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Saxo Bank and Microsoft partner to shape the future of cloud services in the financial industry

Saxo Bank aims to run its entire banking platform on Microsoft Cloud, thus providing an agile and highly secure environment for the bank to accelerate its digital journey and democratize financial services

REDMOND, Wash., and COPENHAGEN, Denmark — April 24, 2018 — On Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. and Saxo Bank announced a strategic partnership with the aim of running Saxo Bank’s entire technology stack on the Microsoft Cloud.

Financial services are at a transformational tipping point. It is key for financial organizations to harness data and cloud services as a strategic asset, shifting from hindsight to foresight closely hinged on security, privacy and regulatory compliance. With the partnership, Saxo Bank aims to lead at the forefront of technology developments in the financial industry.

Saxo Bank is a leading fintech specialist focused on multiasset trading and investment, servicing clients in more than 170 countries with access to investments in global capital markets and headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Saxo Bank delivers “banking-as-a-service,” allowing other banks and brokers to leverage Saxo Bank’s technology and global capital markets access. Expecting the number and scale of partnerships to grow significantly, Saxo Bank has decided to leverage the Microsoft Cloud to ensure scalability, flexibility and security in the digital infrastructure.

“The future of financial services is cloud based, and by partnering with Microsoft we take part in shaping this future. Saxo Bank was a fintech long before the term was created, and it is a natural step for us to also pioneer cloud-based solutions in financial services,” said Kim Fournais, founder and CEO, Saxo Bank. “By leveraging the Microsoft Cloud, we can spend more time on developing technology and less time on running it, allowing us to continue to stay at the forefront of client-focused digitization and support our ambitious growth plans.”

A trusted platform is the foundation for running financial services in the cloud, and organizations — like Saxo Bank — that continuously develop to stay at the forefront of technology will become the digital leaders of the future and maintain their competitive edge.

“We are excited to help Saxo Bank shape the future of trading and investment on our cloud platform,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “Saxo Bank is at the forefront of fintech, and our partnership will enable financial service organizations to securely harness data to better serve their clients.”

“We are proud to break new ground together with Microsoft and look forward to be working with key stakeholders such as regulators to ensure that cloud solutions continue to evolve and support the high regulatory standards that define the financial industry,” Fournais said. “At an early stage, we saw opportunities in using [the internet and] digital solutions to differentiate ourselves. Since we launched one of the first online investment platforms in 1998, we have been a Microsoft house, as such the Microsoft cloud is a natural fit for Saxo Bank.”

Today, Saxo Bank supports more than 120 White Label partnerships globally. Through its unique trading and investment technology, Saxo Bank facilitates access to more than 35,000 financial instruments across multiple asset classes.

About Saxo Bank

Saxo Bank Group (Saxo) is a leading fintech specialist focused on multi-asset trading and investment and delivering ‘Banking-as-a-Service’ to wholesale clients. For 25 years, Saxo’s mission has been to democratize investment and trading, enabling clients by facilitating their seamless access to global capital markets through technology and expertise.

As a fully licensed and regulated bank, Saxo enables its direct clients to trade multiple asset classes across global financial markets from one single margin account and across multiple devices. Additionally, Saxo provides wholesale institutional clients such as banks and brokers with multi-asset execution, prime brokerage services and trading technology, supporting the full value chain delivering Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS). Saxo’s award winning trading platforms are available in more than 20 languages and form the technology backbone of more than 100 financial institutions worldwide.

Founded in 1992 and launching its first online trading platform in 1998, Saxo Bank was a fintech even before the term was created. Headquartered in Copenhagen, Saxo Bank today employs more than 1500 people in financial centers around the world including London, Paris, Zurich, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Microsoft Denmark, Helle Rosendahl, Senior Communications Advisor, +45 22409540,

a-hrose@microsoft.com

Saxo Bank, Steffen Wegner Mortensen, Head of PR and Public Affairs, +45 3977 6343, press@saxobank.com

 

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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AT&T 5G headed for 12 U.S. markets this year

AT&T plans to introduce fifth-generation, or 5G, mobile services in a dozen markets by the end of the year, as it aims to become the first U.S. carrier to offer the high-speed wireless network.

