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€1bn in Cyber Security Research Funding Evaluated, Revealing Academic Trends and Threats for 2019 and Beyond

Betty Tűndik

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Photo source: blog.rackspace.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Crossword Cybersecurity plc (AIM:CCS), the cyber security technology commercialisation company, has today released insights from its global review of academic cyber security research. The new database looked at nearly 1,200 current and past research projects from academic institutions in the United Kingdom, United States, Europe, Australia, and Africa. It reaffirmed the value of the cyber security research market, with reported funding of EU projects at over €1 billion.

The database identified several global trends by comparing the periods January 2008 to June 2013 with July 2013 to December 2018.

  • Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) – Over 100 projects were found in this area alone, a significant figure. The United States appears to be the most active in CPS research, with a focus on securing critical infrastructure.
  • Privacy – Projects related to privacy have increased by 183% in recent years.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) – Projects with an IoT element have increased by 123% lately, with around 14% of current projects having this characteristic.
  • Cryptography – With the promise of quantum computing on the horizon, there has been an influx of new projects that apply the technology to the future of cryptography, with a 227% increase in this area of research (albeit this was from a low base).

Significant differences can also be seen between regions. For instance, the EU appears distinctly focused on minimising Small & Medium Enterprises’ (SME) exposure to cyber security risk. Conversely, when compared with other regions, the US has a greater focus on the human component of cyber security. Other US top project funding areas include Cyber Physical Systems (as applied to smart cities and power grids), securing the cloud, cybercrime, and the privacy of Big Data sets (as applied to the scientific research community).

UK invests in securing the physical world
In the UK, the leading research verticals are critical infrastructure and securing the health sector (with 11 current projects each). Current funding across UK projects exceeds £70m, with quantum and IoT-related projects both more than doubling over five years. There are currently nine new UK projects with a focus on Cyber Physical Systems.

The four UK projects with the greatest funding are in the fields of Safe and Trustworthy Robotics, Big Data Security, Cybercrime in the Cloud and Quantum Technology for Secure Communications.

The most notable UK decline was in big data projects, which have dropped by 85%.

Cryptography remains strong
There are currently 52 global projects with a cryptographic focus, and at least 39 current live EU projects featuring a cryptographic element. In the UK, this area has been consistently strong over the last ten years, with 18 projects starting between 2008 and mid 2013, and 19 projects from mid 2013 to now.

Tom Ilube, CEO at Crossword Cybersecurity plc said of the analysis, “The need to protect critical infrastructure has never been stronger as technology becomes more deeply embedded in every aspect of our daily lives. However, one apparent omission is research solely focused on the application of AI techniques to complex cyber security problems. We hope to see more of that in the future, as the industry works to stay ahead of the constantly evolving cyber security landscape.”

The Crossword Cybersecurity database will be periodically updated, to deliver ongoing insight into the most prevalent cyber security research trends and investment areas. If you are interested in further details, please contact the Scientific Advisory Team at Crossword Cybersecurity on innovation@crosswordcybersecurity.com.

About Crossword Cybersecurity
Crossword Cybersecurity plc (AIM:CCS) is a technology commercialisation company focusing exclusively on the cyber security sector. We work with research intensive European university partners to identify promising cyber security intellectual property (IP) from research that our industry partners tell us meet emerging real-world challenges.

Our specialist cyber security software engineering team work with our university partners to develop research concepts into fully-fledged commercial products, that we then take to market. Our consulting team work with clients to address their cyber security challenges- by providing strategy, assessment and risk management services.

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Banking/Financial Services

Novem Introduces the World’s Safest Gold Token, Backed by Nearly $1.25 Million in Securely Stored Gold

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: gamblersoasisusa.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Novem’s NNN stablecoin has guaranteed liquidity with over 30 kg in LBMA-certified gold securely stored by Loomis International.

Novem is revolutionising the gold industry with the world’s safest and most transparent gold-backed stablecoin, the Novem 999.9 (NNN) gold token, which is 100% backed by LBMA-certified gold. NNN Gold Tokens are directly tied to physical gold, stored by industry leader Loomis International. NNN Gold Tokens will be available for purchase in February 2019.

