the quality of women’s employment; we call on ILO and OECD to continue providing input to support our progress; and look forward to a roadmap under the next Presidency. We will take steps to remove the barriers to women’s economic participation and entrepreneurship. We welcome the commencement, under the Saudi Presidency, of the Private Sector Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation (EMPOWER) for women’s advancement in leadership positions.

The specific recognition of “the importance of protecting and promoting decent jobs for all, especially for women and youth” and of supporting “access to comprehensive, robust, and adaptive social protection for all, including those in the informal economy” is critical for ensuring the conscious and planned inclusion of women in the economy. Likewise, the endorsement of the G20 High-level Policy Guidelines on Digital Financial Inclusion for Youth, Women, and SMEs prepared by the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) is key for inclusive economic growth.

The W20 is encouraged by the G20 leaders’ call on the ILO and the OECD to continue providing technical input to support monitoring G20 progress on women’s empowerment, as called for the W20 Communiqué, and the call for the Italian Presidency to lay out a roadmap for action. Recognizing the importance of collecting sex-disaggregated data and of establishing mechanisms to track G20 gender policy commitments, the Saudi Arabian W20 Presidency, in consultation with the OECD, has initiated work on a G20 gender policy tracker: Monitoring G20 commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The W20 is confident that this will be an important contribution to the G20 Italian Presidency roadmap and beyond.

“Twenty-five years after world leaders gathered in Beijing to agree on the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, G20 leaders must continue to diligently work toward closing the gaps that prevent gender equity at the national level,” said Dr. Thoraya Obaid, W20 Chair, recalling a previous W20 statement.

As a number of the W20 Communiqué policy recommendations are reflected in the Leaders’ Declaration, the W20 calls on G20 members to implement these recommendations at the national level. The policy recommendations included in the W20 Communiqué provide a starting point and a framework for change, but immediate action must be taken to translate the recommendations into policies on the ground in each and every country.

Gender parity is still an aspiration, not a reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the need to expedite measures to promote women’s economic empowerment as a means of accelerating recovery to alleviate the adverse effects of the pandemic,” said Dr. Obaid.

“Our work is far from done. In the months and years ahead, we must keep women at the forefront in all decision-making and diligently continue our collective efforts to close the gaps that prevent gender equity.”

Anuj Khanna CEO and Founder kashkind.com – The Future Of Finance – Fintech

Anuj Khanna is the guest in this new YouTube interview series. Anuj Khanna founder and CEO of Kashkind, a business loans marketplace. Anuj is focussed on solving the problem of making business finance easily available to SME’s by automating the entire banking ecosystem and having one universal loan application process for all lenders.

Anuj Khanna Interview focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Career highlights
3. About kashkind.com: organisation and focus?
4. How do you see Society 5.0 – 4IR and all areas of digital transformation?
5. What are your views on our society, technology and digital transformations?
6. What are your goals and how do you see the future of work and the main trends in tech and society?
7. With Covid-19 what ways do you envision to redesign our society with technology and social impact?
8. What are your visions for the present and future?

Anuj Khanna Interview Notes

About Anuj Khanna’s background. I have been in tech for the last 20 years including digital advertising, mobile phone, computing, etc. The reason why I moved into the loan / lender industry is because I saw a gap in the lending market for SMEs. I saw that most SMEs struggle to find the right loans to grow their business.

And the range of SMEs go from a few thousands of revenue to millions per year. And I have seen quite often that many SMEs have many financial responsibilities that can’t be fulfilled through the official channels. Likewise, from filling up a loan form to actually getting the money for their needs takes a really long time. What I want to do through kashkind is to make the process more accessible and easier for SMEs.

What we do is actually from one application form we find them the best lender and more suitable for them.

In fact, the financial system was created by SMEs centuries ago but the current one is not done for them.

How kashkind works. We work with several providers and established companies to fulfill a series of loans and financial needs for SMEs. The onboarding process is as accessible as it can be. Just fill one application form, adding the name of the company and different details like how much do they need, how long and for what reason and what type of loan product they are looking for. After that, the manual work ends and our work as a platform starts. Through our tech-based platform we find the best lender for their needs. We work with a network of lenders that range from banks to private companies that have different criteria. What we do is assess our clients’ own characteristics and present to them the best lenders for their needs so our clients can choose the ones that best fit them too.

