X-VOLUTION: Technologie und Gesellschaft – Ein Plädoyer für Aufklärung

Sascha Adam befragt im Schlußplädoyer die Teilnehmer des X-Volution Tech-Talks über ihre persönlichen Aussichten zum Thema technologischen Fortschritts und seinen Auswirkungen auf Wirtschaft, Unternehmen und unsere Gesellschaft.

Jochen Werne, Chief Visionary Officer von Prosegur German, Managing Director der Prosegur Crypto GmbH und mehrfach international ausgezeichnet für sein Engagement in International Relations antwortet mit Zuversicht und einer Reflexion für die internationale Politik.

Sascha Adam in his interview with Jochen Werne

In his closing statement, Sascha Adam asks the participants of the X-Volution Tech-Talk about their personal outlook on the topic of technological progress and its impact on the economy, companies and our society. Jochen Werne, Chief Visionary Officer of Prosegur German, Managing Director of Prosegur Crypto GmbH and winner of several international awards for his commitment to international relations, answers with confidence and a reflection for international politics.

Das gesamte Interview finden sie hier:

International Understanding: Messenger of a dispatch from the House of Lords

London, May 16, 2022 It was a great honor to receive an invitation to the House of Lords from the Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Boyce, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The hospitality extended during this visit will be unforgettable. The members of the Global Offshore Sailing Team are very grateful to Lord Boyce for the opportunity to gain an insight into the daily operations and passion with which the honorable members of the House of Lords conduct their debates. As a special end to the visit, Lord Boyce presented the Expedition Blue Ocean Corps of the Global Offshore Sailing Team with a special despatch to be sailed by sea from London to Dover – celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club. The mission was successfully completed with the delivery of the shipment to RCPYC Commodore Judith White on May 18. The welcome for the crew in Dover was beyond compare. Special thanks are due to the members of the RCPYC, not only for their extraordinary cordiality, but especially for their untiring efforts for international understanding.

Handover of the dispatch to the Global Offshore Sailing Team – Westminster Hall – House of Parliament, London
Handover of the dispatch to the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dovery
The Global Offshore Sailing Team as guest of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dover
Expedition Blue Ocea on sea
Benon Janos (Chief Security Officer) and Jochen Werne (Skipper) on watch during Expedition Blue Ocean

Ad campaign O2Business: Partnerships matter

STRONG PARTNERSHIP FOR A SECURE FUTURE

As Germany’s market leader for money and value services, it is of particular importance for Prosegur to maintain professional partnerships with the best companies on the market. We are pleased to be able to rely on our partner o2 Business (Telefónica Germany) in the telecommunications sector worldwide and it was a pleasure for us to serve as a reference for their new campaign.

Many thanks to Heike Windfelder, Fritz Fechner, Ilka Wiehe, Erhan Ocak Malte Jost Edda Heue Vanessa Eggestein Hasan Celebi Heiner Eberle Collja Lorig Michael Mogk Peter Strauss Ogilvy Telefonica INTOKU PICTURES for the support, the fantastic shooting day and the great result

Campaign #advertisement #Prosegur #Telefonica #O2

124.000 views in the first 18 hours just on YouTube … a good start

https://www.o2business.de/produkte/mobilfunk/angebote/sehrgutesnetz-u-prosegur/

gi-Geldinstitute Expert Talk: How banks keep track of IT vulnerabilities

An article by Stefanie Walter, Editor | 01.03.2022 – translated with DeepL.com – Original in German available HERE

Expert Panel: Christian Meusel, Berliner Volksbank – Gerrit von der Hardt, Targobank – Thorsten Demski, Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh – Andreas Meyer, Union IT Services DZ Bank Group – Jochen Werne, Prosegur – Marion Gratenberg, Targobank

The rapidly advancing technological transformation in the banking sector also brings problems. Instead of leading to increased security, labour savings and customer friendliness, different applications can also bring performance problems and even failures.

This must be recognised and averted in good time. Application performance management, performance engineering, software intelligence, overservability or process mining are the new buzzwords here. A holistic overview of all applications is helpful in resolving weaknesses and freeing up capacities for innovations in the business. In the gi-Geldinstitute roundtable discussion, this topic will be examined by experts.

Meusel: As a bank, we must first and foremost provide services for our clients. They are our main drivers. We in the operational organisation are therefore currently investing intensively in usability and direct availability in particular.

Demski: We want to avoid media discontinuities and streamline and improve process transitions in individual departments. The work on process improvement has accelerated a bit due to the pandemic. But it is a fundamental issue that we are dealing with in the context of digitalisation. Our last project focused on the speed of the credit processes. Our goal is not only to bring about decisions quickly, but also to ensure that they are as error-free as possible.

