Disruptions can occur at any time and without warning, which is why we should always be thinking about what we need and how we would respond during a disaster. Let’s not forget the tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004 during the holiday season. Thousands of foreign tourists were in Thailand during that disaster, and many were unaware of the risks within the area, evacuation routes and how to receive assistance.
Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning
Starting a hedge fund is an intensive task and there are many aspects of the business that a portfolio manager must consider. Expectations are higher than ever, and investors want to see that new hedge fund startups are taking the right precautions and steps to ensure that both the investment strategy and business operations are sound.
There are a wealth of considerations to review before starting a new hedge fund, and truth be told, most of these points are just as important to keep in mind if you are an established fund. Take a look and you’ll notice these best practices apply to more than just new launches.
Last month, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said the most significant threat we face as a nation is cybersecurity. That’s a pretty jarring statement given the threats our country faces in terms of terrorism and war, for instance. But the reality is, cyber networks have become the gateway for risks both on the global terrorism front as well as within our internal circles at our places of business.
With watchful eyes geared towards security threats, interest in cybersecurity insurance continues to rise. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Commerce have identified cybersecurity insurance as a viable opportunity to thwart the effects of security breaches and attacks by:
- Promoting widespread adoption of preventative measures;
- Encouraging the implementation of best practices by basing premiums on an insured’s level of self-protection; and
- Limiting the losses that companies face following a cyber-attack.
Data center facilities are at the heart of any cloud offering and, as such, are getting more scrutiny as hedge funds evaluate who the right cloud provider is for them.
Earlier this year we created a pretty infograpic that mapped what firms should look for in a colocation facility. Remember this?
Since not everyone loves infograpics, we decided to spell out what we look for in a colocation facility. Our due diligence is extensive, but here are some of the high points.
Ownership, Operation & Support: Eze Castle Integration seeks a colocation facility that is owned and operated by a reputable organization with vast industry knowledge and experience. Additionally, the personnel and client support must be of the highest quality in order to ensure that all Eze Castle colocation clients receive the best service and support possible.
First and foremost, Happy Halloween!
In honor of Halloween, I’m going to share a trick and a treat about the world of social media and investment firms.
First the trick.
Did you hear the story about how shares of bankrupt Tweeter soared when Twitter announced its IPO? If not, here goes. According to WallStreetInsanity, on October 4, 2013, “shares in bankrupt TWTR Inc. (OTC: TWTRQ) were up over 1500 percent as the company’s stock soared from $0.0 to $0.15 on extremely heavy volume. Seems some people thought the consumer electronics retailer was Twitter.”
This story demonstrates that traders are monitoring social media outlets for investment ideas even if they are not personally participating. It also shows that many of those folks buying TWTRQ didn’t quite understand how an IPO works or what Twitter will be valued at (certainly not pennies), but we’ll ignore that fact for the sake of this article.
This week Opalesque Radio featured an interview with Bob Guilbert, managing director here at Eze Castle Integration, on addressing operational challenges facing hedge funds with cloud solutions.
The 9:30-minute podcast covers a range of topics. You can listen to the full podcast HERE, just jump to the sub-features that interest you most below.
On April 8, 2014 two Microsoft products – Windows XP and Office 2003 – will reach "end of support". End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance for these products.
What Does This Mean?
End of support is significant for a number of reasons. First, this means that Microsoft will no longer be a support option should complex issues arise surrounding the software.
Secondly, Microsoft will no longer provide security hotfixes or any patches for these systems. This means that any security vulnerabilities left in these systems will no longer be addressed by Microsoft and calls to their support will not be worked.
The longer workstations keep Windows XP and Office 2003 versions, the more vulnerable they become to virus/malware/rootkit infestations and risk potential data compromise.
Last week, Wednesday 16 October, the Eze Castle Integration team in London hosted a breakfast seminar on Cyber Protection: Building a Secure Investment Firm.
Cyber security is one of the greatest threats facing the hedge fund and alternative investment industry. The 2008 financial crisis brought a wave of new and sophisticated attacks, as well as a high rise in security incidents to the industry. With this changing landscape in mind, our panel of experts -- Simon Eyre, Director of Service at Eze Castle Integration; Lawrence Brown, Partner at Simmons & Simmons; and Sean Blenkhorn, Director, Solutions Engineering at eSentire -- got together to address this very topic.
The hedge fund and investment industry is especially vulnerable to threats since they present hackers with opportunities to profit from sizeable asset pools. Many fund managers assume hackers are focusing on higher profile targets such as retails banks, but the reality is that they are targeting unprepared investment firms of all sizes.
What can investment firms and their service providers do to protect themselves?
Fund managers, as well as their service providers, should regularly review the security threat landscape and their security safeguards. Adopting the following steps can help protect firms from cyber crimes:
Clarify roles and responsibilities - Identify key individuals responsible for maintaining the various aspects of your firm's security plan.
Categorized under: Security
There has been a lot of discussion about, “best practices” lately when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery planning, especially as we approach the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. In fact, I had to pleasure of speaking about some specific DR and BCP best practices earlier this week during a webinar, 10 Signs It’s Time to Rethink Your Approach to DR/BCP. You can listen to the replay here.
If you do a Google search for “business continuity and disaster recovery best practices,” you’ll get several options to choose from. However, if you are in working in the financial industry, the first resource you should consider taking a look at is the best practices guide published by the SEC, FINRA and CFTC in August 2013.
Sandy was a remarkable storm that affected many businesses along the East Coast, including hedge funds and investment firms based in the tri-state area. Post-Sandy, regulatory bodies including the SEC, FINRA and CFTC met with several registered advisors to ensure they were prepared for future disasters. Based on the findings, these organizations developed a four-page best practice guide for investment firms.
We teamed up with a couple of Eze Castle’s DR and BCP experts earlier today to discuss 10 signs it’s time to reevaluate your firm’s approach to disaster recovery and business continuity. Steve Banda, Product Manager, and Lisa Smith, Business Continuity Manager (and Certified Business Continuity Professional!), joined us for a live webinar to share their expertise.
Let’s take a look at the 10 signs they outlined. If you’d prefer to listen to the full webinar replay (it’s only 24 minutes long!), you can do so here.