NNN Gold Tokens are minted based on gold held in trust by Novem. Token holders may cash in these tokens for gold at a rate of 100 NNN Gold Tokens per gram with the token price directly linked to current market gold prices. By the start of 2019, over 30 kg of gold, valued at nearly $1.25 million, has been stored with Loomis and subject to regular third-party auditing. The quantity of securely-stored physical gold is projected to more than double with a commensurate number of NNN Gold Tokens minted by the time of public sale.

“For thousands of years, gold has been synonymous with reliable value, but the processes for buying and selling gold have been shockingly inconsistent. The Novem NNN Gold Token will be completely backed by physical LBMA-certified gold, securely stored and audited by industry leaders,” said Wolfgang Schmid, the CEO of Novem. “Novem is ready to revolutionise the gold industry with a new level of safety, transparency, and trust based on old-economy gold industry standards for transparency of value and new blockchain transparency of transactions. Novem will help make gold not only the trusted storage of the value of the past but also the trusted investment of the future.”

They have also introduced the Novem utility token (‘NVM’), for use as a measure of value in paying for services and trading related to their Novem NNN Gold Token. NVM is designed for use as a measure of value in paying for services and trading related to the Novem NNN Gold Token and is purchased on cryptocurrency exchanges. Over $1.035.000 in NVM tokens have been purchased in private sales.

Novem will issue its own certification for businesses that purchase old gold and jewellery gold which will be marketed to their extensive network in the central European gold industry. They will also open physical stores in all major cities of Central Europe. Through these measures, they will provide an economy of scale in the purchase of gold that raises the quality of services provided and value delivered to the consumers and businesses across the precious metals industry.

Novem utilises NEO blockchain technology to digitise assets and automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts. The NEO platform was chosen due to its speed, functionality, and innovative developer community. Additionally, NEO is soon to be hardened against attacks from quantum computing, creating long-term safety for token holders.

To learn more, please visit https://novem.ag

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Banking/Financial Services

BANKEX Partners With Digital Trust Fund to Develop Uzbekistan’s Digital Economy

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 1 minute

 

BANKEX, the premier provider of tokenization and securitization services, and Digital Trust Fund, a foundation established to support and develop Uzbekistan’s digital economy, partnered to bring fintech solutions – namely blockchain – to Uzbekistan at the state level.

Uzbekistan’s Digital Trust Fund signed a memorandum with BANKEX to facilitate the introduction of blockchain technology to all government agencies in Uzbekistan in order to minimize the potential for human error and to preclude corruption.

“The present memorandum is directed at establishing a legal framework on which the parties can base the mutual cooperation necessary to ensure the quality as well as the qualified undertaking of tasks assigned to the parties,” says the memorandum.

The parties also agreed “to study the prospects for the introduction of innovative technologies, including blockchain technology” as well as to “exchange all necessary information and work experience, including through mutual internships and consultations.”

The collaboration will also involve holding joint educational events including workshops, seminars, round tables, and conferences about the principles of the development of the digital economy and the advantages of blockchain.

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Banking/Financial Services

Digital Currency Foundation: UK Small Businesses Could Save £800 Million per Year on International Transfers if The y Switched to Digital Currencies

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Research released today on behalf of the Digital Currency Foundation has shown that UK SMEs could save £800 million a year if they switched from existing financial institutions to instead use digital currencies for their international money transfers. The DCF will be driving a Digi-van advertising this fact to the major UK commercial banks’ headquarters in the City of London today.

The research also found that those living in the UK sending money to loved ones abroad are losing as much as £427 million per year because they continue to use conventional financial services for their international transfers.

Digital Currencies offer a quick and low cost payment method for consumers and businesses by removing the need for traditional intermediaries, which can in the case of international transfers cost up to 10% of the total payment amount in fees, and take several days to arrive.

