European Oil Terminals Hit By Cyber Attack | Meta: Supercomputers and Stock Prices | Digital Adoption by UK Banks

February 8th

Article by Christopher Lauder, Delegate Relationship Executive, Rela8 Group

European Oil Terminals Hit By Cyber Attack

At the end of last week, multiple oil storage and transportation companies across some of Europe’s biggest ports were hit by a series of cyber-attacks. Those hit include Oiltanking in Germany, SEA-Invest in Belgium, and Evos in the Netherlands.

Sea-Tank Terminal in Belgium said It has been reported that the attackers have disrupted the loading and unloading of barges in the affected ports. With their systems being hijacked, they are unable to process barges. Essentially meaning that their entire operational system is down.

For SEA-Invest, every port they run in Europe and Africa was affected. Currently, they are working to get back online. Meanwhile, some of the reports for the attack on Oiltanking in Germany say that they were attacked with ransomware, like the US oil supplier Colonial Pipeline who was hit by ransomware last May.

Security experts are stressing caution against concluding that these incidents are linked, or that they are the result of a coordinated effort to disrupt the European energy sector. They note that a possible explanation could be that these companies all use the same software for their operations which may have been compromised by the attackers.

Source - Oil Terminal Attacks - France24

Source - Oil Terminal Attacks - BBC News

Source - Oil Terminal Attacks - Security Affairs

Meta: Supercomputers and Stock Prices

Meta continues to find itself in the media spotlight!

Firstly, Meta has announced a collaboration with Nvidia to work on a new supercomputer with unprecedented artificial intelligence powers. This supercomputer will contain unbelievable amounts of power and will be able to learn from trillions of examples.

It has been dubbed the Air Research SuperCluster (RSC), with Meta saying that the RSC, though still a work in progress, is already among the fastest AI supercomputers built to date. When it is completed later this year in mid 2022, it will then become the fastest supercomputer in the world. The goal is to create a research computer capable of learning and training models with more than a trillion parameters. It is said that one day, the RSC will be able to work on data sets as large as an exabyte. For context, that’s equal to one billion gigabytes of data, which is equivalent to 36,000 years worth of HD video.

With the overall goal of running the MetaVerse, it’s no wonder they are building such a powerful machine!

The second reason Meta was in the news is due to the company losing almost $240 billion (just over a quarter of its entire market value) in a single day. This was due to the company’s results in Q4 of last year which saw the first ever drop in daily active users on Facebook. Also, Apple’s decision to introduce App Tracking Transparency hindered Meta’s ability to collect user data. Selling this data is largely how Meta makes revenue. With investors panicking, Meta saw a record daily loss for a US firm.

Source - Meta and Nvidia Supercomputer - Digital Trends

Source - Meta and Nvidia Supercomputer - Electronic Design

Source - Meta and Nvidia Supercomputer - Forbes

Source - Meta Losing $240 Billion - ZD Net

Source - Meta Losing $240 Billion - BBC News

One day the Air Research SuperCluster computer will be able to work on data sets as large as an exabyte

Digital Adoption by UK Banks

Finally, SAS, a UK software provider has conducted research which revealed how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital adoption for 89% of UK banks by five years.

This research was conducted by surveying a mixture of UK challenger and traditional banks on how their IT processes, priorities, and infrastructure had changed during the pandemic. What they found, is that traditional banks had seen a notable rise in the adoption of new technologies – with 93% reporting accelerated digital adoption by five years.

Compare this figure with 87% of challenger backs, which are often digital-first and able to embrace new technologies more easily. The survey found that 9 out of 10 respondents disagreed that. Challenger banks require a new platform to compete with traditional banks.

84% of banks believe that traditional banks would press ahead with digital adoption and not revert to old ways post-pandemic.

Some subtle differences in the technological priorities between challenger and traditional banks have been noted.

65% of challenger banks believe that being data-driven is a competitive advantage, compared to 33% of traditional banks. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are still recognised by 53% of traditional banks as an important tool to gain a competitive advantage, compared to 39% of challenger banks. 83% of all respondents said that investment in data analytics over the next three to five years would be ‘significant’.

Lastly, 61% of banks note security and compliance concerns as a key inhibitor to cloud adoption, while 87% of traditional banks see legacy system integration as the main barrier.

The full report can be read below.

Source - Banking Digital Acceleration - Report

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