Gratenberg: We are concerned with making processes faster, but also more efficient from the customer’s point of view. In the last two years, we have invested a lot of time and analysis in the automation and optimisation of existing customer processes. An agile squad was also founded for this purpose. In the squad, we analyse where there is further potential to optimise and automate processes.

Werne: The goal of our process automation is to be as customer-friendly as possible. In Germany, we provide about 50 per cent of the total cash logistics. We thus guarantee the cash supply of the population and secure the liquidity cycle of companies, credit institutions and municipalities. In our cooperation with the banks, we want to drive the transformation. In our group, we are driving the optimisation of the IT outsourcing processes of the entire cash management and projects such as crypto custody. With Prosegur Crypto, we have launched a solution for the custody and management of digital assets that works automatically without an internet connection to achieve maximum protection against cyber attacks.

Meyer: Union Investment has two good reasons to optimise processes today – increasing process cost efficiency and regulatory law. As part of regulatory audits, we are required as one of the leading German asset managers to produce a business process map as part of the written order. I like the result: by using modern process intelligence tools, we recognise process weaknesses that need to be optimised. At the same time, we produce process models required by banking supervisory law. The auditing company PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed an availability of 99 percent (2021) for the 170 applications used in the investment process. As part of the Genossenschaftliche FinanzGruppe (Cooperative Financial Network), we are the expert for the asset management of 4.8 million private and institutional investors with more than 400 billion euros in assets under management. We thus provide the IT required for this to more than 1,100 internal Union users with high availability.

Diener: In my role at Atruvia, the digitalisation partner of the Genossenschaftliche FinanzGruppe, I am responsible for measuring and analysing performance data for around 820 affiliated Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken. Basically, you have to distinguish between two topics in process optimisation: the business management part and the technical part.

When I think back to the early days of my working life in the early 80s, you would enter a short code into the old IBM terminals to support your work and be happy to receive an answer milliseconds later. Over the decades, many things have changed massively here. Business and technical performance moved closer together. IT has become a central core of everyday work and an essential part of overall process optimisation. In addition to dealing with speed, response times or simply checking whether systems are available, more emphasis is now placed on user experience and user behaviour. How is the customer, what are they doing, where are they having problems getting on in the application?

Von der Hardt: Challenges arise above all with very long process routes via different interfaces with channel breaks. Then you have to assemble information from the most diverse systems, databases or process areas. Because it is difficult to optimise something with a sixty percent view without knowing what the one hundred percent end-to-end customer view looks like. The goal is not to think in small puzzle pieces, but to have the entire customer journey in mind.

Werne: In the pandemic, our process management faces the additional challenge that, for example, retailers or bank branches that we supply with cash close here today and reopen somewhere else tomorrow. Against the backdrop of our current modernisation programme, we are also moving everything to the cloud. Since we operate globally, coordination between the different countries and standardisation play an additional role.

Von der Hardt: Challenges arise especially with very long process paths via different interfaces with channel breaks. Then you have to bring together information from the most diverse systems, databases or process areas. Because it is difficult to optimise something with a sixty percent view without knowing what the one hundred percent end-to-end customer view looks like. The goal is not to think in small puzzle pieces, but to have the entire customer journey in mind.

Werne: In the pandemic, our process management faces the additional challenge that, for example, retailers or bank branches that we supply with cash close here today and reopen somewhere else tomorrow. Against the backdrop of our current modernisation programme, we are also moving everything to the cloud. Since we operate globally, coordination between the different countries and standardisation play an additional role.

Meusel: The back office is an extreme driver of efficiency potential. With consistent optimisations and consolidations, we have been able to significantly reduce the resources tied up in recent years, not only through Atruvia’s solutions, but also through the broad use of technical innovations from other partners in the area of automation. Nevertheless, we still see topics with great potential, for example in the passive market succession, keyword probate, garnishment processing and other payment transaction services. As is well known, the active back office is currently experiencing high growth in the lending business. At the same time, the margins are melting away. We must therefore continue to look very intensively at how the balancing act of resource optimisation and business growth can be made possible, for example by means of process management. Here, of course, we use the analysis possibilities of Atruvia at our process times and try to achieve the necessary benchmarks through continuous process development.

Demski: We have also started in the back office. In the new year, we will take another look at customer service in the process analysis. This is where we can make the most profit. The procedure is first of all a precise recording of the processes and their interfaces. Based on this, we then evaluate which optimisation and/or automation steps make sense. Examples of automation for us are the processing of estates and processes related to online banking.