As we understand that these products are complex and some business owners might be a bit scared of them, we are always available to assist them.

We have available many different products depending on the amount of finance these SMEs need, their size, their annual revenue, etc. We also have a specific loan program now for these difficult times of COVID-19. Our products are flexible, we have long-term loans, for cash flow requirements and loans for specific funding needs: expansion, scaling, modernization, etc.

We operate in the UK as a broker lender and we plan to expand worldwide.

Advice for SMEs. I would say to not depend entirely on VC, angel investors and equity funding because it takes time to flow. There are other options regarding government-backed funding options, short-term loans and even banks that offer money for more immediate needs. Other interesting option is crowdfunding, which is a better option for a starting company than for medium size enterprises.


More Interviews

Interview with Edwin Diender: CDTO and VP, Huawei Enterprise – Leading the World in Digital Transformation Smart Cities

Interview with Daniel Sloan, co-founder Future Tech, ‘RebuildTheChain’ – Building Blockchain and AI solutions

Video Interview with Dr Jamal Ouenniche, Professor & Chair in Business Analytics, University of Edinburgh – Business Analytics, AI Data Road Maps

Interview with Ben Goertzel Founder SingularityNet, OpenCog – Benevolent And Open AI, What Kind Of Evolutionary Mind Can We Engineer?

Interview With Anish Mohammed, Blockchain Researcher. Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin – Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics 


Anuj Khanna Biography

Anuj Khanna is a highly experienced business development, corporate expansion, finance, marketing and product development expert with over 20 years international experience working for fast growing technology brands including:

Admarvel, ArqBravo Motors, Badoo, Bango, Boku, Buongiorno, Dialogue Communications, EVShare, FundLion, Further Networks, Globcoin, Isobar, InMobi, Infobip, Mobill, Monitor Clipper Private Equity, Mindmatics, Nokia, Neo Mobile, Netsize, Orange, Opera Software, Opera Mediaworks, Openbit, Spinlet, Star Arcade, Tanla, Vodafone, Venista Ventures, Verod Capital, Wau Movil, Wireless Expertise and The Wealth Initiative.

Career highlights

Founder and CEO of his own strategy consulting and product development company since 2009.

Founder of Kashkind.com, Business Lending Marketplace & SME Loans Comparison Portal.

Strategic partnerships experience working with application developers, payment processors, fintech brands and telecom operators.

In-depth expertise and experience in the mobile applications, telecoms, social media, financial technology, IOT, digital payments and the mobile advertising industry.

Advisory board member for leading fintech companies.

Consulting and advisory experience in SME Finance.

Expertise

Corporate Lending Marketplace, Financial Technology, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Investment appraisal, due diligence, financing, mergers and acquisitions.

Business Strategy Consulting, Business Development & Marketing Strategy.

Strategic Partnerships, Corporate Sales and New Market Entry

Corporate expansion, growing sales and revenues.

Product development, new market entry and life cycle management for blockchain, Fintech, DLT and artificial intelligence products.

About kashkind

KashKind is a Business Lending Marketplace and Loans Comparison platform.

KashKind makes it quick and easy to compare and apply for business loans from multiple banks, alternative financial platforms and industry specific finance specialists. Companies can follow a simple three step loan application process to find the best funding solution for their business. They are already authorised by the UK Financial regulators and have signed agreements with over 20 banks.

By providing a single quick and easy loan application process for multiple banks, they at KashKind have leveraged technology and smart data to create a platform that solves this problem. The platform connects businesses with multiple lenders, so you can find the best deals on loans for your business, compare lenders and make an informed financial decision. This allows them to say yes to more businesses commonly rejected by banks and help them get the capital they need to grow.

They are aiming to maximise automation of the business lending process through a network of loan origination systems, access to online accounting software and open banking integrations.

Anuj Khanna Links and references

https://www.linkedin.com/in/anujkhanna/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/kashkind/

https://kashkind.com/

https://twitter.com/anuj_rk

https://peakstate.com

Cybersecurity 101: Cybercrime – Types Of Attacks – Dark Web – Resilient Strategy

Global cybercrime costs will exceed $6 Trillion in the next years. From virtual bank heists to semi-open attacks from nation-states, the last couple of years has been rough on IT security, and has just been accelerated by the digitisation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. To defend your business, multi-factor authentication and encryption are the biggest hacker obstacles.

