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Four Reasons Why Financial Firms Need Data Backups

By Evelyn Villemaire,
Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

With threats of data loss increasing in both numbers and severity, it is no surprise that data security is on everyone’s mind within the financial and investment industry. Regulatory agencies and investors now expect businesses to have backup solutions and comprehensive record-keeping practices. Understanding the need and importance of implementing a backup solution can add instrumental value to your business.

We at Eze Castle Integration have identified the top four reasons why backups are critical to not only a firm’s growth, but also their survival. 

Data Backup - Eze Vault

1. Regulatory agencies demand security of financial records.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has instituted regulations on the storage of financial records and electronic communication, and financial industry regulatory agencies such as FINRA now provide standards and guidance information on potential threats. In addition, international regulators such as the FCA, a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, are also demanding firms to have a data backup solution. 

The reasoning behind these recommendations is the volume of things that can go wrong with your data storage solution. From hardware failure, software corruption, virus or network security breaches, to natural disasters and human error, the threat to your data is endless. With today’s financial services companies managing exponentially growing volumes of sensitive data, the risk of loss grows as well.

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



When it Comes to Cyber Insurance Coverage, Be Sure to Read the Fine Print

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, February 4th, 2016

The cyber insurance industry is growing at a rapid pace as firms look to implement safeguards to protect sensitive data and financial information from ending up in the wrong hands. As hackers become savvier and cyber schemes more elaborate, many firms are relying on cyber liability policies to add an extra layer of protection.
 
In some cases, however, insurance coverage has not satisfied the demands of firms and instead left them feeling scammed a second time.
 
One example of this comes from Texas where a manufacturing firm is suing their cyber insurance provider for refusing to cover a loss that came at the hands of a phishing scheme. According to the provider, the loss – of $480,000 – did not meet the specific criteria needed for a successful claim.
 
Situations like these are reminders for Chief Financial Officers and Risk Officers to carefully comb their cyber insurance policies to gain a comprehensive understanding of what exactly is covered – and what is not.
 
Our friends at Willis Holdings Inc. work with investment firms regularly to craft cyber liability policies and provided their take on the insurance landscape as part of our Hedge Fund Insiders Article Series: 
------------------------------

BY: John Mullen and Jennifer Coughlin, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, and Talene Megerian and Kristin Zieser, Willis FINEX Claims & Legal Group

The Cyber risk landscape is rapidly evolving. Governments are facing an unprecedented level of Cyber attacks and threats with the potential to undermine national security and critical infrastructure. Similarly, businesses across a wide range of industry sectors, particularly those in the health care, retail and financial services industries1, are exposed to potentially enormous liability and costs as a result of Cyber incidents and data breaches.

Given the risk landscape, it is no wonder companies of all sizes continue to be subject to increasing data breach liability, both in the form of single plaintiff or class action lawsuits and regulatory investigations and proceedings. Negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract are just some of the allegations that a company may face as a result of a systems failure or lax security that compromises the security of customers’ personal information or data.

Categorized under: Security  Trends We're Seeing 



What El Niño Means for Your Weather Forecast

By Matt Donahue,
Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

There has been a lot of talk recently on the West Coast about El Niño and its potential impact. Apart from a 1997 Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Chris Farley (do yourself a favor and look it up on YouTube), I realized I needed a refresher on what exactly El Niño is and what its potential impacts could be on regions across the U.S..El Niño Typical Winter
 
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), El Niño conditions occur when abnormally warm waters accumulate in tropical latitudes of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. Consequently, tropical rains that usually fall over Indonesia shift eastward. During El Niño winters, northwestern North America is more likely to experience warmer-than-average temperatures, and the southeastern U.S. is more likely to receive rain.
 
Of course, this should not be confused with La Niña.

Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Trends We're Seeing 



Top 5 Reasons Managers Need a Research Management Software (RMS)

By Jaime Bean, Ledgex Systems,
Thursday, January 21st, 2016

In today’s competitive market, research management software (RMS) has become a must-have integrated feature for investment management firms. Significant benefits offered via RMS have caused a ripple effect of soaring adoption rates across the global investment industry. In this article we’ll examine how adopting a research management solution could benefit your firm.

Central Repository

With offices, colleagues and clients spread across the world, firms need to consolidate data in an organized fashion. From meeting and call notes, to audits and analyst reports, the demand for readily accessible information is ever burgeoning. Storing information within multiple programs and folders not only welcomes disorder and the opportunity for digression in the workplace, but also increases costs and wastes valuable time. This prehistoric method of aggregating data has been replaced with advanced RMS, a much more viable, flexible and comprehensive solution. Hosting a firm’s data within a user-friendly, central repository simplifies processes, optimizes productivity and uncovers new business opportunities. When selecting a RMS, managers may consider a generic or industry-specific product. While both options present benefits, the latter assimilates seamlessly with an investment firm’s daily workflows, terminology and diverse range of data. An ideal RMS will also offer customization, accessibility and integrate with other applications, such as Outlook.

Categorized under: Software  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Operations  Hedge Fund Regulation  Communications  Trends We're Seeing 



Cybersecurity for Hedge Funds: The Current Landscape

By Wendy Beers, Wells Fargo Prime Services,
Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

On December 9, 2015, Wells Fargo Prime Services and Eze Castle Integration hosted a panel on cybersecurity to discuss the current landscape. The panel featured leading industry experts including:Cyber threat to hedge funds

  • Eldon Sprickerhoff, Founder & Chief Security Strategist, eSentire

  • Stuart Levi, Partner, New York, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

  • Vinod Paul, Managing Director, Eze Castle Integration

  • Timothy O’Brien, Supervisory Special Agent, Cyber branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation – New York Office.