Von der Hardt: Targobank belongs to the cooperative Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale Group from France. We are a retail and commercial bank with a focus on financing. Our process optimisation relates to these core processes. With Targo Dienstleistung we have a high-performance customer centre in Duisburg, which emerged from an industrialisation initiative at the end of the 1990s. Targobank has more than 20 years of expertise in digitalisation and process automation. It benefits from a large IT service provider and sees itself well equipped for the future in the highly competitive financial services market.

Gratenberg: In existing customer management, for example, we have automated large parts of the account closure process. This has been working very well for us for over a year now.

Werne: With regard to cash, the banking world has been in a transformation process for quite some time. Various credit institutions are already completely outsourcing their cash management for process optimisation and cost reasons. With smart machines, which Prosegur installs at its customers’ premises, cash can be disposed of directly and credited on the same day. The smart infrastructure, including dynamic monitoring and forecasting, optimises cash logistics and reduces costs.

Meyer: We already very successfully implemented a group-wide digitalisation initiative in the period from 2007 to 2010. Together with the central institutions of the DZ

Bank Group, more than 18 custodian banks and almost 90 securities trading houses, we were able to achieve a dark processing rate of 95 percent for transaction management and accounting across all countries and locations – both areas where the factors of mass and standard processing matched. Challenging in this context was the unification of message standards in the networks for financial transactions such as SWIFT and FIX and the first use of machine learning-based applications for the processing of still paper-based bookings. Today, the focus is on examining the use of AI in the context of feasibility and profitability considerations and thus realising further efficiency potential.

Diener: Processes are organised very differently at banks. We see our task in providing tools with which our customers can map, optimise and monitor the processes. It is no longer enough to look at individual use cases, from the click to the information expected by the customer on the screen. Business processes are viewed as a whole. The question is, what can be automated? Of course, this always takes into account the regulatory framework. A lot has happened in recent years in terms of technical performance. New technologies such as virtualisation, containerisation, self-healing systems – systems that manage themselves – have taken hold. The processing of a request in the data centre has become more complex and dynamic. It is important to make these new possibilities tangible for the customer and to support him in process optimisation.

Von der Hardt: There are cross-departmental and cross-bank teams/squads both in operational process management and in process optimisation initiatives. Especially in the case of RPA automation, departments and IT work together across the board.

Demski: We now have a fixed, very broad-based team. Among them are colleagues from organisational development who have always been involved in process management. We recruited the RPA team from this group and supplemented it with colleagues from IT and technology. They are then joined by experts from the specialist departments of the processes concerned. Together, they take a close look at the process side, analyse what can be automated and then enter into the development. The procedure is rather iterative in the sense of agility. A first version of an automated process does not necessarily have to cover 100 per cent of all cases. The best way for the developers to determine the greatest benefit is to work together with the departments.

Meusel: It’s always about giving a voice to as many people as possible who are ultimately users of process flows and results. It is important for us to find the right degree of participation so that we don’t get lost in too broad a grassroots democratic process in the further development. It is clearly about quality, about the return of investment, how much time I have to invest to improve the processes and what the actual effect is. For example, we have defined clear guard rails with the automation team for RPA and OCR solutions. In addition, there is always a comparison with the strategic goals. Often we have to fulfil various parameters with scarce human resources. In addition to involving the right people, we want to make the whole process as transparent as possible in order to make decisions understandable. We work very collaboratively, instead of putting every evaluation on the table and saying this is how we do it now.

Meyer: We have always carried out major changes as part of a project portfolio in cooperation between IT and the business department. We always look at the expenditure plus follow-up costs/benefits over five years. Based on this, we have a ranking and allocate resources to the projects accordingly. We don’t tackle every sub-process that could be automated because it simply doesn’t pay off.

Meusel: We always have evaluation options for our essential applications. What is challenging, however, is the networking and visualisation of the individual systems and analyses. The right degree of considered systems and subsystems plays an important role here. There are certainly promising offers on the market here. Since process mining is an important field for us, we are already in contact with service providers. But our discussions so far have also shown that good advice is expensive.

Werne: Despite several analysis tools that we use, it is sometimes not so easy to manage performance engineering in connection with different systems so that they are scalable and comparable. We haven’t yet found the egg-laughing lizard, where you just click and then know exactly what brings what performance. I doubt that it will ever exist in the level of detail that the theory implies. Do we have an overall view? The answer is, of course, yes. It’s not just banks that need to have it, but all companies with critical infrastructures. And not just because the regulator expects it. With new processes being introduced almost daily, the biggest challenge is to integrate them perfectly in order to continue to perform as usual.

Meyer: The use of such tools with regard to the IT infrastructure is carried out by our IT providers. At Union Investment itself, we successfully use such tools to analyse business processes. We can now load the data required for the analysis from the underlying applications into a process intelligence tool and systematically identify throughput times and routes, quantity structures, manual processing steps and their process effort. Because today almost every processing step leaves a digital footprint in the databases – and the tool generates the entire process model almost independently.