Studies suggest that there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds while 300,000 new malware is created every day. As of 2018, there were more than 800 million malware infections from 12.4 million back in 2009, being small and medium businesses one of the main targets for these attacks. In fact, the average cost of data for corporations breaches is $150+ million.

The lack of preparation & cybersecurity strategy will have devastating effects on the integrity & survival of businesses & governments. Cyber-threats is a reflection of lack of preparation and a weakness in an organization’s structure.

Malware + web-based attacks continue to be the most expensive cybersecurity issues The cost of Ransomware (21%) and Malicious insider (15%) attacks types have been grown year after year. 92% of malware is delivered by email. Among all types of cybersecurity attacks, hackers have found that phishing attacks are the most successful. This has been accelerated by the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the pandemic started there has been an uptick in sophisticated phishing email schemes by cybercriminals. Malicious actors are posing as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO) representatives. These emails are designed to deceive and trick recipients into taking an action such as clicking a malicious link, or opening an attachment with a virus.

Top 5 of world largest cyberattacks

Other types of cybersecurity attacks include:

Man-in-the-middle attack 

A MITM (man-in-the-middle) attack is where the attacker intercepts and relays messages between two parties who believe they are interacting with one another.

It is also known as an eavesdropping attack. Once attackers are in the conversation, they can filter, manipulate, and steal sensitive information.

Distributed denial-of-service attack 

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks bombard an organization’s central server with simultaneous data requests. Multiple compromised systems are used to generate these data requests.

A DDoS attack aims to stop the server from fulfilling legitimate requests, providing a situation for criminal hackers to extort the victim for money.

The timeline of a DDoS attack can vary, with 15% of attacks lasting as long as a month.

SQL injection 

SQL (Structured Query Language) is used in programming and is designed to manage data in relational database management systems.

During SQL injections, criminal hackers insert malicious code into the server that uses SQL, which makes the server reveal sensitive information.

Zero-day exploit 

When a network vulnerability is announced, there is a window of time before a patch or solution is used to fix it. Within that timeframe, cyber attackers will exploit the vulnerability.

The Deep And Dark Web

The dark web is a small subset of the deep web, which is part of the internet that is not found using search engines. That includes many websites that require users to log in with an username and password, and the deep web is estimated to be about 400 to 500 times larger than the common internet.

The dark web is a subset of the deep web that is intentionally hidden, requiring a specific browser—Tor—to access.

Type of Hackers

There are generally 10-types of Hackers: 1. White Hat Hackers; 2. Black Hat Hackers; 3. Gray Hat Hackers; 4. Script Kiddies 5. Green Hat Hackers 6. Blue Hat Hackers 7. Red Hat Hackers 8. State/Nation Sponsored Hackers 9. Hacktivist 10. Malicious Insider or Whistleblower.

White Hat Hackers are the ones authorized or certified hackers who work for the government and organizations by performing penetration testing and identifying loopholes in their cybersecurity. There are over 715,000 cybersecurity experts employed in the US alone HackerOne for example represents a community of over 300,000 white hackers.

Type of Hackers

Cybersecurity and Businesses

How Can You Identify Cybersecurity issues such as Malware Infections on Your business, organisation PC, Mac, or Mobile?

Information + Data Security is the fastest growing component of businesses’ and organizations’ competitive strategy. The direct collection, management, and interpretation of business information, data, IP or the retention of day-to-day business intelligence processing is becoming the biggest asset for businesses and governments, and hackers know of their importance and value.

An accurate vision of digital and behavioral gaps is crucial for a consistent business and organisation cyber-resilience. The basics have been around for a long time, but they still represent the first barrier against a cybersecurity breach: Antivirus and anti-malware.

“Passwords are like underwear: don’t let people see it, change it very often, and you shouldn’t share it with strangers.” Chris Pirillo

Likewise, common sense and IT literacy play a big role when setting up a cybersecurity defence. Obvious signs of malware infection is the increased presence of ads, banners, pop-ups, spam, alerts, and other unwanted communications. Any notable increase in these ads or pop ups is a clear indication that malware has infected your computer. You may even be alerted to the presence of malware with an announcement to that effect: Your System Has Been Hijacked. If security were all that mattered, computers and IT systems would never be turned on, let alone hooked into a network with literally millions of potential intruders

5 most efficient cyber defenders:

1. Preparation – Anticipation
2. Culture – Education
3. Detection – test
4. Reaction – action
5. Resilience – persistence

The cybersecurity market is continuing its stratospheric growth and hurtling towards the trillion dollar mark: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it,” said cybersecurity expert Stephane Nappo.

