Public cloud computing is growing in popularity among investment management firms. In the past, firms embraced cloud computing technology via the private cloud methodology due to its inherent security features and service and support model. Now, with technological advancements enhancing security, investment management firms are embracing the public cloud model. Continue reading to learn why the investment industry has warmed up to public cloud computing.
Agility, Flexibility and Scalability
The public cloud's flexibility, agility and scalability make it an ideal option for fast-growing or evolving investment firms. The ability to add or remove cloud computing resources as your business needs evolve provides flexibility (not to mention cost savings, but we'll get to that later). This also allows firms to deploy new applications, solutions or technologies in a timely manner and with greater ease.
To learn more about the public cloud, you can read Microsoft's whitepaper, "10 Myths About Moving to the Cloud"!
The most effective cloud data security strategies feature several protective layers. System-level defenses, which constitute the outermost layer, secure the so-called plumbing of the cloud, or the compute containers, networks, operating systems and the other overarching components that facilitate cloud-based connectivity. Application-level security features follow.
Data-level protections form the final layer, which stands as the last line of defense against cybercriminals on the technology front. Past these layers stand your end users, who require training to ensure they don’t compromise the whole strategy.
While cloud-computing vendors are responsible for developing and deploying the data security features included in the first layer, internal IT teams or managed service providers must build out the two remaining strata.
Many cloud application environments are subject to established data security tools that have proven effective over time, including:
In the evolving technology landscape, coupled with regulatory concerns and investor demands, CTOs at investment management firms must be prepared for a host of complex technology challenges in today’s world. Here are some of the top challenges CTOs in the investment management industry are facing today:
1.) Data Security, Privacy and Governance
One of the top challenges, if not THE top challenge, for CTOs is cybersecurity. Troublesome threats include AI-driven cyber attacks, ransomware and malware attacks, phishing schemes and internal threats, among others. Cybersecurity programs require attention, expertise and consistent evaluation to ensure you have a robust security posture, and developing the proper protections, plans and programs is time consuming and challenging.
2.) Multi-cloud Computing Challenges
While cloud computing has grown in popularity and become more accepted by investment management firms, they were more comfortable with using the private cloud based on its inherent security. Now, due to advancements in security, more firms are incorporating the public cloud into their methodology. Challenges lie in every step, from planning and deciphering which cloud model best fits their firms' needs, to implementing and securing the cloud, managing vendors, and educating employees and other internal and external stakeholders.
3.) Compliance Regulations and Audits
All businesses in the financial space need to be especially cognizant of the regulatory bodies and compliance requirements specific to their industry. Compliance audits ensure that the firm is adhering to the regulatory guidelines and drive all technology related decisions. Failure to maintain compliance can result in hefty fines or legal action. This responsibility often falls on the CTO, and it is no easy job to maintain compliance across an investment firm.
4.) Strategic Investment in Technology and Budgetary Concerns
In general, IT budgets are growing among investment management firms, and with the progressive and evolving technology landscape, new tools, technologies and services appear and create tough choices regarding budget spend. CTOs must evaluate which tools are useful, valuable, and trustworthy for the organization. For some CTO's, getting management buy-in for new technologies is a challenge of its own. On the other hand, for some CTOs convincing the management team that a technology or tool isn't the right fit for the firm is the challenge.
5.) Finding Talent
According to our 2019 Global Investment Management IT Survey, respondents indicated that lack of in-house cybersecurity talent was a top 5 concern for 47% of UK businesses and 22% of businesses in the US. The talent pipeline depends on potential hires and their skill sets, and the shortage of talent in general, specifically in security, cloud computing, data analytics and business analytics.
Once you’ve decided to adopt cloud computing, it’s time to begin your search for a cloud services provider.