Diener: We have initiated many things in recent years: On the one hand, from a pure tool perspective, but also organisationally. System and application monitoring were to be merged, the entire monitoring process was to be put on a new footing. In particular, we invested in a comprehensive solution from Dynatrace. Their software intelligence platform uses a proprietary form of artificial intelligence to clearly visualise and monitor applications, microservices, container orchestration platforms and IT infrastructures, and offers automated problem detection. Analyses under a highly dynamic platform, such as Openshift, can only be performed in an automated way.

We want one hundred per cent visibility across all 50,000 systems we currently have in use in order to detect faults in advance. With the dynamics of communication between the technologies, it is no longer possible to say exactly which components are used for an individual communication. That’s why it’s so important to have this monitored via AI and to have it signal us when there are deviations from the norm that we need to take action or use automatisms from the outset to heal it accordingly.

Von der Hardt: Our process team has to identify very precisely where the weak points are in the overall process. We don’t yet use any special analysis tools from process mining for this. Personally, I think we first need a general streamlining of some processes. We are so busy changing processes that we no longer have time to optimise them significantly. We are constantly complicating them with new regulatory requirements.

Gratenberg: We can say that we have significantly fewer complaints and improved customer ratings with processes that are very standardised and automated. There are different degrees of automation. Partly, employees are involved in the processes if they are very complex. After reading out customer letters, for example, very different types of processing can become necessary, some of which still require human intervention. In addition to reducing the workload and making it error-free, there are of course still challenges with automation that are just a little different than before. If systems fail, a robot cannot work. An employee can still use a workaround. But there are always solutions. The processing by the robot could be postponed, depending on the urgency. It may also be possible to use a replacement robot, with the help of another licence.

How can performance engineering help to increase safety?

Diener: When customers report faults, we have to identify very quickly whether it is an isolated incident or a large-scale problem. Furthermore, in the past it was often difficult to recognise whether a system was the cause of a malfunction or was only suffering from a malfunction of a different origin. However, the central goal is to detect malfunctions or weaknesses preventively. In 2018, we had over 60 monitoring tools. With the Dynatrace platform, we now have a holistic performance data warehouse as a central component of our monitoring strategy. The number of tools has been reduced through consolidation. When a malfunction is reported, we can thus quickly determine which groups of users and exact functions it affects. We are able to quickly narrow down possible causes in order to fix the problem permanently. Incidents are specifically forwarded to the person who can solve them.

Meyer: Around 500 servers are operated for us in the data centres of our IT provider Atruvia for about 170 applications. These are permanently monitored using more than 20,000 measuring points. If a fan fails somewhere and a server gets too warm, expected data transfers do not take place and the like, the responsible application managers or the Atruvia control centre are informed immediately. Our service-oriented organisation has regulated standard processes for this. In such cases, incident or problem management is immediately active. Depending on the type of fault, either at Atruvia and/or at Union IT Service.

Meusel: The smaller or more individual a bank is, the more challenging it is to have its own process engineering. We are grateful that we work closely with Atruvia on this. When it comes to regulatory requirements, innovations, availability and performance monitoring, we can handle the complexity much better together with our central service providers. Often, our internal control centre can be quickly provided with centralised information and focus on communication with customers and employees. The central lever of Performance Engineering is the reduction of own applications and their monitoring.

Demski: We largely rely on Atruvia for the IT infrastructure and thus naturally benefit directly or indirectly from their monitoring systems. At the same time, we also operate our own monitoring for critical parameters of the decentralised or self-operated systems. In addition to the short-term disruptions already mentioned, the measured values are of course also indications of the utilisation and performance of systems and possible problems, for example, the runtimes for data backups or loading processes in the nightly maintenance windows provide information.

Do you have a concrete example from practice for vulnerability management?

Von der Hardt: Sometimes we first hear from the customer that we have a problem. If there is one, the customer looks for a way. Then you realise how many contact channels you have, some of which were not intended for this purpose. IT problems can usually be found and solved quickly. It becomes more difficult with failures of other companies. External business failures during the Corona period or the insolvency of a travel provider are examples here, where many customers with personal and financial concerns contact you via several channels and payment processes have to be checked at short notice. Then speed and good networking of the information channels within the company as well as to other third-party service providers is crucial. We still have homework to do here. We have to ensure the flow of information around the customer in such a way that we can give him satisfactory feedback at short notice.

Meyer: One example was the critical vulnerability called Log4Shell in the widely used Java logging library Log4j, which became known at the beginning of December. Through this vulnerability, attackers were able to execute arbitrary code. Together with our IT provider, we deployed crisis teams, used vulnerability scanning tools immediately and effectively, and where necessary, applied the appropriate security patches within a very short time.

