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Four Scary Signs You'll Outgrow Your IT Service Provider

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, October 29th, 2015

To quote our latest Tech Tips video, "when things are good, they’re good. But when things turn bad, it could be downright scary," so here is our latest video that covers four signs you may be outgrowing your IT service provider. 

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Infrastructure  Outsourcing  Project Management  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 

Five Myths about Voice over IP (VoIP): Hedge Funds Take Notice

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Our Eze Voice (think financial services grade VoIP) is now available to firms across the United States and United Kingdom. In honor of this global availability, we want to debunk some common myths associated with VoIP for financial services forms. 

Voice over IP has come a long way especially in the business world, but many financial services firms still have hesitations about making the switch. Check out these five common myths about Voice over IP.

MYTH 1: Poor Call Quality – Everyone will know I’m on VoIP

Call quality is a key concern and can be impacted by a number of items including the network, available bandwidth and even the type of phones being used. However, a well-designed business-caliber VoIP system can deliver quality of service comparable to an in-house phone system. In business settings, where calls are made over private IP connections, Quality of Service (QoS) can be monitored and guaranteed because the entire IP connection is controlled by the party making the call.

When evaluating VoIP services, it is important to inquire about the underlying network and how voice traffic is prioritized and routed. You want a provider that has full control over network traffic and can ensure high quality of service. For added confidence, ask to speak with existing VoIP customers (over the phone!) to hear about their experiences first-hand.

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

A natural extension of the call quality concern is the reliability concern. While consumer-grade VoIP services work over the Internet to deliver low cost services, Business-grade VoIP services often use the Internet as a backup and have private IP point-to-point lines for primary connections. If Internet is the primary transit, be sure you are working with a VoIP provider who manages the entire network and has control over traffic prioritization. In most cases you want to ensure voice traffic takes precedent over data or travels on a different network.   

Categorized under: Communications  Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Hedge Fund Operations  Infrastructure  Real Estate 

4 Disaster Recovery Tips for This Hurricane Season: Tech Tips Video

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, October 8th, 2015

We’re in Hurricane Season so let’s look at some best practices to ensure you and your employees are prepared for the unexpected. Remember, these four Eze Tech Tips are great for the next Snowmageddon too.

Want more Disaster Recovery Tech Tips?

Here are your options:

  1. Contact Eze Castle Integration (HERE)

  2. Puruse our Disaster Recovery Blog Category (HERE)

  3. Download our Disaster Recovery Guidebook (HERE)

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

eSentire: Bringing Security to a Hedge Fund Near You

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Monday, October 5th, 2015

The security threat landscape continues to evolve, and security through obscurity is no longer (and probably never was) an ideal approach to protecting the sensitive data of the hedge fund industry. A 2015 Cyber Security Intelligence Index study by IBM found that over 62 percent of cyber incidents targeted three industries -- Finance, Insurance, and Information and Communications -- highlighting the serious risk cyber intrusions present to financial firms.eSentire intrusion detection with Eze ATP

The report found that in 55 percent of all cyber attacks in 2014 were carried out by either malicious insiders or inadvertent actors and that unauthorized access triggered nearly twice as many incidents in 2014 compared with 2013. According to the report, “certain types of unauthorized access incidents rocketed to the top, accounting for 37 percent of the total—nearly doubling from 19 percent in 2013. ShellShock and Heartbleed were the game changers here.”

Another example cited was that malicious code and sustained probes together accounted for 40 percent of all the incidents observed. According to IBM, with an ever expanding array of malware from which attackers may choose— including viruses, worms, Trojans, bots, backdoors, spyware and adware—it seems fairly certain that malicious code incidents will continue to wreak havoc for the foreseeable future.”

These examples demonstrate that the risks facing large organizations and smaller firms (read: hedge funds) are just as real. To that end, we regularly team with eSentire to speak with hedge fund CTOs about the security landscape and their managed security technology. Additionally, Eze Castle Integration utilizes eSentire intrusion detection technology within our Eze Private Cloud and to power our Eze Active Threat Protection services.

