To branch out a bit on our regular story reporting, we wanted to share a bit on what is happening @Acuminor.
Things are moving fast!
As usual, there has been quite an increase in the incoming information which means that the intelligence department is getting into high gear. New material covering Denmark, Norway, the UK and the Netherlands is coming out now. New information on more jurisdictions in Europe is around the corner, and further details on context and modus operandi change among the precursor threats.
We want to run a lean and mean machine.
This means that we constantly want to adapt and scale with innovative approaches. Our development department goes hand-in-hand with the intelligence department to provide intelligent information solutions internally, since that also has a positive effect on our end-products and services. One way to keep our senses sharp is to promote out-side-the box thinking and having an environment where ideas can be sound boarded freely and put to the test. We foster this and keep us lean and agile by setting aside dedicated time to step away from our day-to-day operations at regular intervals and run in-house Hackathons.
The main goal with this is to explore things we might have in the back of our heads, new tech that we find interesting or want to learn something new. Our hackathons are aimed to broaden our horizon and do not have to be connected to what we do 9-to-5. Though often the results can be directly used to improve our products and services. Three teams explored completely different verticals in the latest round.
The ideas covered a mobile application idea, server/ client co-op workflow tech, and a graphical representation solution of loads of operational data points. All the ideas may find themselves incorporated into our products suites as time goes by. Hackathons do not exclusively involve developers and tech. Creative hacks come from a good team mix where the broad horizon within the team can expand on topics to break silo-thinking. Internal hackathons are a great way to have fun and drive those ideas that may become a future golden egg in a company.
Some intelligence to read
But of course, something from our financial crime monitoring over the last week needs to go out for some weekend reading. At the end of last week, OCCRP released a story on company formation agents. Formation agents can be seen as specialist service providers who help clients worldwide to set up companies fast, cheap and easy. They often operate in tax havens and less transparent jurisdictions and have frequently been abused by criminals to set up companies to conduct illicit businesses. Of course, not all formation agents are bad actors! However, by using a company formation agent, a criminal can stack companies over many jurisdictions. Company A in a particular jurisdiction owns company B in another jurisdiction and so forth, ultimately creating a very complex structure. It becomes possible to channel money around the globe while it is difficult to find out who manages the companies.
So grab some weekend reading from the article from OCCRP or head over to ThreatView to get in-depth knowledge on “Specialists” and much more. Also, feel free to read one of our white papers “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” , that gives you more information on the subject “Specialists”.