Leaders need to nurture a cybersecurity culture message of influence because security is a culture and you need the business to take place and be part of that security culture.

How ready is your business for a cybersecurity hacking?

Top UK’s Most Entrepreneurial Cities

London may lead the pack when it comes to business start-ups in Britain, but the latest research from Instant Offices reveals the UK’s other major cities are making a significant contribution to entrepreneurialism in the UK.

Last year, an impressive 672,890 new companies launched in the UK. An increase of 8.5% on the previous year and the highest since 2010. With that in mind, Instant Offices analysed population to startup ratio across the UK’s top cities to discover which place has the highest concentration of entrepreneurs.

Instant’s Entrepreneurial Index ranks top cities in the UK by analysing Companies House data and comparing new business to population ratio. When it comes to the most entrepreneurial areas in the country, you may be surprised to discover the capital only ranks 3rd on the list this year.

Startup activity increased this year in West Yorkshire, with Bradford launching 32% more businesses in 2020 compared to 2019. Three years ago, the city ranked highest in the SME Growth Factors Index, which named Bradford one of the best places in the UK to start a business.At 242,442, the number of new businesses registered in the capital in 2020 is around 35 times higher than our top-ranking city. When comparing population to business ratio, Portsmouth ranks highest for its high concentration of entrepreneurial activity. The number of new businesses launched here has increased by 33% this year, compared to 31% in London.

Growth Across All UK Cities a Positive

Out of the 21 cities analysed, Cardiff shows the slowest growth year-on-year at 5%; however, this growth is still extremely positive. In fact, of all the cities compared, we saw an increase across the board, indicating the UK entrepreneurial ecosystem has been busier than ever over the last 12 months.

2020 Set to Be a Record Year for New Companies

According to another report, 2020 could be a record year for new companies launched as entrepreneurs emerge from challenging circumstances, with an estimated 84,758 companies set to launch in the UK this year – the most considerable rise in new business activity since 2011.

In fact, according to the latest UK Flexible Workspace Market Report by Instant, there has been a rise in demand within smaller, regional markets, with some towns seeing growth of well over 100%. With suburban demand on the rise, average desk costs for flexible offices have increased by 5%, where rates have dropped by 6% in London.

Commenting on the research, John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices, said: “Despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic, we could see a record number of new companies launching as entrepreneurs emerge across the country. The onset and spread of the pandemic has had a massive impact on the growth of entrepreneurship in the country, with many new businesses having to pivot to survive during the crisis.

“While the exact implications of COVID-19 on business and the economy at large is still uncertain, the UK’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit endures.”

openbusinesscouncil Summit To Focus On Smart Cities, 4IR, AI, Blockchain, IoT Challenges & Opportunities

Smart cities are all about people and digital twins – creating digital avatars of the city – property, infrastructure & connections which transcend geography with data + governance, emotional architecture serving people, businesses. All the challenges and opportunities will be discussed in the upcoming event openbusinesscouncil summit on 9-10 December.

“Men come together in cities in order to live: they remain together in order to live the good life.” — Aristotle

Cities are all about people’s lives. Big social groups of people living and collaborating together. Whether you are in Hong Kong, London, Shangai, New York, Singapore, Tokyo or Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Barcelona. These cities offer the best in the world. Likewise, they are becoming more and more efficient serving many millions of people because of the adoption of smart technologies which is transforming them into smart cities.

And there is a need to have an open conversation about how to best deploy these technologies to serve the people they are meant to help. Experts, decision-makers, business, industries and citizens need to be part of that conversation, and the best and most efficient way to have that direct feedback is through the digital. openbusinesscouncil summit aims precisely to make that conversation take place by bringing together top experts and government officials.

A smart city is all about people and digital twins – creating digital avatars of the city – property, infrastructure & connections which transcend geography with data + governance, emotional architecture serving people, businesses.

