Foreign Markets

TwelveDot is very humbled to be asked to have our Managing Director, Faud Khan, be a panelist on a webinar primarily focused on Africa and industry impact of COVID-19.  The general direction of the webinar shall be from a “leadership, strategy and operational level” with regards to CIOs role in normal times vis – a – viz the new normal defined by COVID – 19. What is expected to be the CIOs role in the present and the future and what does COVID – 19 impact portend for Africa in terms leveraging technology to leapfrog Africa and solving its peculiar challenges. Are there any positives for Africa?

Lets hope so, as Africa has developed a strong momentum of growth in the ICT sector and findings ways to recover quickly and continue to grow GDP and multiple sectors. Understanding how to manage the recovery is going to be key to stabilizing the economy.

We hope you can join us. Please use the following link: CIOAFRICA to register for this online event.


After the discussion this morning and questions received I wanted to provide some additional closing thoughts.

  1. Companies of all sizes will have to look at operational models and then derive threat models from each one. This is going to have to consider the assets both company owned and that of their staff.
  2. SMBs are going to have think about governance much sooner and implement a framework to identify and mitigate risks.
  3. Your staff will become a bigger target and will make some decisions that are not risk based. i.e. use or lack there of a home router with advanced security features or not setup in “default state”.
  4. Having insecure IoT devices on the same insecure network will provide for a pivot point for compromised devices.
  5. Devices will be left unattended and connected to corporate resources, this is where IPS, access controls, and laptop session timeouts will become important.
  6. Making sure you understand the regulatory requirements for data breach of PII in your jurisdiction of operation.
  7. Reporting structure for incidents from both staff, customers and partners needs to fully documented an all parties made aware to roles and responsibilities.

Thanks for those of you who attended and all the security questions. The video of the session will be made available.

Update June 27, 2020: Please find a follow-up article on CIO Masterclass session held last month. There were lots of questions during the sessions and it was great to see the attendees actively participating in the discussion. It can be found here


As your probably aware, last year around this time we were accepted in to a soft landing program run under Invest Ottawa and the Hague Security Delta. My trips were quite educational and I got to meet a lot of companies in a very short period. Due to my success at these meetings, CanadExport has written an article on the trip and the programs for small businesses.

Given the current state of our world, we as SMBs in Canada need to find open markets to sell our goods and services. We also have a great support system to help us in this journey in the trade commissioners. I would personally recommend you reach out them and using their vast knowledge of local markets and ability to facilitate your first meetings. It will save you effort and frustration. If you ever want to pick my brain on your strategy on global markets please reach out to me. I will share my contacts and my experience with you.

The article on Hague visit is located here:

Earlier, this year, we were accepted into the The Canada-Netherlands Cyber and Security Technologies Soft Landing Platform. As a result, I am wrapping up my second visit to the Hague Security Delta (HSD) from another full week of meetings with potential clients and partners. It has been a wonderful experience and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have helped us. Special gratitude goes out the following individuals and groups who helped us in this program:

1. Canadian Embassy staff Robyn in the Netherlands for several introductions.
2. Innovation Quarter staff Chris, Philip and Martijn for taking me out when I was jet lagged to show me sights, educate me to conducting business in NL and most of all providing introductions to companies.
3. Martin@HSD for many introductions and connecting me with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency
4. Bernadette formerly of InvestOttawa who provided the intro to Innovation Quarter

Over the next few months we are hopeful to see the fruits of our labour in NL. If this goes real well, we could be setting up our first international office in the Hague as well. If your a SMB in Canada looking for new markets realize that there are programs and people who are there to help you in the Netherlands. Canada and the Netherlands have a great relationship as a result of WWII and this mutual friendship should not be underestimated. Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like more details and contact information on the program.