International Understanding: VETERANS CALL FOR PEACE & RECONCILIATION

Six years ago, World War II veterans proclaimed a message that everyone should have heard and that is more important today and every day that comes.

Jochen Werne, Co-Founder mission4peace

‘Message to the World’ – DECLARATION OF NATIONS RECONCILIATION

For the first time in the history of international relations the Second World War veterans and diplomats representing several countries met on Sunday 8 May in Hamburg (Germany) for the signing of the Declaration of Nations Reconciliation.

The event ‘Message to the World’, held within the framework of the international project mission4peace, was attended by veterans from Germany, Great Britain, Russia, the USA, the Netherlands, Italy and Serbia.

The veterans and guests have been greeted by the International Maritime History Museum Hamburg. The party was addressed by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium H.E. Ghislain D’Hoop. The event has been coordinated by the founders of mission4peace and organisers of ‘Message to the World’ event Eugene Kasevin (Ukraine) and Jochen Werne (Germany).

The veterans addressed the auditorium with personal messages and appealed to all countries and their leaders to maintain peaceful relations between nations regardless of cultural, religious and ideological differences. Following the official part of the event, veterans and guests released white doves from the roof of the historical museum as a sign of remembrance, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence of all peoples.

“One of the main goals of the mission4peace project is to bring together and unite forward-looking people who share the conviction that peaceful human coexistence can be achieved through the perseverance of intellectual and intercultural exchange while accepting differences. The “Message to the World” event is designed to allow veterans to share their messages and show that we are capable of overcoming the most deeply rooted historical resentments. In this case, it is the inherited resentments between people and nations that participated in the Second World War, which continue to be an obstacle in politics and trade, in the social sphere and in the everyday lives of ordinary people.”

Eugene Kasevin, Co-Founder mission4peace


One of the most influential British military leaders, the former Chief of the Defence Staff and Head of the British Armed Forces, General Lord David Richards of Herstmonceux GCB CBE DSO commented:

“At a time of considerable international tension, mission4peace is a timely and thought provoking initiative that deserves the attention and support of us all.”

CDA 80

International Understanding: CHANNEL DASH COMMEMORATION SPEECH

80TH ANNIVERSARY CHANNEL DASH
Manston, 12 February 2022


SPEECH ON THE OCCASION OF THE COMMEMORATION OF THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHANNEL DASH
held by Jochen Werne, Co-Founder of GOST

Speech held by Jochen Werne – Co-Founder GOST


Ladies and Gentlemen


I’m truly honoured to be here to speak on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Channel Dash.
It was 10 years ago that the members of the Global Offshore Sailing Team, planning their commemorative voyage from Brest to Kiel, first met the honourable members of the Channel Dash Association. Outstanding individuals who have done so much to keep history alive and remind us that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves.
The aim of the GOST expeditions has always been to get a feel for the background and struggles of events at sea.

As our dear friend Peter Nixon – whom we will always remember – summed up perfectly:


“ … working so hard to bring history back to everyones attention and recognizing the many great acts of courage performed on our behalf by men and women of all sides during a period of conflict. ... It is not about Winners or Loser`s. … The world is a wonderful place to live because it is made up of many different, but beautiful countries…. We should be proud of this fact. Equally, we should not be ashamed of our past, nor should we glorify it, for it was our past which created what we are today.”

Peter Nixon



In the fateful days 1942, British air and ship crews threw themselves with an incredible sense of duty against German battleships and their protection.
The enemy which the Swordfish crews met on this day 80 years ago consisted not only of large scale naval vessels but also of an air cover operation code named “Thunderbolt“. The operation was planned by Adolf Galland, who himself survived being shot down kept the ships under a constant Messerschmidt fighter jets umbrella during the whole Operation Cerberus.
Anyone who witnessed the performance differences between a Swordfish and a Spitfire, the British equivalent of the Messerschmidt, at one of the recent Channel Dash commemorations understands well the words of Captain Hoffmann of the Scharnhorst; “Poor fellows. They are so very slow. It is nothing but suicide for them to fly against these big ships”. Everyone on the bridges of the Battleships felt the same. Willhelm Wolf, on the Scharnhorst, said; “What an heroic stage for them to meet their end on. Behind them their homeland which they had just left with their hearts steeled to their purpose still in view”.
Admiral Ciliax, watching from the Scharnhorst Bridge, the Swordfish lumbering towards her, remarked to Captain Hoffmann: “The British are now throwing their mothball Navy at us. Those Swordfish are doing well to get their torpedoes away”.