Smart cities – The Fourth Industrial Revolution – 4IR are here to stay. There is no turning back. Because of its ubiquitous reach, 4IR technologies raise all kinds of concerns, but offer also a lot of solutions and nations have to adapt and change. 4IR will enable our society and power smart cities with AI, Blockchain, IOT.

Smart cities and 4IR technologies are the heartbeat of the XXI century we are living & creating:

· Smart cities enable better organisation of society, citizens, innovation, technology and data.

· Smart cities are the center of all operations and challenges and opportunities – society.

What makes smart cities?

Smart Cities are the heart of the beating of the best in the world and in the interstice of all challenges, innovation and concerns of humanity.

A smart city is the next stage of cities – intelligent human centric – sustainable – empowered by the 4IR that provides enormous possibilities for human growth through art, culture, social, architectural, economic, political, environmental, and scientific flowering with the optimal mix of nature, technology, humanity, and arts.

All cities will become smart cities. Particularly when it comes to organisation of society, citizens, innovation, technology and data, smart cities are the center of all operations and challenges and opportunities.

Smart cities, like the city states in the past, embed the highest hopes of humanity through the promise of harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) innovative technologies to improve lives and bring social harmony.

However, smart cities represent & can incarnate the challenges, fears of a dystopian ecosystem of over ‘controlled lives’ if not planned properly.

We are however in early stage of smart cities deployments so is up to citizens, each of us, businesses and governments to prepare, create best decisions, directions.

Smart cities are making society unfold in some kind of panopticon system, governed by the emergence and disruption coming out of AI, IoT, Blockchain + automated devices with augmented tools & software inherent to digital transformation systems.

Smart cities require planning and special strategy and efforts from all areas of society and economy.

Smart cities requires the collaboration of many strategic partners, leaders, and special citizens, businesses and government.

Smart cities are the main stage where 4IR technologies special AI, blockchain, IoT can change and improve cities, businesses government infrastructure, buildings and citizens needs!

Smart Cities: Main Challenges

To truly deploy technologies that empower and improve the lives of their inhabitants, smart cities need to take into consideration the following:

· A strategy and social economic and legal frame from government approved by citizens.

· A collaboration between all players: lawmakers, government organisations, universities, schools, companies and businesses, all citizens major groups represented.

· Smart cities need helicopter view data + technology infrastructure sustainable alignment combining policies, governance, business economic supply chain with identity, culture and requirements.

· Using urban planning IOT sensors to aggregate best systems + data that will be manages & expanded by AI, blockchain tech to improve the city operations, health, wellness, education, business, governance ecosystem(s).

“A smart city is an intelligent town that provides enormous possibilities for human growth through art, culture, social, architectural, economic, political, environmental, and scientific flowering with the optimal mix of nature, technology, humanity, and arts.” ― Amit Ray, Peace Bliss Beauty and Truth: Living with Positivity

Smart cities have to be about creating opportunities for citizens, businesses, governments based on ethic, sustainable use of digital transformation tools.

Using the best of all 4IR – AI Blockchain IOT emerging technologies with driven data , policies + R&D strategies that increase the quality of life & a truly optimised human nature sustainable empowering ecosystem.

About openbusinesscouncil Summit

The openbusinesscouncil summit is a cutting-edge global virtual event over two days that aims to strengthen businesses, startups and government’s strategies. Gathering access to a unique audience of 100+ leading global speakers from over 30 countries, the openbusinesscouncil summit offers action plans to deal with the challenges arising from COVID-19 given all the economic and technology disruptions. With businesses and startups facing uncertain times, forecasts of a recession with a drop in sales and limited funding, this summit will kick off by addressing today’s most pressing challenges and identify what’s next for industry and businesses.

The two-day summit, on December 9-10, will provide access to an unique audience of potential partners and clients which include leading global thought leaders, entrepreneurs, startup organisations, accelerators, investors, authors and governments.

The summit has a solid focus on businesses and governments’ digital transformation strategies, and it will provide a road map of solutions, covering opportunities of how to work and collaborate as governments, businesses, cities, citizens and nations move forward with 4IR – Society 5.0. The summit will provide an international business and brand exposure through our media partners.