The rollout of the AT&T 5G services was sped up by the recent completion of new standards, the company said. In December, international wireless standards body 3GPP finished the new radio specifications that define radio access to the network.

The completed standards provide the specs device and chipset manufacturers need to build 5G products capable of handling data speeds of up to 10 Gbps — 10 to 20 times faster than the current 4G networks. In a statement, AT&T said it’s “confident this latest standards milestone will allow us to bring 5G to market faster.”

Verizon plan differs from AT&T 5G strategy

AT&T rivals Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint also plan to offer 5G mobile services. However, the companies, including AT&T, haven’t described in detail the services they would provide.

While AT&T focuses on mobile, Verizon has aimed its initial 5G work at residential broadband services, which the company plans to launch in five markets this year. The higher-frequency range of 5G makes it possible for service providers to deliver high-speed internet to homes wirelessly.

Fifth-generation is expected to support tens of millions of new broadband connections at 50 Mbps or more. The higher speeds on fixed and mobile 5G services can power virtual reality applications, driverless cars and 4K streaming video.

While preparing AT&T 5G services for consumers, the company plans to test the technology with businesses across industries. AT&T said the lower latency of 5G would make it useful in edge computing, an architecture designed for the internet of things.

Despite the ongoing 5G rollouts, carriers are not expected to deliver wide-scale services until at least 2020. Manufacturers will need time to build support in devices, and most service providers are content to wait until they reap the full return on 4G investments.

Advanced Protection Program locks down Google accounts

The latest Google multifactor authentication solution aims to protect high-risk users from targeted attacks, but will add complexity to logins.

Google’s Advanced Protection Program has been designed to not only help keep users safe from phishing attacks such as spear phishing as well preventing unauthorized access to Gmail accounts by having users take advantage of physical security keys — like a Yubikey — for authentication.

“Journalists, human rights defenders, environment campaigners and civil society activists working on any number of sensitive issues can quickly find themselves targeted by well-resourced and highly capable adversaries,” Andrew Ford Lyons, a technologist at Internews, said in Google’s announcement post. “For those whose work may cause their profile to become more visible, setting this up could be seen as an essential preventative step.”

Google’s Advanced Protection Program could help to prevent some types of cyberattacks seen over the past couple years, including the phishing schemes that compromised the Gmail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, or the Google Docs phishing attack.

According to Google, the Advanced Protection Program focuses on three areas of defense: using a security key for multifactor authentication, limiting third-party app access to Gmail and Google Drive, and mitigating fraudulent account access by adding steps to the account recovery process.

Google warns that third-party mobile apps like Apple Mail, Calendar and Contacts “do not currently support security keys and will not be able to access your Google data,” so Advanced Protection Program users would need to use Google’s first-party apps for now.

How the Google Advanced Protection Program works

Google has supported security keys for multifactor authentication in the past and has an option to use mobile devices as a multifactor device, but the Advanced Protection Program is far more strict because there will be no backup options with SMS or stored authentication codes.

Users will only be able to login to Google accounts with their password and registered security keys. If a security key is lost, the account recovery will be more onerous than answering simple security questions, but Google has yet to provide details on what such a recovery process will entail.

For those whose work may cause their profile to become more visible, setting this up could be seen as an essential preventative step.
Andrew Ford Lyonstechnologist at Internews

Although anyone can enroll in the Advanced Protection Program, Google admitted in its blog post that it would be best for those who “are willing to trade off a bit of convenience for more protection of their personal Google Accounts.”

At the start, the Advanced Protection Program requires the use of the Chrome browser and two security keys that support the FIDO U2F standard — one to connect to a traditional computer via USB port and one for mobile devices using Bluetooth.

The former isn’t as troublesome, but users need to be careful about the security key used for mobile. Google’s support page suggests purchasing the Feitan Multipass Bluetooth security key, which appears to be in limited supply on Amazon, as of this post, but, a Bluetooth security key is only necessary for those using iOS devices or an Android device that doesn’t support Near Field Communication.(NFC) for wireless access. An NFC-enabled security key would work for those with NFC-capable Android devices.