Christoph Ciliax, the grandson of Admiral Ciliax, wanted to be with us today, but unfortunately Covid restrictions got in the way, and he asked me to represent him and his words:
„On behalf of the Ciliax family, I would like to express my utmost respect and appreciation to the British soldiers who lost their lives on 12 February 1942. The German ships and their crews served a brutal, criminal regime of injustice. We Germans can be all the more grateful that the German fallen are also included in the commemoration and that representatives of the German Navy as well as their families are invited to the event. This is a great gesture of friendship and bridging to the former enemy. Today, British and German servicemen and women serve side by side, advocating world peace, a democratic world order as well as stability and security in Europe.
I, too, wear the Navy uniform for this reason and stand for the fact that never again a regime of injustice can grow in Germany, from which terror and violence towards our neighbouring countries and the world emanates. This is what my father already stood up for as a soldier and I am sure my grandfather would do the same, who was first and foremost a sailor and soldier for his country. However, never would I defend serving for a criminal regime what at the end serving in the Kriegsmarine meant. It is all the more impressive and deserving of thanks that Great Britain, when honouring their fallen also remembers the German soldiers killed in action.
My mother and wife of Rear Admiral Otto H. Ciliax, my late father, would as well like to attend the commemoration event and honour the British soldiers; but she is also unable to do so due to COVID restrictions and therefore sends her thanks and greetings.“


Many thanks from our side to the Ciliax family


I am also grateful to be able to quote from the letter sent by the Federal Minister of Defence, Christine Lambrecht, to the Channel Dash Association. She underlines:

“Your thoughtful gesture of not only inviting representative from the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, but also representatives from the German Navy is a sign of reconciliation and long-standing friendship between our nations. “


Captain Heuer, thank you for being as official representative of the Federal Republic of Germany with us today.
As the former Commodore of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club and GOST member Bernard Sealy once said and it remains true today and it will remain the truth into the distant time… we’re all sailors.


Ladies and Gentlemen, please let me conclude on this historic day with a thought and a quote.
The beauty of our nations is that we cherish the same freedoms, defend the same values and respect the same fundamental laws.
We are bound together not simply by institutions, but by our common beliefs in democracy, openness and equality before the law.
We are bound together by friendship.
Friendship, lived through the great people who are in this hangar today, and many who have already left us but whom we keep in our hearts.
Today is a very special day. It is not an end, but a beginning. So let me conclude with the famous words of Konrad Adenauer, the first post-war German Chancellor:

“Wenn die anderen glauben, man ist am Ende, so muss man erst richtig anfangen.” (“when others think we’ve reached the end, that’s when we’ve got to really begin”).

Thank you very much

Bank Blog Crypto

Bank Blog Publication: WHERE BITCOINS MEET HIGH SECURITY FACILITIES

State-of-the-art crypto custody

by JOCHEN WERNE

Original published in German at DER-BANK-BLOG. Please click HERE Translation created with DeepL.com

14 February 2022

Digital assets are as safe as their encryption? Unfortunately not. After all, the dangers do not only come from hackers. Security must be thought of more broadly, as examples of state-of-the-art crypto custody solutions show.

The protection of crypto assets can only be guaranteed if there is a clear awareness of the dangers. Attacks on digital assets such as cryptocurrencies or asstes no longer end with the numerous attack vectors of cyberattacks, but unfortunately already extend to the use of physical force against their owners. It is therefore important to raise awareness of possible dangers, as shown by examples of the state of today’s state-of-the-art crypto custody solutions.

According to Investing.com, the total number of cryptocurrencies as of 12 December 2021 is 9,004 with a total market capitalisation of US$2.24 trillion. After Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Litecoin and co, the Libra Coin initiated by Facebook received unprecedented media attention, triggered by the announcement of the project alone. And the emotionality and sharpness with which the discussion was conducted shows how seriously the topic is taken internationally at the state level. It is about reputation, influence, control, responsibility and only in the last instance about technology. And for every investor, it is first and foremost about protecting his assets.

The right sense of danger

In the future, protecting our assets will not just mean keeping our wallet in the deepest pocket of our jacket or handbag or turning the key to our flat twice in the lock. In the future, we will have invested part of the fruits of our labour, our fortunes, in crypto investments and cryptocurrencies. This part of our wealth needs to be kept safe, and we need to understand exactly where and how. This requires that we understand the risks. The sense of danger must therefore adapt, as must the lure of the new opportunities. For this, it is of utmost importance to understand the real dangers and to take appropriate protective measures.

As yet, however, this sense does not seem to be all that pronounced. According to Slowmist Hacked , which specialises in aggregating information on detected attacks on blockchain projects, apps and tokens, the total amount of crypto assets stolen in 122 different attacks in 2020 is $3.78 billion. Even though the evaluation is based on the Bitcoin peaks of January 2021, it clearly shows the importance of greater efficiency in security.