AI-Driven Platform Identifies And Remediates Biases In Data

  • Tech company Synthesized is offering a freemium version of the platform immediately, called Community Edition
  • The platform also supports the ability to rebalance data, removing bias within a dataset
  • No coding or deep technical expertise is required, simply upload a spreadsheet with structured data or connect to any database

The first publicly available solution to accurately detect and remove biases in data has been launched. Synthesized is releasing the Community Edition of its data platform for Bias Mitigation. Released as a freemium version, the offering incorporates AI research and cutting-edge techniques to enable any organisation to quickly identify potential biases within their data and immediately start to remediate these flaws.

The platform was designed by the London-based firm to understand a wide array of regulatory and legal definitions regarding contextual bias. It can automatically identify bias across data attributes like gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, and more.

Synthesized is making the capability available immediately, requiring no coding or deep technical expertise to get started. Users simply upload a structured data file, like a spreadsheet, to kick off the analysis process. The inherent simplicity of the platform allows for the solution to span industries. The data platform could be used in finance to create fairer credit ratings, in insurance to better assess claims more equitably, in human resources to identify bias as part of a hiring process and in universities to ensure that admission decisions are fair.

Dr Nicolai Baldin, CEO and founder of Synthesized said, “The reputational risk of all organisations is under threat due to biased data and we’ve seen this will no longer be tolerated at any level. It’s a burning priority now and must be dealt with as a matter of urgency, both from a legal and ethical standpoint. Synthesized’s Community Edition for Bias Mitigation is one of the first offerings specifically created to understand, investigate, and root out bias in data. We designed the platform to be very accessible, easy-to-use and highly scalable, as organisations have data stored across a huge range of databases and data silos.”

Rebalancing Biased Data

Beyond this deep analysis and bias detection, the platform also offers another extremely powerful feature: to automatically remove the biases present in an entire dataset in a process called rebalancing.

While there are a number of existing, limited techniques to rebalance biased data, Synthesized has developed a proprietary algorithm within its platform that is quicker and more accurate. The AI-driven platform has the ability to make randomised changes, at scale, to an original, biased dataset to construct a new, entirely synthetic dataset. With the generation of synthetic data, Synthesized’s platform gives its users the ability to equally distribute all attributes within a dataset to remove bias and rebalance the dataset completely. Users can also manually change singular data attributes within a dataset, such as gender, providing granular control of the rebalancing process.

Community Edition for Bias Mitigation – How It Works

  • Free sign up: Your organisation can sign up here.
  • Easy to get started: Upload a structured data file, like an Excel spreadsheet, to kick off the analysis process. Users can also connect to relational database services including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle, and others, to build custom datasets for analysis. The platform learns the structure of the data in real-time, and the analysis process can crunch over four million rows of data in roughly ten minutes.
  • Bias summary and score: Once the analysis is complete, users are provided with a Synthesized Total Fairness Score that shows what percentage of the dataset contained biased data. The platform also highlights areas of the data in which bias was detected.
  • Rebalancing: As mentioned, the final feature available in this process is the ability to automatically rebalance biased data.

Synthesized’s Complete Solution

The Community Edition is one part of Synthesized’s data platform. The complete platform uses AI to automate all stages of data provisioning; the process of making data available in an orderly and secure way. This level of automation enables organisations to generate synthesized datasets, allowing them to better test data for new products and tools, validate mathematical models, or train machine learning models.

Synthesized completely removes the heavy and costly burden of finding, collecting, and preparing data. Gartner estimates that data scientists and test engineers currently waste up to 80% of their valuable time on such repetitive tasks. Synthesized’s data platform helps organisations to finally unlock and maximise data’s true value.

The company was founded in 2017 by Dr Nicolai Baldin during his transition from academia to working with public bodies in the UK. While pursuing his PhD in Statistics and Machine Learning at the University of Cambridge, he identified the significant gap in the advancements made by the scientific community and those made by major organisations, and created a platform to bridge this gap.

The new innovation caps off a year of sustained growth for the company. Just two weeks before the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, Synthesized closed a seed funding round of £2.2 million. More recently it collaborated with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to launch a collection of synthetic fraud datasets for secure third-party collaboration in the Digital Sandbox Pilot, jointly launched by the FCA and City of London Corporation.

