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Business Continuity Focus: What happens when it's not a drill?

By Matt Donahue,
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

What happens when it’s not a drill? What will employees in the office do after hearing an announcement or alarm due to an incident? Quickly make their way to the stairs or ignore it and continue working?Evacuation Plan

In critical situations, time matters. If everyone delays evacuating to make sure it’s the “real thing” or just completely ignores the warning, they can potentially put themselves in serious jeopardy. At home or at work, fire alarms go off from time to time. Unfortunately, responses to such alarms can range from grabbing a fire extinguisher to fuse the situation to putting on ear plugs and continuing with your workday. Inadequate responses to a fire alarm, for example, can put yourself, coworkers, and even first responders at risk. Fines can also be assessed to a firm by agencies such as OSHA or the local fire municipality if employees fail to evacuate in a timely manner.

A recent report from the National Fire and Protection Agency (NFPA) estimated that in 2013 alone there were 487,500 structure fires, causing 2,855 civilian deaths and 14,075 injuries.  Below are four areas of importance that firms should focus on during these types of scenarios to ensure their employees and businesses are not negatively impacted.

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Hedge Fund Operations  Communications 



Encryption 101: Protecting Your Investment Firm's Sensitive Material

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, March 26th, 2015

The amount of data and information that passes through the Internet every day is – for lack of a better term - enormous. And truth be told, sometimes we are sharing information that we don’t want to get into the wrong hands, whether it be via email, instant message or other communications. Think: credit card information, personal information (name, address, social security number, etc.), bank account information or sensitive company or financial data.Security Padlock - Encryption
 
A secure way to transmit this information is through encryption. According to TechTarget, encryption is “the conversion of electronic data into another form, called ciphertext, which cannot be easily understood by anyone except authorized parties.”
 
The history of encryption, believe it or not, began a long time before the Internet existed and we started sending electronic data. The ancient Greeks and Romans, in fact, sent secret messages by substituting letters that only a secret key code could decipher. In the time of Julius Caesar, he created a cipher by which he shifted letters to the left or right to hide his messages.

Categorized under: Communications  Cloud Computing  Security  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Trends We're Seeing 



Power Up, Power Down: The Hidden Risks of Public Charging Stations, Tools

By Katie Sloane,
Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Smartphone charging station; BYODIn a constantly connected world, the majority of us cannot help but feel reliant on our mobile devices, especially when it comes to battery life percentage.

Whether you’re in the airport, train or just on the go, keeping that effervescent green light out of the red zone becomes a priority, and most will plug into just about anything. With public smartphone chargers on the rise, this resource seems ideal for the battery conscious user. However, prior to plugging in to power up, we suggest proceeding with caution. After all, do you know whose hands that charger was in before?

Categorized under: Security  Communications  Software  Trends We're Seeing 



Client Relationship Management: A "Must-Have" Tool for Hedge Funds

By Katie Sloane,
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

In today’s market, the pressure from both investors and regulators is at a steady incline. Reporting obligations have grown complex, transparency is in high demand and compliance technology has become a vital component to a firm’s success. With various demands tug-o-warring hedge fund managers in multiple directions, a Client Relationship Management (CRM) platform could be the solution your financial firm has been searching for.  Ledgex CRM, Hedge Fund Technology

Introducing Ledgex CRM, the revolutionary, stand-alone Client Relationship Management solution launched today by our sister company, Ledgex Systems. Ledgex CRM is ideal for managing and tracking investor communications, sales pipelines, client relationships and capital movements. The highly configurable, centralized platform is tailor-made for hedge funds, family offices and asset allocators. 

The new product offers the sophisticated Client Relationship Management capabilities necessary to raise and retain more assets, maintain and grow clients, provide outstanding client service and meet heightened reporting requirements. Out of the box, the web-based solution delivers efficiencies, transparency and flexibility without increasing headcount or costs. By streamlining investor relationship management and capital activity, Ledgex CRM enables managers to optimize their time and focus on fostering relations and growing business.

Categorized under: Software  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Communications 



Apple Watch: Security Concerns for the Enterprise and Beyond

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, March 12th, 2015

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about Apple’s latest tech craze: Apple Watch. Revealed during the company’s latest announcement earlier this week, the Apple Watch is expected to revolutionize the mobile world. Available starting April 24, the Apple Watch will appeal to a variety of end users – with prices ranging from $349 (for the aluminum version) to $10,000+ for gold-plated versions.
Apple Watch
The Apple Watch will feature many of the same abilities of the iPhone – making/answering phone calls and texts, Internet surfing, and app integration as well as new advanced health monitoring features and Apple Pay. But with a user’s data now on his/her wrist in addition to in his/her pocket, should we be concerned about security?

Let’s start with the good news.

Apple Pay, in and of itself, has been thought out well in terms of security, it seems. Users can opt in to use a PIN number which will need to be entered every time the watch is put on a wrist. So if that watch was stolen, it would be impossible for the thief to make purchases via Apple Pay unless they had a user’s PIN number. According to Apple:

“Even if you lose Apple Watch, your accounts are protected. Because when you set up Apple Pay, you’re required to create a passcode. Each time you take Apple Watch off your wrist, the passcode must be entered to access it. And you can quickly remove your cards on iCloud.com."

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing  Communications 



Hedge IT Blog Awards: Cheers to 500 Posts!

By Katie Sloane,
Thursday, March 5th, 2015

We recently hit our 500th post here on Hedge IT! To commemorate, we are hosting our annual blog awards! We've gathered the most thought-provoking, popular articles according to our readers and included a few of our personal favorites, as well. 

We hope you enjoy!