Likely, the first you will come across when looking for a cloud service provider is that there are many cloud service providers (CSP) out there. So, how do you know which provider is the right one for your investment firm? Following are five attributes to look for when vetting a cloud consultant:
Depth and Quality of Staff
Strong Communication Skill
A Proven Strategy
Experience in Cloud Deployment
Deep Security Knowledge
The official definition given in TechTarget’s IT Dictionary reads: “Authentication is the process of determining whether someone or something is, in fact, who or what it is declared to be. Authentication is a process in which the credentials provided are compared to those on file in a database of authorized users’ information on a local operating system or within an authentication server. If the credentials match, the process is completed and the user is granted authorization for access.”
Controlling access to ensure individuals only access the information they need is at the heart of authentication. With stories of password compromises becoming more common it is important to understand the types of authentication factors available and good computing practices.
As part of Information Security Planning, firms should also identify applications, services or websites that require at least one level of authentication (e.g. password protection, PC certificate, or security tokens) as well as any that may require multi-factor authentication.
Here at Eze Castle Integration, we take great pride in listening to our clients and the market as a whole. We follow a security-first approach in delivering complete cloud solutions complemented by the support of our award-winning global helpdesk, which operates 24x7x365. Whether using the public cloud, private cloud or a hybrid cloud approach, Eze Castle Integration excels in providing best-in-class solutions that address a firm’s specific needs.
Across the dark web underworld criminals are buying and selling stolen user credentials, including email addresses, usernames and passwords, to access high value (i.e. executive and privileged user) accounts. Once in a system, criminals steal financial assets, uncover trade secrets and exploit other vulnerabilities. To stop this threat, firms must monitor the Dark Web and respond.
Enter Eze Dark Web Monitoring, a cost-efficient deterrent to ATO activities. Eze Dark Web Monitoring provides early detection, alerting clients when credentials are discovered and forcing users to reset passwords.
“Cybersecurity threats rank as some of the greatest risks facing the industry today with companies of all sizes under attack. At Eze Castle Integration, protecting clients is our mission. We follow a security first approach to IT and deliver fully managed security solutions, such as Eze Dark Web Monitoring, to fortify our client environments – whether they reside in a public cloud, private cloud or on-premise,” said Steve Schoener, Chief Technology Officer at Eze Castle Integration.
Finding the resources to meet that sizable effort can present a challenge. Large global organisations like top law firms will have strong, hard-working IT teams, but even then, running a 24/7 information security monitoring operation may present a significant burden. Instead, it may make more sense to partner with an outsourced specialist in threat management, highly trained to track emerging types of attack and their modus operandi, as well as the best ways to see them off.
In a recent survey, we asked 150 IT decision-makers working within the global investment management sector to better understand how widespread technological change is affecting the industry. Managed cloud computing and outsourcing IT services were immensely popular among respondents, with 4 out of 5 respondents attesting to leveraging one or both of these offerings, while the rest are not currently using, but planning to use in the future.
Time for your firm to make the move? After you have deemed that it is time to move to the cloud, your firm needs to choose the right cloud consultant and the right cloud for your firm. Following are five attributes to look for when vetting a cloud consultant:
Depth and Quality of Staff
Strong Communication Skills
A Proven Strategy
Experience in Cloud Deployment
Deep Security Knowledge
New technology is emerging, cloud computing is becoming the new norm and cybersecurity threats are growing exponentially, but how does this impact investment management firms across the globe? Eze Castle Integration surveyed 150 senior-level executives with IT decision making responsibility to find out how the current landscape has shaped their strategies and attitudes on cybersecurity, IT spend and third-party outsourcing.
Our newest infographic explains the findings: see it here!
More than ever before, technology has become a key element of the already thorough due diligence processes that businesses go through, in order to secure funding from investors. Thus, being able to illustrate a strong and resilient infrastructure is vital for both start-up and established firms operating in today’s wider professional services landscape.
Today’s blog article will take a look commonly asked investor due diligence questions (DDQs), as well as share best practices on how firms can leverage technology to win the trust of investors and subsequently unlock the capital needed to help their business flourish.