Grant Blaisdell – Co-Founder at Coinfirm And Copernic Space And Leading Personality In Blockchain

Grant Blaisdell is a leading personality in blockchain and crypto and a pioneer of both technologies applied to different sectors. In this new interview, hosted by Dinis Guarda, Grant Blaisdell talks about two of his companies, Coinfirm and Copernic Space, and how blockchain can help make the music industry a bit fairer.

Grant has been creating ventures at the intersection of new technologies and media between the US and Central Europe since his late teens. An early innovator in applying blockchain technology to various industries, companies Grant has co-founded include the leading Blockchain Analytics and AML company Confirm and the marketplace for digital Space assets, Copernic Space. As a lifelong musician and hip hop artist known as GB Savant, Grant also applies his technological work to his music with upcoming projects such as Mr. Crypto.

Grant Blaisdell questions

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Culture background: USA and Poland?
3. Career highlights
4. Your company / companies, organisations and focus?
5. How do you see Society 5.0 – 4IR and all areas of digital transformation?
6. What are your views on our society, technology and digital transformations?
7. What are your goals and how do you see the future of work and the main trends in tech and society?
8. With Covid-19 what ways do you envision to redesign our society with technology and social impact?
9. What are your visions for the present and future?

Grant Blaisdell Interview Notes

Grant Blaisdell’s background. Born in California, both of my parents came out of the computer industry and met when they both lived in Silicon Valley so technology has been a part of my life early on. I started my first startup when I was 19(2007) was focused on mobile video distribution and monetization on touch screen phones, remember the iphone wasn’t even out yet. So my initial formal entrance into this world was around digital media. After a few failures, I eventually built some successful ventures. What got me in the blockchain space is realizing that I could use it to solve some of the core issues I was looking to fix within the digital media and music industry. Specifically related to how creators can not only better monetize their digital media but how we can provide assurance and transparency as to how the creators were being paid. The digital media industry is controlled by centralized third parties such as Youtube and Spotify that don’t have systems that transparently and immutably reward the creators. This data needs to be traceable and trustworthy.

Artists and blockchain. Becoming an entrepreneur in the music industry is a complex task and a daily struggle. There are so many things to take care of despite the creation process itself. Trying to build a blockchain platform and introduce blockchain while being an artist myself talking about all these topics is a struggle. I am involved in various projects using blockchain in the music industry with the concert agency BIG IDEA such as a ticketing application called Tixy and a blockchain based digital label called Mr. Crypto. Both take advantage of various tokenization models.

About blockchain and AML. I don’t have a regulatory background myself but have an innate capability to quickly connect the dots and comprehend related markets. To simplify the case of Coinfirm and AML, if you believe that crypto will be a part of the mass market then it will have to eventually fall under certain regulatory structures of today, most specifically AML. In the beginning, Coinfirm had a bit of backlash from influencers and companies in the space saying that what we built didn’t have any future and now some of those companies are among our global portfolio of clients.

About crypto. The reality is that the value and utility of many digital assets is non-existent and if it has no value or utility it’s not only dead weight but a reputational risk on the industry. Speculation isn’t what interests me about crypto so I am more interested in using crypto and blockchain technology to provide real value and solutions to real problems and needs. Over the past few years and especially during the ICO boom the convergence of industry players trying to explore and sell blockchain-based solutions which have very little knowledge about blockchain and crypto focused people trying to sell this complex technology to industry leaders. And I don’t think that helped either as the majority of these ventures failed and further added to reputational risk. We are still in early stages and scratching the surface at applications of this technology and it has already come a very long way.

About decentralization. What we saw in the early days of blockchain and crypto is the ideological sale of total decentralization and privacy etc. As we’ve seen the capital quickly centralized into whales and various entities. Centralization is just part of human nature. But I believe that blockchain can actually bring a new layer of decentralization and promote trust among all parties involved in a given transaction. In the music industry, for example, Spotify is a centralized platform that “controls” and provides trust to users and artists. What I believe is that through a blockchain platform we can still provide that needed trust by leveraging a conversation between users and artists directly and thus fostering a decentralized focused system.

