Blog Entries from 10/2013
First and foremost, Happy Halloween!
In honor of Halloween, I’m going to share a trick and a treat about the world of social media and investment firms.
First the trick.
Did you hear the story about how shares of bankrupt Tweeter soared when Twitter announced its IPO? If not, here goes. According to WallStreetInsanity, on October 4, 2013, “shares in bankrupt TWTR Inc. (OTC: TWTRQ) were up over 1500 percent as the company’s stock soared from $0.0 to $0.15 on extremely heavy volume. Seems some people thought the consumer electronics retailer was Twitter.”
This story demonstrates that traders are monitoring social media outlets for investment ideas even if they are not personally participating. It also shows that many of those folks buying TWTRQ didn’t quite understand how an IPO works or what Twitter will be valued at (certainly not pennies), but we’ll ignore that fact for the sake of this article.
This week Opalesque Radio featured an interview with Bob Guilbert, managing director here at Eze Castle Integration, on addressing operational challenges facing hedge funds with cloud solutions.
The 9:30-minute podcast covers a range of topics. You can listen to the full podcast HERE, just jump to the sub-features that interest you most below.
On April 8, 2014 two Microsoft products – Windows XP and Office 2003 – will reach "end of support". End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance for these products.
What Does This Mean?
End of support is significant for a number of reasons. First, this means that Microsoft will no longer be a support option should complex issues arise surrounding the software.
Secondly, Microsoft will no longer provide security hotfixes or any patches for these systems. This means that any security vulnerabilities left in these systems will no longer be addressed by Microsoft and calls to their support will not be worked.
The longer workstations keep Windows XP and Office 2003 versions, the more vulnerable they become to virus/malware/rootkit infestations and risk potential data compromise.
Last week, Wednesday 16 October, the Eze Castle Integration team in London hosted a breakfast seminar on Cyber Protection: Building a Secure Investment Firm.
Cyber security is one of the greatest threats facing the hedge fund and alternative investment industry. The 2008 financial crisis brought a wave of new and sophisticated attacks, as well as a high rise in security incidents to the industry. With this changing landscape in mind, our panel of experts -- Simon Eyre, Director of Service at Eze Castle Integration; Lawrence Brown, Partner at Simmons & Simmons; and Sean Blenkhorn, Director, Solutions Engineering at eSentire -- got together to address this very topic.
The hedge fund and investment industry is especially vulnerable to threats since they present hackers with opportunities to profit from sizeable asset pools. Many fund managers assume hackers are focusing on higher profile targets such as retails banks, but the reality is that they are targeting unprepared investment firms of all sizes.
What can investment firms and their service providers do to protect themselves?
Fund managers, as well as their service providers, should regularly review the security threat landscape and their security safeguards. Adopting the following steps can help protect firms from cyber crimes:
Clarify roles and responsibilities - Identify key individuals responsible for maintaining the various aspects of your firm's security plan.
Categorized under: Security
There has been a lot of discussion about, “best practices” lately when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery planning, especially as we approach the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. In fact, I had to pleasure of speaking about some specific DR and BCP best practices earlier this week during a webinar, 10 Signs It’s Time to Rethink Your Approach to DR/BCP. You can listen to the replay here.
If you do a Google search for “business continuity and disaster recovery best practices,” you’ll get several options to choose from. However, if you are in working in the financial industry, the first resource you should consider taking a look at is the best practices guide published by the SEC, FINRA and CFTC in August 2013.
Sandy was a remarkable storm that affected many businesses along the East Coast, including hedge funds and investment firms based in the tri-state area. Post-Sandy, regulatory bodies including the SEC, FINRA and CFTC met with several registered advisors to ensure they were prepared for future disasters. Based on the findings, these organizations developed a four-page best practice guide for investment firms.
We teamed up with a couple of Eze Castle’s DR and BCP experts earlier today to discuss 10 signs it’s time to reevaluate your firm’s approach to disaster recovery and business continuity. Steve Banda, Product Manager, and Lisa Smith, Business Continuity Manager (and Certified Business Continuity Professional!), joined us for a live webinar to share their expertise.
Let’s take a look at the 10 signs they outlined. If you’d prefer to listen to the full webinar replay (it’s only 24 minutes long!), you can do so here.
After reading (and enjoying) one too many “you know you’re [insert age/town/job] if you’re [insert something funny]” articles, we decided to have a little fun with our favorite technology topic – the cloud (surprise!).
So, here is how I envision life as a cloud.
I wouldn’t care what I consumed because scalability would be one of my greatest traits. You might even catch me yelling, “More, more, more…”
Are you like one of the millions of people pondering the answer to ‘what is hypervisor-based replication and how will it change my disaster recovery approach’? I know I was.
So, let me help you with that!
Our technology experts here at Eze Castle Integration spent some time in the lab testing and evaluating hypervisor-based replication and recently incorporated it into our Eze Disaster Recovery 2.0 offering. We think it delivers excellent benefits, but let’s start with the basics.
What is hypervisor-based replication?
TechTarget defines hypervisor-based replication as “a technology that automatically creates and maintains replicas of virtual hard disks or entire virtual machines (depending on the platform that is being used).” Analyst firm IDC goes on to say that this replication approach “protects virtual machines (VMs) at the virtual machine disk format file level rather than at the LUN or storage volume level, thus replication can be done without the management and TCO challenges associated with array-based replication.”
We are happy to announce that our friends over at Ledgex have just launched their new website. In light of their recent achievement, I sat down with their Managing Director Brian Macallister to pick his brain on who Ledgex is and where he sees the company going in the future. Brian is the chief architect and product visionary of the Ledgex platform and is responsible for leading the company’s engineering, support and client service teams.
Q: It has been a while since we covered Ledgex on Hedge IT. For our readers not familiar with Ledgex, can you give us your elevator pitch?
A: Ledgex provides a portfolio management system for managers who invest with multi-firms. It delivers key functionality that supports portfolio management, investor relations and manager research for firms that invest with other managers. Through a series of intensive processes we make our clients’ data repeatable to improve integrity, increase efficiency, and reduce error. We have produced a unique enterprise reporting platform and process management system tailor-made for the financial industry.
Welcome back to Hedge IT! Now that you’ve read Part I of our Cloud Survey Findings recap, let’s take a look at some of the other results we found.
One of the most interesting findings our 2013 survey revealed was the level of satisfaction investment firms have with their current cloud deployments. Over 90 percent of respondents indicated their clouds (whether public, private or hybrid) were meeting or exceeding expectations in each of the following areas:
Reducing IT costs
Improving users’ IT experience
Simplifying management of IT
Allowing firms to reallocate resources to more valuable activities
IT performance, scalability and resiliency
Providing a high return on investment