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NASAA Cybersecurity Report Recap: Our Favorite Graphics and Findings

By Katie Sloane,
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) recently released survey results of cybersecurity practices of 440 registered investment adviser firms across nine states. The purpose of NASAA’s pilot project was to better understand cybersecurity practices of state-registered investment advisers, how they communicate with clients and what types of policies and procedures they currently maintain. Of those surveyed, 47% have assets under management of less than $25 million, 37% manage more than $25 million and 16% do not manage assets. In today’s post, we will share our favorite graphics and findings from the organization’s survey.   

Client Contact via E-mail and Use of Secure E-mail

NASAA's survey reported 92% of investment firms contact clients through e-mail and/or other electronic messaging and only 54% of that group utilizes secure email. While 14% were unsure, a staggering 30% responded that they did not utilize secure messaging whatsoever.

Hedge fund secure e-mail














 

Categorized under: Security  Business Continuity Planning  Software  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 



Educate Employees About Cybersecurity: A Hedge Fund's Security Depends On It

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, September 25th, 2014

The following article originally appeared last month on the Tabb Forum.

Cybersecurity is a hot topic -- and rightfully so -- as headlines tout new vulnerabilities or incidents with increasing frequency. In the fight to prevent attacks, technology safeguards are typically the focus. A firm must have layers of security that include, but are not limited to, anti-virus, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and Internet monitoring and reporting, as well as procedures that restrict and monitor access. 
 
However beyond technology, the role employees play cannot be underestimated. The reality is that employees can be one of a firm’s best lines of defense or weakest link. The deciding factor in which way it swings often comes down to access control policies and cybersecurity training.

Getting the Access Right

Employees require access to the data necessary to complete their job functions. But beyond that, firms should be limiting what data employees have access to. It’s not about not trusting your employees, but more so about not trusting the technology behind those employees. The less data employees can get to, the less damage can be done via an internal breach or external hack.

The SEC Cybersecurity Risk Alert issued in April 2014 highlights the importance of access control by asking about the controls a firm maintains to “prevent unauthorized escalation of user privileges” and how firms “restrict users to those network resources necessary for their business functions.”

Part of a firm’s cybersecurity planning must be defining how company data is protected, where it is located and who has and needs access. Once access levels are defined, they must be reviewed at least annually to ensure adherence firm wide.

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



Apple to iPhone Users: Here's How to Protect Your Devices

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Security has been THE topic of 2014 thus far and was amped up last week when many A-list celebrities’ phones were hacked and racy photos released. The hack was allegedly the result of an iCloud infiltration, prompting many Apple users to question the company’s privacy settings. In response, Apple CEO Tim Cook released a letter to consumers, and the company’s website will now feature a privacy section:
 

Apple CEO Tim Cook


Apple’s privacy site includes details on both the built-in security features within Apple devices as well as how users can manage their own privacy settings and tailor them to individual needs. Here is a brief snapshot of some security functions highlighted:

Built In Privacy

  • iMessages and FaceTime calls are protected with end-to-end encryption

  • iMessages and SMS messages are backed up to iCloud, but can be turned off by the user

  • All iCloud content is encrypted in transit and when stored (in most cases)

  • iCloud Keychain allows users to create strong passwords and stores them securely without giving Apple access

  • Safari blocks third-party cookies on all devices and offers private browsing

Categorized under: Communications  Cloud Computing  Security  Software  Trends We're Seeing 



Hedge Fund Startup Tips from 9 Emerging Manager Experts

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, September 18th, 2014

We’ve tapped the expertise of nine experts in the hedge fund startup space to share their thoughts on a range of topics specific to emerging hedge fund managers. Below are some highlights, and you can read the entire Emerging Managers Insight Series eBook here.

Hedge Fund Startup Tips#1: The Prime Broker Perspective (Glen Dailey, Jefferies & Company)

  • Set a realistic schedule to launch and don’t rush to get the hedge fund up and running too quickly. Take the time to partner with the right service providers that will support your business from the start and as you grow.

  • Budget for a marketer in your first two years of operation. If you look at the largest funds in the industry, they all have substantial investor relations teams that keep current investors informed while prospecting for future investors.

  • Capital introduction is a much sought after service from prime brokers which can be very helpful in providing a new hedge fund exposure to potential investors. Take advantage of introductions and begin to build relationships with potential investors.

Categorized under: Launching A Hedge Fund  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Infrastructure  Outsourcing  Real Estate  Trends We're Seeing 



How the Financial Cloud Should Be Protected (A Presentation)

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Last week our SVP of client technology, Steve Schoener, presented at a hedge fund due diligence event on the topic of protections in the cloud.