Feedback on eSentire’s offering and approach is always received positively and the spark for this tech spotlight article.

Categorized under: Security  Cloud Computing  Eze Castle Milestones  Hedge Fund Operations  Infrastructure  Trends We're Seeing 

Outsourced Hedge Fund Technology: Understanding SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

By Kulvinder Gill,
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

As cloud services continue to become increasingly popular among hedge funds and investment firms, there still seems to be an area of confusion that surrounds this technology. We've talked through Why Cloud Computing is Right for your Hedge Fund and Understanding Public, Private, and Hybrid Clouds. Now, let's look at three key elements to consider within the cloud: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Essential Hedge Fund Tech Guide

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

In a SaaS model, firms are offered a complete range of applications via the Internet, all of which are managed by the hedge fund cloud provider. This means firms can forego upfront investments in servers and software licenses and pay a predictable per-user, per-month fee.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS is the delivery of a computing platform over the Internet. The PaaS model enables hedge funds to create Web applications quickly without incurring the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying software and hardware. Firms have control over the deployed applications and environment-related settings. PaaS is great for firms creating or managing their own applications or looking for testing and development environments.

Categorized under: Cloud Computing  Infrastructure  Outsourcing 

Starting a Hedge Fund: What kind of Internet/Voice connectivity will I need?

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Among the many technology decisions your firm will face during the launch phase is selecting the appropriate telecommunications needs to power daily operations. High-speed Internet and voice connectivity are necessary to access market data feeds, communicate with investors and facilitate trade orders and other investment decisions. To help you make an informed decision about your voice and Internet needs, we’ve provided a few suggestions below.

Short on time? Click here to read our complete manager’s guide to establishing a hedge fund.

The Internet, of course, is an essential vehicle for collecting and distributing market data, as well as communicating with your clients, investors and partners via email. You’ll likely find four Internet access choices, depending on availability in your area. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, as described below.

Categorized under: Communications  Launching A Hedge Fund  Cloud Computing  Disaster Recovery  Security  Infrastructure  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing 

Windows 2003 Server End-of-Life, Presenting Window of Opportunity for Hedge Funds

By Scott Reardon, Director of Global Technology Services,
Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

The following article originally appeared on HFMTechnology.

Although we are faced with change on a daily basis, especially in the hedge fund technology industry, keeping pace with ongoing tech metamorphoses does not come easy for everyone. Fear, the biggest contributor of hesitancy toward change, masks the opportunities innovation presents. Fear is what leads to IT limbo, and in an ever-evolving technology landscape, this effect can be crippling. However, with the support of expert IT service providers, the pains and fears of migrations and upgrades are alleviated.

In this article, we’ll examine the recent end-of-life (EOL), of operating system (OS) Windows Server 2003, its resultant challenges and how to overcome them.

Doing Nothing and Risking Everything

Windows Server 2003 extended support ended on July 14, 2015; however, not all users have made the transition to Windows Server 2012 R2. Why are firm’s remaining on an out-of-support OS?

The primary influencers are fear and a lack of sense of urgency to replace a still functioning OS. In the case of users still utilizing the legacy application, the risks they face largely outweigh the benefits. By doing absolutely nothing, firms are risking everything. As patches and bug fixes are no longer being provided, hackers have an unguarded entrance to access a firm’s sensitive information, passwords and banking accounts. This not only increases the firm’s odds of being hacked, but also raises the gravity of ensuing damages should an incident occur.

Additionally, if a firm’s network does crash that’s still deployed on Windows Sever 2003, the odds of finding expert support become increasingly limited with each passing year. This is predominantly due to the industry’s forward marching nature. An outdated system will only continue to fall behind in the race of technology, trouble shooting will take longer, future applications will fail to run, or crash the server altogether, and the cost to migrate increases concurrently as the pool of experts shrinks.

The bottom line is change is inevitable, and eventually 2003 will reach a point where the surrounding ecosystem won’t work with 2003 servers. Ultimately, MS will make it so the OS becomes inoperative as the company continues to evolve. So what can we do?