In comparison, only 1.63 billion US dollars were captured in the ten largest bank robberies of all time. Considering that the largest robbery took place when dictator Saddam Hussein ordered his son Qusay to withdraw nearly US$1 billion from Iraq’s central bank with a handwritten note, and the tenth largest robbery netted the perpetrators just US$18.9 million, crypto-cybercrime has become an extremely lucrative business.

Crypto custody: Do hot and cold wallets offer sufficient security?

The famous military scientist Carl von Clausewitz argued in the early 19th century: “An army on the defensive, without fortifications, has a hundred vulnerable points; it is a body without armour”. “We must always retain sufficient forces beyond the garrisons to be a match for the enemy in the open field, unless we can rely on the arrival of an ally to relieve our fortresses and free our army.” In cryptocurrencies, the wallet is the fortress and the blockchain – the distributed ledger – is the army in the open field. It is the job of modern crypto custodians – as guardians of their clients’ assets – to ask themselves daily what additional measures can be taken to best protect cryptocurrencies and crypto assets.

Crypto custody solutions typically involve a combination of hot storage or crypto custody that is connected to the internet and cold storage or crypto custody that is not. Rakesh Sharma comments on Investopia, “Both types of storage have advantages and disadvantages. For example, hot storage is connected to the internet and therefore offers better liquidity. But hot storage options can be vulnerable to hacks due to online presence. Cold storage solutions offer more security. However, it can be difficult to generate liquidity from crypto holdings in the short term because they are offline. Vaulting is a combination of both types of cryptocurrency custody solutions, where the majority of funds are stored offline and can only be accessed with a private key.”

The risk of becoming a victim of physical violence in private crypto custody

The risk of theft of crypto assets is no longer solely about digital robbery in cyberattacks and hacks. Physical violence against the owner of crypto assets or threats to family members is already sadly present. In November 2021, for example, the American co-founder of Tuenti, once billed as the Spanish Facebook, Zaryn Dentzel, was the victim of such an attack in his private Madrid flat.

Dentzel stated on record that the gangsters beat him and stabbed him in the chest with a knife while shooting him several times with a Taser.

Thus it becomes clear that the protection of crypto-assets must also go hand in hand with the fact that a perpetrator who is prepared to use physical force understands in advance that his alleged victim does not readily have power of disposal over his total crypto-assets. Cold storage not at home, but in a cold space, for example a high-security facility, can provide the necessary protection.

State of the art crypto storage meets high security facilities

In July 2021, Prosegur Crypto – the crypto custody subsidiary of Prosegur, one of the largest security companies in the world – announced the creation of the world’s first “digital asset custody bunker”. The consistent combination of a physically and digitally inaccessible environment here is unique to date.

In collaboration with cybersecurity company GK8, Prosegur Crypto brings together all the infrastructure, facilities, technologies and security protocols required to minimise all risk areas identified in the digital asset custody chain.

The solution consists of state-of-the-art cyber security systems provided by GK8’s patented technology and the highest level of a military-grade secured protection environment. It is based on a “360° inaccessibility” approach, mapping over 100 protection measures into 6 integrated layers of security. This ensures the highest possible protection against physical and cyber attacks.

The HSM (hardware security module, a device that generates, stores and protects cryptographic keys) is housed in a military grade briefcase within the high security vault. This vault is only accessible to a limited number of people who manage the data manually and offline. Staff have restricted access to the information they handle to avoid any risk of internal theft and work from a secure facility where there is no risk of physical attack, copying or theft of systems or passwords. In the event of an unauthorised attempt to access the HSM, its contents are permanently deleted. Immediately, a recovery plan is activated, including a protocol for recovering private keys using seeds located in various other vaults.

The module is connected to an MPC (Multi-party Computation) system, which provides a fast signature process on a state-of-the-art computer network and generates transactions on the blockchain without a direct internet connection. This minimises the possibility of fraudulent access and eliminates any potential vector for cyber attacks. These system features are patented and represent a highly differentiated offering in the market.

Plea for openness: danger recognised – danger averted

The analysis shows that from Clausewitz to the latest developments in cyber security and crypto-custody, the security perspective has hardly changed. The more you rely on a single system or fortress, the more vulnerable you are. It’s all about layered security, which makes it time-consuming and very costly for attackers to get what they desperately want.

We are still only at the beginning of a new era for our monetary systems. An era driven by technology in which it is increasingly important for every actor to develop a good understanding of it in order to build sustainable ones. Technology has never been right or wrong, only the way we humans use it can make it so.

