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Trend Watch: Technology Predictions for 2015

By Charlene Haddad | Thursday, December 18th, 2014

As we say goodbye to 2014 and look ahead to 2015, we thought we'd pull together some of our top technology predictions for the new year. Take a look below and see if they match up with your expectations.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity was brought to the forefront during 2014, particularly when the SEC introduced its intention to focus on cybersecurity during this year’s round of examinations. Hedge funds have been overhauling their IT policies and upgrading their methods of preventing, detecting and responding to cyber threats. This was further reinforced by the many breaches we witnessed in 2014 including those that affected Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, and, most recently, Sony. By itself the Sony hack resulted in the release of personal data of both current and former employees, company wage data, communications from upper management and five movies being stolen and subsequently released to the public. As hacks and threats increase in complexity and frequency, we expect that cybersecurity will continue to be a big topic of discussion in 2015.  

Biometrics

Technology Trends

2014 has been one of the most turbulent years for firms with regards to safeguarding data. Firms have to be constantly vigilant, but even the most vigilant of firms have difficulty detecting hackers hiding under the guise of another user. Therefore, firms have been experimenting with the use of biometrics to analyze user behavioral patterns as a measure of determining whether or not a user is legitimate. This includes things such as click through rate, typing cadences and scrolling speed, but some financial institutions have also begun plans to implement voice recognition technology in call centers. These minute indicators would then factor into building a user profile, which firms can then match up against current behavior to conclude if a user has been compromised or not. Currently this technology is relatively new to the financial industry, but in the wake of recent cyber incidents, it may gain traction as a way of detecting cybercriminals.

Mobile

Mobile technology has been mentioned on past trend lists, but deserves another mention here. BYOD policies have become a focus in 2014 along with the concept of “dark IT” which has developed as company employees have brought new apps and technologies that have not been sanctioned by the company into the workplace. IT personnel may not be equipped to handle troubleshooting these devices if they have not been provided with the correct procedures and training to handle it, and this may allow for holes hackers can take advantage of to gain access to company systems. It is important that firms have appropriate policies to determine what sorts of devices and apps are permitted for work, which should be detailed in the company’s stance on BYOD.

Digital Currency

Perhaps one of the most intriguing things to hit the financial industry, bitcoin is a universal digital currency or cryptocurrency used in the same way as credit cards and cash. Bitcoins are stored in a virtual “wallet” on a cloud or computer. There are various software systems which transact bitcoins and are currently gaining the interest of investors as a way to trade. Though currently there is very little regulation from the US or other international governments, there have been movements towards establishing a financial policy relating to bitcoin which may indicate an opportunity for investors and firms. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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