Categorized under: Eze Castle Milestones  Cloud Computing  Disaster Recovery  Security  Communications  Videos And Infographics 



Opalesque TV Exclusive: Cybersecurity Threats Facing Hedge Funds in 2015

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

In this Opalesque.TV video interview, Bob Guilbert and Vinod Paul from Eze Castle Integration discuss the cybersecurity landscape of the investment community, specifically the risks facing hedge funds and alternative investment managers in 2015. Both spend the majority of their time educating their client base on internal and external risks, protecting them against the “Activist Hacktivists” looking for any means of entry into funds.

These hackers will spend weeks, months, and sometimes even years trying to get access, most often with the goal of triggering illicit wire transfers out of the fund.

Today, the usual efforts of employees to avoid clicking links or opening files and password protocoling aren't enough. Everyone should be aware of new techniques employed by hackers like “spearfishing” and “whaterhole” attacks which, with more institutional dollars flowing into hedge funds, will become more frequent. Unless funds have the right Written Information Security Policy (WISP) and processes in place, together with true intrusion detection that monitors what is coming into the firm and what data and information is going out of the firm, they can be at risk of a cybersecurity attack.

Categorized under: Security  Cloud Computing  Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Communications  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 



Winter Weather Preparedness: Considerations for Keeping Your Firm and Employees Operational This Winter

By Matt Donahue,
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Anyone who lives in a region that regularly receives snow knows (and expects) that every winter brings the potential for experiencing disruption, delays, cancelations and closures to roads, buses, trains, boats and subways that transport people to and from work. (If you’re in the Boston area, you’re experiencing this today with the MBTA shutting down all rail service to clean up from more than 70 inches of snow in the last three weeks.) Snow storms don’t just affect transportation though; weather events can cause power outages, force evacuations, impact deliveries, and as we saw recently with Winter Storm Juno, can cause entire states to ban travel.Snowstorm

Impacts of heavy snow if traveling to work

Let’s consider some of the issues firms can face even if a travel ban isn’t in place and employees must attempt to make their way to the office.

Most people who commute to work know that adverse weather can have a major impact on their travel to and from the office. Regardless of the manner of transportation (car, rail, subway, boat, bus, etc.), all will most likely experience delays and present challenges for commuters during a snow storm. Delays, breakdowns, cancellations, and longer commuting times are very common throughout a storm and can still impact travel days after a storm concludes, leaving employees largely unable to work effectively if at all. 

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Hedge Fund Operations  Help Desk  Infrastructure  Communications  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing 



Blizzard 2015: Business Continuity Tips and Reminders for Disaster Events

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

If you live in the Northeast United States – anywhere from DC to Maine – you’re likely living through the Blizzard of 2015 right now. Snow and heavy winds are pounding the East Coast, with snow totals expected to exceed 2 to even 3 feet in many areas and wind gusts to reach hurricane strength.
 
During weather events such as this, it’s critical that firms take precautions to ensure that not only do their technologies work and their businesses remain operational, but that their employees are safe, connected and receiving constant communications. We’ve experienced many events such as this in recent years – Hurricane Sandy is probably the most memorable – but the Blizzard of 2015 is an important reminder to firms about employing comprehensive business continuity plans and disaster recovery systems.
 
Here are a few reminders to get your firm through this latest weather event:

Communication

Communicating effectively with your employees is especially critical before, during and after disasters and other weather events. Be sure to keep your employees in the loop on what’s happening and what’s expected of them. Should they work remotely in the event they can’t get to the office? Are non-essential personnel expected to use paid time off? When can they expect updated communications regarding next steps?
 
If your firm employs a comprehensive BCP, you’ve likely already shared regional Quick Reference Cards so your staff is aware of evacuation locations, remote access policies and instructions and other communication essentials.

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations  Communications  Trends We're Seeing 



Hedge Funds: It's Time to Get Bullish On Social Media, LinkedIn

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Trying to avoid social media is increasingly futile, even for hedge funds. We live in a ‘sharing’ culture, so it’s time to embrace it and control (or at least contribute to) your online profile.

In its 2015 predictions article, third-party marketing firm Agecroft Partners listed increased social media usage by hedge fund managers and investors as a key trend, and here’s why:

“…Social media is being used for research, to build stronger relationships and help promote a firms’ brands in the market place. Some managers are also using it to promote their investment ideas in order to create a catalyst for a security. The most commonly used social media is LinkedIn, which is broadly used throughout the industry. In 2014, Twitter was used by many people in the industry for the first time and this is expected to increase in 2015. Finally, we are beginning to see some use in YouTube where organizations are creating videos that can be posted on websites, distributed through social media or emailed to a distribution group…”(Source: Top Hedge Fund Industry Trends for 2015 by Don Steinbrugge)

Getting the Basics Right: LinkedIn

If a hedge fund manager has time for only one social media outlet, LinkedIn is the one. Over 332 million people use LinkedIn, and new members join at a rate of 2 per second. Additionally, 40% of users check LinkedIn daily (source: Digital Marketing Ramblings).

And from a search perspective, your LinkedIn profile is almost guaranteed to come up on the first page of results for a Google search of your name. So let’s look at how hedge fund managers can enhance their LinkedIn profiles.

LinkedIn Profile Basics

  • You need a picture. People won’t take you seriously or want to connect with you if they can’t see what you look like. Plus, your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you have a picture.

  • Write a summary. This is an open space that allows you to hone in on the key qualities, attributes and skills you want to highlight.

  • Include all (relevant) job experience. When you add your company, be sure it is linking to the firm’s LinkedIn page as this is an easy way to direct your connections back to your firm’s page after viewing your profile.

  • Add skills. From a personal brand perspective, adding skills is an easy way for people to find you.

Categorized under: Launching A Hedge Fund  Hedge Fund Operations  Communications  Trends We're Seeing 



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