Eze Castle Integration

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Common Information Security Mistakes (Video)

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, November 20th, 2014

As hedge funds and investment management firms shore up security practices in an effort to comply with the SEC cybersecurity expectations and other industry and investor standards, it can become overwhelming to sort out what's required and how firms should go about achieving compliance. It can also be easy to make mistakes. We asked Eze Castle's Business Continuity and Data Privacy Manager, Lisa Smith, to tell us about some of the common information security mistakes she witnesses firms make and how to avoid them in the future. Here are some of the key questions Lisa answers:

  • Where are you seeing the most deficiencies in cybersecurity preparedness?

  • What goes into an effective Written Information Security Plan?

  • What common mistakes do you find firms are making when it comes to information security safeguards?

Take a look at Lisa's answers!

Categorized under: Security  Disaster Recovery  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Infrastructure  Outsourcing  Business Continuity Planning  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 



Crisis Communications Tips for Business Continuity

By Matt Donahue,
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

How important is day to day communications within your company/firm? If an incident or disaster occurred today, how would your organization respond? Do you have a team or group designated to develop messages for both internal (employees, vendors, third parties, building management) and external (public, employee families, media) contacts? Have they practiced? When the pressure is on, is your organization prepared if a disaster or event suddenly puts your firm under the microscope with an onslaught of internal/external calls, questions, requests, emails, social media messages or media requests?Communication

Crises and disasters continue to happen across borders and industries. Let’s not forget some of the more recent large scale disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, Typhoon Haiyan, Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima, Hurricane Sandy, and, of course, the ongoing major data breaches, just to name a few. That list doesn’t include more common events that may not make the major news networks such as utility failures, office fires, and systems outages. Smaller events like previously mentioned can cause minimal to significant disruption to business operations. This is why developing and practicing a variety of communications is vital in an organization’s response to an incident.

Some of these events can be predicted in advance, giving an organization time to make decisions, analyze other organization’s responses, consider impacts, and communicate a message or action. Sometimes events are sudden, such as an earthquake or active shooter. These events require immediate actions, decisions, and communications to be made. In either case - an immediate or delayed event - communication is critical to demonstrating proper leadership and providing employees with proper direction, especially if the event is centered specifically on your organization.

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



2014 Benchmark Study Results: Top Hedge Fund Applications Revealed

By Katie Sloane,
Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The results from our Global Hedge Fund Technology and Operations Benchmark Study are in and here is a snapshot of the 2014 findings. You can find the complete report here. We surveyed 279 buy-side firms across the United States, United Kingdom and Asia in order to discover their front, middle, and back office technology and application preferences.Hedge Funds by Type

Respondent Profile[Hedge Funds by Type]All survey respondents fell into the following categories within the financial industry: hedge fund (58%), asset/investment manager (13%), private equity firm (3%), fund of fund (3%), and family office (3%). Additionally, 13 percent fell into an ‘other’ category, which included financial firm types such as venture capital, advisory, fund management, quant and wealth management.  

Firms surveyed fell into three asset groups: thirty-three percent (33%) reported their assets under management (AUM) as less than $100 million; twenty-eight percent (28%) fell between $101 and $500 million; and the majority (39%) reported over $500 million AUM. 

In regards to investment strategy, long/short equity continues to dominate as the most favorable with 50 percent (50%) of respondents reporting this to be their primary investment strategy.  Additional preferred strategies include credit (8%), fixed income (6%), emerging markets (5%), event driven (4%), and distressed debt (3%). Twenty-four percent (24%) of firms fell into an “Other” category that included a wide variety of investment strategies such as commodities, derivatives, merger arbitrage, relative value, securities, global macro, and long only. In 2014, the top primes employed by firms are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and UBS (same as 2013 results).

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Operations  Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Communications  Outsourcing  Software  Trends We're Seeing 



Sneak Peek: 2014 Hedge Fund Benchmark Study Results

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

In it's fourth year running, our Global Hedge Fund Technology Benchmark Study reveals the top technology systems and applications used by investment management firms around the world. And while we aren't due to officially release the results until tomorrow - register for our webinar to hear them live - we thought we'd share a little sneak peek in the form of an infographic.

Take a look below and discover how your hedge fund and investment management firm peers are using technology to power their firm operations.

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Security  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Infrastructure  Communications  Outsourcing  Software  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 



Hedge Fund Cybersecurity: Preparing Your Defensive Team

By Katie Sloane,
Thursday, November 6th, 2014

When it comes to cybersecurity defenses, this isn’t a fantasy league. The threats are real and growing in sophistication for the hedge fund and alternative investment industry. In today’s blog, we will discuss how to prepare your firm’s defense for external attacks and internal breaches.Hedge Fund Cybersecurity

Cybercrime works like a defensive team that studies their opponents and plays and can make midgame adjustments. The only true way to thwart an incident is to establish a layered security program to safeguard against attacks and vulnerabilities of all kinds. Football teams share a similar composition, as there are defensive tackles and ends, cornerback and safety roles. You need to ensure your infrastructure is highly secure and cannot be penetrated by external attackers or easily manipulated by internal threats. 

Categorized under: Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Infrastructure  Business Continuity Planning  Software 



Tech Tips for Starting a Hedge Fund

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Outsourced ResponsibilityLast week, we co-hosted another exciting Hedge Fund Startup event with KPMG in New York and had a great turnout of fund managers looking to learn more about everything from legal and tax implications to technology must-haves and capital raising strategies.
 