New technologies offer the opportunity to make our world more prosperous for all – let’s use it!

Mission NORTH SEA ENDURANCE – the Trailer

Enjoy a glimpse of the thrills awaiting the men aboard their expeditionary sailing yacht in the North Sea with this introductory trailer featuring moments from previous GOST missions.

NORTH SEA ENDURANCE TRAILER

Jury Stevie Awards

Jury Chair 2022

It was an honor and a great pleasure for me to chair the jury of the German Stevie Awards 2022 together with my esteemed board colleague and COO of Prosegur Germany Hasan Celebi.

Together with all jury members for the categories “Management, HumanResources, Customer Service, Support and Covid-19-Handling” we are very pleased to judge the outstanding achievements of the applicants for this year’s award.

Follow the news at https://stevieawards.com/gsa

Robo-Advisor: Will the force be with you - Reality Challenge 2022

Robo-Advisor: WILL THE FORCE BE WITH YOU? Reality Challenge 2022

Ein besonderes Jahr steht der Robo-Avisor Szene bevor. Ihre Algorithmen sind herausgefordert gute Anlageempfehlungen in einem äußerst schwierigen Marktumfeld 2022 zu geben. Steigende Inflation, globale politische Spannungen und eine endende Liquiditätsschwemme die auf eine vulnerable Industrie mit maroden Lieferketten stößt, bilden das Szenario.

Als Bernhard Bomke im November 2019 den Artikel „Automatisch Geld verdienen – Die besten Rendite Robos“ in der Euro am Sonntag veröffentlichte stand die Szene noch am Anfang. Heute verdient sie zwar noch kein Geld und die Firmen weiten die Verluste laut eines aktuellen Berichtes der Börsenzeitung aus, doch dies aus einem gutem Grund: der Erlangung von Relevanz durch Größe.

Ob dies den Robos – wie sie von manchen liebevoll genannt werden – gelingen wird, wird 2022 zeigen. Die Challenge hat das Private Banking Magazin zu Weihnachten als Headline zu ihrem Echtgeld-Test wie folgt formuliert: „Benchmarks für Robos kaum zu knacken“. Estably, Scalable Capital, Invesdor, Deutsche Bank, bevestor, Oskar, Warburg Navigator, visualvest, zeedin, comdirect, whitebox, quirion, investify, ginmon und viele mehr stehen in den Startlöchern um zu beweisen, dass es doch möglich ist.

Wer einen tiefen Einblick in die Szene erhalten möchte, kann dies mit dem von Prof. Peter Scholz herausgegebenen und bei palgrave macmillan erschienen Standardwerk; „Robo Advisory – Investing in the Digital Age“. Das Buch bietet neben einem Überblick, tiefgreifende Einblicke in Investmentmodelle, Case Studies, Behavioral Finance Komponenten und Zukunfsaussichten. Die Autoren der einzelnen Kapitel zählen zu den führenden Experten ihres Fachs.

AUSZUG aus ROBO ADVISORY: Foreword – Man or Machine; Jochen Werne.-Part I. The Status Quo of Robo-Advisory.- Chapter 1. Robo-Advisory: The Rise of the Investment Machines; Peter Scholz and Michael Tertilt.- Chapter 2. Situating Robo-Advisory; Sinan Krueckeberg.- Part II. The Implementation of Robo-Advisory.- Chapter 3. Risk Preferences of Investors; Monika Mueller, Paul Resnik and Craig Saunders.- Chapter 4. Robo-Economicus: The Impact of Behavioral Biases on Robo-Advisory; Peter Scholz, David Grossmann and Joachim Goldberg.- Chapter 5. Quant Models for Robo-Advisors; Thorsten Ruehl.- Chapter 6. The Analysis of Robo-Advisors as a Replacement for Personal Selling; Goetz Greve and Frederike Meyer.- Chapter 7. The Regulation of Robo-Advisors in the United States; Melanie L. Fein.- Chapter 8. The Regulation of Robo-Advisory in Europe and Germany; Christian Hammer.- Part III. Case Studies of Robo-Advisory.- Chapter 9. (Re)Launching a Robo-Advisor as a Bank; Theodor Schabicki, Yvonne Quint and Soeren Schroeder.- Chapter 10. How Can Robo-Advisory be Implemented and Integrated into Existing Banks?; Ana-Maria Climescu, Christian von Keitz, Jan Rocholl and Madeleine Sander.- Part IV. The Future of Robo-Advisory.- Chapter 11. The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Robo-Advisory; Alexander D. Beck.- Chapter 12. What Role does Social Media Play for Robo-Advisors?; Ana-Maria Climescu.- Chapter 13. Success Factors for Robo-Advisory: Now and Then; Madeleine Sander.