Since cloud security and ensuring a hedge fund’s data is protected is such a hot topic we thought we’d share his presentation. In a nutshell, the presentation looks at the layers of security that should be built into a cloud environment, which includes deep and detailed practices around:

  1. Principle of Defense in Depth

  2. Principle of Least Privilege

  3. Audit & Logging

  4. Secure User Authentication Protocols & Encryption

Check out the complete presentation for more details:

Categorized under: Cloud Computing  Launching A Hedge Fund  Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Infrastructure 



7 Common Cloud Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, September 11th, 2014

We all make mistakes, but when it comes to technology and hedge fund operations, mistakes aren’t an option. So let’s look at seven common cloud mistakes we see hedge fund firms making and talk about how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Sizing Bandwidth to Business Needs

Determining the right amount of bandwidth comes down to the types of services being delivered and user expectations. Nothing ruins a cloud or really any computing experience like sluggish application and Internet performance. 

Common Hedge Fund Cloud Mistakes

Beyond bandwidth, firms must also consider latency. While latency issues don’t impact all applications (i.e. email is relatively insensitive) for others it is a killer. Latency has little place in trading applications or voice over IP services. When moving to the cloud, have a realistic conversation with the hedge fund cloud provider about the amount of bandwidth your firm really needs. 

Mistake #2: Not Planning for Applications

Not all cloud platforms are equal especially when it comes to supporting hedge fund specific applications such as Order Management Systems or Portfolio Accounting Systems. While a hedge fund may not launch day one with one of these applications, there is a good chance they will require one in the future. To help mitigate future growing pains a hedge fund should plan for the future when evaluating cloud providers. Being shortsighted can result in future disruptions and integration pains.

Categorized under: Cloud Computing  Launching A Hedge Fund  Hedge Fund Operations  Infrastructure  Trends We're Seeing 



iPhone 6: A Brief Summary of Apple's Newest Technology

By Charlene Haddad,
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Following the steadily growing hype for thiPhone 6 Announcemente new iPhone 6, CEO Tim Cook put all rumors to rest at their San Francisco event today. Apple revealed not one, but two iPhones, boasting significantly larger screens to compete with Android smartphones. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are expected to hit stores on September 19th, and response has already been overwhelming.

Both iPhones will come in Apple’s standard gold, space gray and silver, and instead of the straight edged look of the iPhone generations 4 and 5, have curved sides and the thinnest body of iPhones to date. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch screen, while the iPhone 6 Plus appeals to all the “phablet” users with its 5.5 inch screen. Pricing for the iPhone 6 16GB starts at $199 with a two-year contract and $299 for the iPhone 6 Plus 16 GB.

With the new iPhones comes the unveiling of the awaited iOS 8, which also includes some features that will be useful with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus’ large screen. “Reachability,” for example, allows the user to reach the top of the screen without having to reach across the screen by double touching the Touch ID. There will be more content available in Messages, including face images of the recipient. The iSight camera focuses automatically and continuously when taking photos and videos. And now for the first time, the user has the ability to view the home screen horizontally. The iOS 8 will be available for free to download on September 17th.

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing 



Say Hello to Eze Voice, Our Next Generation Cloud Voice Solution

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Last month we covered the five myths about Voice over IP (VoIP) in preparation for the general availability of our next generation Eze Voice service. In case you don’t recall, the myths we debunked were:

  • MYTH 1: Poor Call Quality – Everyone Will Know I’m on VoIP

  • MYTH 2: VoIP is Unreliable – I’ll Experience Downtime

  • MYTH 3: I’ll Lose Critical Functionality Required by My Investment Firm

  • MYTH 4: I Can’t Keep My Phone Number

  • MYTH 5: Someone May Hack My Phone System

Now that Eze Voice is officially here and already being used by many clients, we wanted to give it a little shout-out, so here goes. Eze Voice is an innovative hosted voice solution that combines high levels of redundancy and quality of service with the communication features financial firms require.

The newest version of the Eze Voice service leverages Eze Castle Integration’s premier global cloud platform, Eze Private Cloud, and is ideal for firms that want to benefit from the flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness offered with a cloud-based voice service. Featured benefits of Eze Voice include:

Categorized under: Communications  Cloud Computing  Eze Castle Milestones  Trends We're Seeing 



Video: How Did Technology Make Your Summer Better?

By Katie Sloane,
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Here at Eze Castle Integration, we’re not ready for summer to end!  This year, we decided to ask our employees how technology enhanced their sun-soaked season. 

‚ÄčCheck out the slideshow below to read their responses!

How did technology enhance your summer?























 

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 



19 Tips to Prepare for a Power Outage, Part 2: Individuals and Families

By Matt Donahue, Business Continuity Analyst,
Thursday, August 28th, 2014

In Part One of Tips to Prepare Your Investment Firm for a Power Outage, we shared 21 key steps from one of Eze Castle Integration's Business Continuity Experts, Matt Donahue, which can help firms to develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

In Part Two, we discuss measures that individuals and families should take to prepare for a power outage or blackout.

19 Tips to Prepare You and Your Family

During an outage, it pays to have yourself and your family prepared.  Take time and talk to your family about outages and what to do when they happen.  Consider impaired or elderly family members and neighbors that may need assistance during an outage.  Do research on your town's or city's emergency preparedness plans. Learn how they will identify shelters, warming/cooling stations, and announce their opening.

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations  Communications  Software 



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