Since technology is clearly our forte, we wanted to share some of the key takeaways from our “Achieving Institutional-Grade IT” panel, featuring speakers from Evercore Partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and, of course, Eze Castle Integration. Here are the highlights:

State of Emerging Manager Market

  • The hedge fund startup market is healthy, and investors’ appetite for emerging managers is strong

  • Investors are attracted to nimbler, hungrier nature of emerging managers. 

Key Priorities for Startups in 2014/2015

  • Select the right service providers to support your business.

  • Understand your firm’s vulnerabilities and exposures.

  • The operational due diligence process is changing, therefore firms need to understand the protections they have in place to secure investor assets.

Categorized under: Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Infrastructure  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing 



Happy Halloween! A Look at the Scariest IT Moments of 2014

By Katie Sloane,
Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Over the years, cybercrime has evolved, matured and increased in frequency. Target groups vary from case to case and victims range from big merchants and high-end retailers to celebrities and common folk. On the eve of Halloween, we’ve dug up some of the scariest cyber-attacks in 2014.Scary IT Hack Ghost

CryptoLocker

One of the more innovative hacks in recent years started making headway in Great Britain in September 2013. CryptoLocker utilizes malware to encrypt and freeze victims’ sentimental and valuable files on infected computers. After successfully locking the computer, a ransom note appears on the victim’s screen demanding money in return for their files. If the victim fails to make payment, the computer remains locked and files are unsalvageable.  

More than $100 million in losses were attributed to the cybercriminals’ schemes as well as hundreds of thousands of infected computers. Computer security companies estimate that CryptoLocker infected over 234,000 computers worldwide, including more than 100,000 in the United States. 

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



Video Premiere: Life at Eze Castle Integration

By Katie Sloane,
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

At Eze Castle Integration, we invest in our employees and are committed to expressing how much we value them. 

Recruiting and retaining the technology industry’s top talent is what makes Eze Castle Integration a great place to work. We provide our employees with the tools to succeed, including trainings on the latest technologies and the opportunity to showcase their newly acquired skills on a daily basis. To help our employees build lifelong careers, we offer global opportunities for professional growth and career enhancement.  

We're excited to premiere our latest video below, featuring some of our very own employees. Check it out and see why our team thinks Eze Castle Integration is a great place to work.

Categorized under: Videos And Infographics  Eze Castle Milestones 



Preparing for Ebola: A Review of the Outbreak, its Economic Impact, and Business Continuity Considerations

By Matt Donahue,
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

This year’s outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is the worst that has ever been recorded. The disease typically occurs in outbreaks in tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the short span of a year, the virus, which is affecting Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, has resulted in nearly 3,500 deaths.

In this article, we will look at where this outbreak started and the economic impact it has had both in Africa and internationally. We will also highlight the issues that businesses need to consider as this epidemic continues to expand.

Where Did Ebola Come From?
A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that Ebola’s Patient Zero (the initial patient of an epidemic) was most likely a 2 year-old boy living in southern Guinea. Unfortunately, the boy became very ill and died on December 6th 2013. Several close relatives died shortly thereafter. After the funerals, some of the attendants became ill. Following established patterns of close contact with the sick, the disease began spreading to other villages, then across the borders into Liberia and Sierra Leone. It wasn’t until March 2014 that the international aid agency MSF (Doctors Without Borders) became aware of the new Ebola outbreak and immediately got involved. In early August, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared “an international public health emergency”. On September 30th, the first case of Ebola was diagnosed within the United States.

At this time, the CDC is making both “best-case scenario” and “worst-case scenario” predictions of the total number of cases expected through January 1st 2015. Unfortunately, the predictions range from 11,000 to well over 1 million cases.

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Trends We're Seeing 



The Danger of USB Keys: Weighing Security and Convenience

By Raj Bakhru, CFA, Chief Executive Officer, Aponix Financial Technologists,
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The following article is from guest contributor Raj Bakhru, CFA, Chief Executive Officer at Aponix Financial Technologists. USB Key

At Aponix Financial Technologists, we often find ourselves speaking to our clients about the risks around USB storage device access of external drives or USB keys. While convenient file transfer tools, they can also be quite dangerous to a firm's operations. Our arugment for blocking access historically has been two-fold:

  1. Intellectual Property (IP) concerns: It's obviously very easy for confidential or proprietary data to leave the firm via USB keys.

  2. Malware concerns: It's easy for infected malware to enter the firm via files existing on a USB key brought from home or other unmanaged or unprotected systems.

Earlier this month, though, the "BadUSB" exploit was released to the public. A few months ago, white hat (ethical) hackers demonstrated that USB key firmware could be overwritten and effectively sabotaged to allow the USB key to perform some very malicious actions, e.g. taking control of the computer's mouse and keyboard, among other things. USB keys affected by this exploit become weapons of destruction and data breaches, and, as the hackers demonstrated, the malicious code can be extremely well-hidden on the USB key. In fact, given the exploit resides on the USB key's firmware, deleting all the contents of the USB key has no impact on removing the malicious code. It is currently unknown how many USB devices suffer from this vulnerability, but the expectation is that it will be years before device manufacturers correct devices and the existing vulnerable devices are no longer in use.

Categorized under: Launching A Hedge Fund 



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