  • Marc P. Berger, Partner, Government Enforcement, Ropes & Gray LLP

Marc Berger’s opening statements emphasized the extent of the cybersecurity threat currently facing firms across a wide swath of industries. He quoted FBI Director James Comey, who stated: “There are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked … and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked ….”  (FBI Director James B. Comey, 60 Minutes, CBS TV Interview, October 5, 2014). Alarming statistics from the Ponemon Institute’s 2015 Cost of Cyber Crime Study, conducted with HP Enterprise Security, found that the average cost to resolve a single cybersecurity incident is $1.9M, and the average time to resolve is 46 days. Perpetrators range from nation-state-sponsored hackers and disgruntled/rogue employees to organized crime units, activists, and other thieves.

Categorized under: Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Regulation  Infrastructure  Outsourcing  Trends We're Seeing 



IT Security Dos and Don'ts to Live By

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

We spend a lot of time educating our clients about security best practices and encouraging them to implement comprehensive security policies and procedures to mitigate risk and protect both the firm and its employees. And for good reason. Data breaches continue to wreak havoc for businesses, and the cost is steadily rising. According to the Ponemon Institute, the total average cost of a data breach is now $3.8 million, up from $3.5 million in 2014.

IT security best practices ebook

While companywide policies should reflect long-range expectations and corporate best practices, they should also include tactical recommendations that employees can follow to ensure they are complying with the company’s overall risk strategy. In addition to providing employees with security best practices they should follow, don’t forget to also include a list of actions they should not. Here are just a few pieces of advice we regularly offer our investment firm clients. You can download our full IT Security Dos & Don'ts eBook by clicking here

DO:

  • Lock your computer and mobile phone(s) when you leave your desk and/or office

  • Use care when entering passwords in front of others

  • Create and maintain strong passwords and change them every 60-90 days (We recommend a combination of lowercase & uppercase letters and special characters)

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



Top Industry Trends in 2016 for Hedge Funds and Beyond

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Thursday, January 7th, 2016

With a new year brings new excitement and new ambition. Across the hedge fund and alternative investment industry, firms are devising new strategies and implementing plans to drive growth and increase returns. In 2016, we expect the following industry trends will play a role in shaping many of the decisions hedge funds and other investment management firms make.Hedge Fund Cybersecurity in the Cloud

Hedge Fund Cybersecurity 2.0

Last year, cybersecurity took center stage across the investment community, and there is little doubt that it will continue to dominate in 2016. If we can assume that firms used 2015 to shore up security practices and have, at minimum, established a baseline for protecting firm assets with firewalls, password protections and penetration testing, we can expect 2016 to take cyber preparedness to the next level in the form of advanced features and analytics including phishing and social engineering tests, designed to increase the level of preparedness held by firm employees. With cyber-attacks increasing in sophistication, firms will need to spend time in 2016 working with managed providers and internal IT teams to continue the education process and identify strategies to outsmart hackers.

Categorized under: Hedge Fund Operations  Security  Hedge Fund Due Diligence  Hedge Fund Regulation  Trends We're Seeing 



Best of the Blog: 2015’s Most Popular Hedge IT Articles

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Happy New Year! Here at Hedge IT, we’re looking forward to sharing more educational articles with you in 2016, but before we do, let’s take a look back at our readers’ favorite articles from last year.

Cybersecurity Regulations Take Center Stage

The Securities and Exchange Commission took major strides to regulate investment firm cybersecurity practices in 2015, with the release of multiple guidance updates (Click for the September 2015 update). At a high level, the SEC has identified the following six areas as paramount for investment firms to demonstrate preparedness:

  1. Risk Assessments

  2. Governance

  3. Training

  4. Access Control

  5. Vendor Management

  6. Information Sharing

In December 2015, we participated in a Wells Fargo Prime Services cybersecurity event and the panelists outlined everything your hedge fund needs to know about the SEC’s security expectations. Read “SEC Cybersecurity Checklist: 6 Areas Your Hedge Fund Better Have Covered” for the full scoop. 

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing  Launching A Hedge Fund  Hedge Fund Insiders  Security  Hedge Fund Regulation 



Happy New Year from Eze Castle Integration!

By Katie Sloane,
Thursday, December 31st, 2015

It's been a remarkable and evolutionary year for the hedge fund industry, and it's hard to believe it's coming to a close. As we wrap up these final moments in 2015, we'd like to wish everyone a happy New Year! We look forward to seeing you in 2016.
 
Happy New Year from Eze Castle Integration!

Categorized under: Eze Castle Milestones  Trends We're Seeing 



IT Security Dos and Dont's: A Best Practice Guide (Video)

By Kaleigh Alessandro,
Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

If you’re a loyal Hedge IT reader, you may remember we highlighted a few simple dos and don’ts that, when utilized, can go a long way in shoring up your firm’s security. To make it easy, we’ve put these tips together into a video. Take a look below and discover a vast range of security tips and tricks from email encryption to proper security measures for protecting computers and mobile devices. 

 

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



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