About Copernic Space. The Space industry is already worth hundreds of billions and is set to hit 1 trillion in the near future. Most people see only the physical part of that industry. A major segment is downstream applications or what we call digital space assets such as satellite data and imagery. Even entities such as NASA are trying to commercialize all these assets but haven’t found the right way yet. We want to provide a marketplace not only for these national agencies but also for the private sector to interact with each other and transact with these digital assets. We are talking about data, IPs, software, etc. One case study we are working with is about an app called Zuma accessing this marketplace to buy data gathered from satellites that can help develop countries. And we are building this platform using blockchain and smart contracts to make it as smooth and trustworthy as possible for all parties. Our goal is to democratize space and make it accessible to everyone and we have a long roadmap ahead to make it happen.


More Interviews

Interview with Edwin Diender: CDTO and VP, Huawei Enterprise – Leading the World in Digital Transformation Smart Cities

Interview with Daniel Sloan, co-founder Future Tech, ‘RebuildTheChain’ – Building Blockchain and AI solutions

Video Interview with Dr Jamal Ouenniche, Professor & Chair in Business Analytics, University of Edinburgh – Business Analytics, AI Data Road Maps

Interview with Ben Goertzel Founder SingularityNet, OpenCog – Benevolent And Open AI, What Kind Of Evolutionary Mind Can We Engineer?

Interview With Anish Mohammed, Blockchain Researcher. Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin – Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics 


Grant Blaisdell Biography

Grant Blaisdell has been creating models and ventures at the intersection of tech, media, and branding from Los Angeles to Europe since his teens. Grant is an early innovator in applying blockchain technology to various industries, companies. As an entrepreneur, Grant has co-founded the leading Blockchain Analytics and AML company Confirm and the digital asset marketplace for the Space industry Copernic Space. As a lifelong musician and hip hop artist known as GB Savant, Grant also applies his technological work to his music with upcoming projects such as the album Mr. Crypto and the ticketing platform Tixy. Recently he has focused on applying hisHe has been working on multiple projects and research on art, culture, music and blockchain.

Grant was involved in the cryptocurrency ecosystem from a very early stage and played a vital role in establishing Coinfirm as the leading global RegTech firm. Founding CMO and Swiss Army knife that built the company brand into a global leader in its field with minimal resources. Responsible for the creation and management of Coinfirm’s marketing, social media, PR, AMLT token sale and Network, as well as responsible for a large amount of partnerships and client acquisition globally. Helped build Coinfirm into an 8 figure company within a few years and continue to provide new opportunities both from a PR as well as business development end.

Grant frequently speaks at the top conferences such as TokenFest in San Francisco or London Blockchain Week and is recognized as one of the top influencers in the RegTech and blockchain space.

Notes related with interview and Grant Blaisdell

Fireside chat with Grant Blaisdell, CMO, and co-founder of Coinfirm and AMLT.

Coinfirm’s AMLT Token Network just released a AML Oracle. The first solution for DeFihttps://cointelegraph.com/news/regulation-is-coming-to-defi-but-can-it-be-enforced

Some more details on https://www.coinfirm.com/blog/defi-compliance-amlt-oracle/

Beginning of the year they launched Reclaim Crypto with some partners. Addressing the over $10b in stolen crypto assets. https://www.coindesk.com/theres-a-new-way-to-get-your-stolen-crypto-back

Some cases they are working on https://www.coindesk.com/quadriga-kroll-analytics

Their core AML and analytics platform with some of the largest entities in crypto use https://cointelegraph.com/news/binance-integrates-coinfirms-aml-platform-to-comply-with-fatf-rules

As to Copernic: https://www.coinspeaker.com/california-space-center-unveils-copernic-blockchain-system-for-the-space-economy/

Link – Sources

https://www.linkedin.com/in/grant-blaisdell-52761460/

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/grant-blaisdell

https://www.startupgrind.com/events/details/startup-grind-warsaw-presents-how-a-creator-from-california-starts-one-of-the-biggest-blockchain-companies-in-the-heart-of-europe/

https://cryptoslate.com/people/grant-blaisdell/

https://www.f6s.com/grantblaisdell

https://mlros.com/grant-blaisdell/

https://www.topionetworks.com/people/grant-blaisdell-5985b66378e0021ac9bc0a15

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83JnxuUUJ5o

https://poddtoppen.se/podcast/1332565102/crypto-basic-podcast-teaching-you-the-basics-of-bitcoin-and-the-world-of-cryptocurrency-cryptobasic/episode-217-cryptoconvos-grant-blaisdell