Categorized under: Infrastructure  Outsourcing  Project Management  Software  Trends We're Seeing 

3 Real Estate Trends Facing New York City Hedge Funds

By Ben Friedland, Michael Movshovich and Taylor Scheinman, CBRE,
Thursday, August 20th, 2015

The following article is part of our Hedge Fund Insiders Article Series and was contributed by CBRE Group, Inc. Read more articles from the Series HERE.

As a team focused exclusively on advising hedge funds on their strategic real estate planning, we have observed several trends continuing to proliferate in the market. Below are three real estate-related issues relevant to all hedge funds.

Increasing Construction Costs

Construction costs for office interiors throughout New York City are rapidly increasing and firms that built space 5–10 years ago will find that overall expenditures for the same quality installation have increased 30–40% based on benchmark construction cost data across NYC. Although benchmarking numbers are not available specifically for hedge fund construction, high-end design details like custom millwork and architectural metal and glass are often a significant part of the design and are seeing the most rapid appreciation in cost, driving even more significant increases specific to hedge funds. Additionally, these premium and other critical trades such as HVAC and electrical are in high demand and can cause scheduling delays, pushing associated costs higher than ever.

It is crucial for hedge funds to have an owner’s rep / project manager advisor involved to ensure projects are appropriately budgeted from the initial due diligence phase, assessed on a project-by-project basis throughout the site selection process, and effectively implemented during the design and construction of the selected space.   

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Insiders  Launching A Hedge Fund  Hedge Fund Operations  Infrastructure  Project Management  Real Estate  Trends We're Seeing 

Summer Weather Preparedness: More Than Sunscreen Needed for Protection

By Estani Laredo,
Thursday, July 30th, 2015

As summer officially approaches its halfway point, we at Eze Castle Integration hope that everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather. We also want to take this opportunity to remind folks to be mindful that your firm can still be vulnerable, even when the weather is warm and sunny. With heat and humidity rising, power usage is increased to keep offices cool, leaving firms susceptible to power outages. Additionally, with employee vacations prevalent during the summer and offices less crowded, there are fewer gatekeepers protecting your firm from social engineering threats and hackers. Let’s examine some of these factors a little more closely and offer some business continuity and security tips to keep your firm running at full speed in the summer heat. Boston Blackout 2012

Impact of the Heat: Power Outages

You are sitting at your desk and recording sensitive information for one of your clients, when all of a sudden your screen goes black, and the office is completely dark. Your firm has experienced a power outage caused by increased usage during the summer months, and you are not sure if your information and technology is protected.

The months of July, August and September are considered the “blackout season” as major cities use the most power during these months, leaving them susceptible to power outages. According to the Energy Information Administration, electrical power outages, surges and spikes in usage bring about more than $150 billion in annual damages to the U.S. economy.1

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

Setting Up Secure File Sharing at Your Hedge Fund: Varonis on Eze Cloud

By Mary Beth Hamilton,
Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

So we all know hedge funds and investment firms don’t want their important information drifting around free file sharing services like Dropbox. Heck, even Dropbox’s Chief Operating Officer says they still have to convince businesses that “the enterprise features that [they’ve] built satisfy [business] security requirements and [business] needs.1

With security threats multiplying exponentially, satisfying security requirements isn't enough - vendors need to be one step ahead. That’s why for secure file sharing Eze Castle Integration offers the Varonis' DatAnywhere product as a standard feature within our Eze Managed Suite. Varonis' DatAnywhere offers users seamless and secure collaboration and file sharing across devices.

Beyond security, Varonis DatAnywhere is easy to use. Users receive the same drag-n-drop experience as shared network drives or a cloud sync folder, which means no need for training on complex user interfaces and collaboration workflows. Additionally, data is automatically backed up and version controlled.

We created a video training series for our Eze Managed Suite clients on using DatAdvantage. While I can’t share all the videos (unless you are an Eze client!), here’s the intro video to give you a taste of this great feature. 

Categorized under: Infrastructure  Cloud Computing  Security  Trends We're Seeing  Videos And Infographics 

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