The data released today coincides with the 2nd Annual UK National Digital Currency Day. The day’s highlights will include a roundtable event involving industry leaders and officials from Her Majesty’s Treasury to discuss the need for appropriate regulation in the UK. The day will conclude with a reception in Parliament to celebrate the transformative potential of digital currencies and the benefits they currently offer to UK consumers and businesses.

Mihir Magudia, Managing Director of the Digital Currency Foundation, commented: “This research should act as a wakeup call to businesses across the country. Using Digital Currencies can save them significant sums. They offer a fast, cheap and secure alternative to traditional payment methods, an advantage that is magnified in the sphere of international payments. The raison dêtre of the Digital Currency Foundation is to highlight the benefits digital currencies offer, and this research shows that today, on the 2nd annual UK National Digital Currency Day, this role has never been so important.”

Notes to Editors:

Total achievable saving = potential savings for SMEs making payments abroad + potential savings for those sending money to friends and family abroad.

Remittances:

Under existing financial services:
Volume – 2017 UK remittance estimate[1]: 9.274 billion USD = 7.32 billion GBP[2]
Cost – Average of the cost of remitting[
3] = 8.58%
Total cost = 7.32 billion * 0.0858 = £628 million
Crypto comparison:
Total Transaction fee percentage = GBP-BTC cost + BTC-BTC cost + BTC-FX(foreign currency) cost
BTC-BTC Transaction fee – 0.255 USD per transaction[
4] = 0.2 GBP
Percentage for median BTC-BTC transaction = 0.2/120 = 0.1666%
GBP-BTC cost = BTC-FX cost = 1% + 1% =2%
Total cost for crypto = 7.32 billion * 0.0216 = £158 million
Total Saving:
£628 million – £18 million = £470 million

Small Business:

Under Existing financial services[5]:
Volume – For UK SMEs international trade is worth over £700bn, of which £365.3bn takes place within the EU, £162.92bn of which are outgoing payments (SEPA payments).
Cost: Average cost of SEPA Payments = 2.43%
Total transfer costs in 2014 = 162.92 * 0.0243 = £3.96bn in transfer costs in 2014
2019 cost[6
] = 2014 cost * 1.25 = £4.95bn
Crypto comparison:
Total Transaction fee percentage = GBP-BTC cost + BTC-BTC cost + BTC-FX(foreign currency) cost
BTC-BTC Transaction fee – 0.255 USD per transaction = 0.2 GBP
Percentage for median BTC-BTC transaction = 0.2/50,000 = 0.0004%
GBP-BTC cost = BTC-FX cost = 1% + 1% =2%
Total crypto cost 2019 = crypto transaction fee percentage + SEPA payments value 2014 *1.25
= 0.0204*(162.92*1.25) = £4.15 billion
Total Saving:
£4.95 billion – £4.15 billion = £800 million

Total Annual Achievable saving for UK SMEs and ex-pats living within the UK = £470 million + £800 million = £1.27 billion

References:

[1] Latest World Bank Remittance estimates – (http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/migrationremittancesdiasporaissues/brief/migration-remittances-data)

[2] USD/GBP exchange rate at 1250 on 04/01/2019

[3] Assumptions: average cost of the top two financial remittance institutions – MoneyGram and Western Union – to the top 5 remittance destinations from the UK – Bangladesh, Nigeria, India, Poland and Pakistan. The calculation is based on the median amount remitted – 120 GBP. Source: https://remittanceprices.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/rpw_report_december_2015.pdf

[4] Based on the average Bitcoin Transaction Fee on 03/01/2019. Source: https://bitinfocharts.com/comparison/bitcoin-transactionfees.html#3m

[5] This is based on a 2014 study carried out by Oxford Economics and commissioned by Money Mover using a typical SME transfer of £50,000 into Euros. Source: https://www.moneymover.com/media/uploads/files/UK-SME-International-Payments-Analysis-Full-Report.pdf

[6]Based on research by Capital Economics which found the total amount extra taken by traditional financial institutions on Small Business SMEs had increased by 25% over a 5 year period: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/transferwise/international-business-payments-analysed/

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