In a recent webinar, members from the Eze Castle team talked about the security layers that are essential to cloud security for all investment firms. Topics for discussion include:
How to approach a security-first strategy to cloud systems
Defining the essential security layers from the outside in
Must have security safeguards from multi-factor authentication to employee training techniques
To start, we typically find three points in time when it makes the most sense for an existing firm to evaluate a move to the cloud. This includes during an office relocation, adding new applications, and an IT refresh.
Office relocation: This is an ideal time to evaluate your IT environment to determine if a refresh is around the corner. Often it doesn’t make sense to invest in moving a Comm. room that will require a refresh in the near term. We have found that migrating to a cloud environment prior to a relocation can be ideal because it makes the move very low risk and simplifies the process.
New applications: The cloud, of course, is great for applications because it gives firms flexibility to add on as their businesses grow.
Technology refresh: Hardware will typically run a lifecycle of 3 or 4 years before it needs to be refreshed. If you’re getting to that point where your servers and other hardware are getting stale, and if you’re going to be investing in new technology and upgrades anyway, it’s the perfect time to evaluate a cloud solution.
Categorized under: Cloud Computing
The following is an excerpt from Microsoft’s “Four Technology Trends Helping Businesses Thrive” eBook. The full article is available here.
Cloud computing is no longer just a buzzword.
Cloud technology sets the foundation of transformation for businesses. The adoption of cloud services worldwide has continued to accelerate at an incredible pace. For almost all industries, the cloud changes how people work, where people work, and the way people do business. While cost reduction is still a top priority, scalability and business agility have stepped to the forefront as primary reasons businesses are adopting cloud solutions.
The next generation of business applications in the cloud allow businesses to start with what makes the most sense for their business now, and easily extend and modify as their business needs change over time without IT complexity and disruption to their business. With the right service provider and the right applications in the cloud, even complex business processes can be moved to the cloud with confidence.
“By 2020 clouds will stop being referred to as ‘public’ and ‘private.’ It will simply be the way business is done and IT is provisioned.” – IDC
Digital transformation is taking connectivity to new heights.
We recently surveyed small and mid-sized business owners and employees to understand their most challenging problems. Lost productivity spent working across multiple systems that don’t talk to each other was a common issue reported by business owners and IT managers. Disconnected systems cause manual processes, duplicate entries, and reports that are out-of-date before they finish running. Lack of visibility hinders decision-making and puts the longevity of your business at risk.
For businesses to survive and thrive in this new era, they must embrace digital transformation. But what is digital transformation? A simple definition is the use of digital technologies, such as mobile, social, analytics, and cloud to transform how people work and businesses operate. Less-mature digital businesses are focused on solving discrete business problems with individual digital technologies. The businesses that are connecting their processes, systems, people, and data are able to get deep insight into what’s happening in their business. They are also able to anticipate what will happen and capitalize on that insight quickly.
Categorized under: Cloud Computing
With the new year now upon us, what better time to create your 2019 resolutions for your firm's IT strategy! As we know, the threat landscape is constantly evolving, cloud computing has gained momentum and is now widely accepted in the investment management industry, and new technologies and trends are emerging to support firms with their IT and operational needs.
Continue reading for Eze Castle Integration's recommendations for IT resolutions for 2019:
1.) Create a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan
As the experts in the industry say, it's not if, but when, a cybersecurity incident will occur. According to a recent report by TechCrunch, cyber attacks are set to spike again in 2019, meaning firms need to continue to stay on top of cybersecurity best practices, utilizing layers of security to protect sensitive data, of course, have a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan. This includes creating an Incident Response Team consisting of members throughout different departments in the organization, and mapping out the steps to take before, during and after a security incident.
Building on this, developing a Written Information Security Plan, or a WISP, is critical to securing your information, but also required if your firm is registered with the SEC. Having documentation of your firm's plan and systems in place to protect personal information and sensitive company information can help mitigate threats and risk against and protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of your firm's data.
3.) Create a comprehensive employee security training program
If you don't have an employee training program, it is critical that you create one in 2019. If you already have an existing employee training program, you must periodically audit this program, ensuring it is both effective and current. Having a managed phishing and training program is an effective way to train employees on how to spot and report phishing and social engineering attempts. These simulated phishing attacks against your employees provide real-time and interactive training.
With the holiday season upon us, we'd like to take this moment to wish all of our clients, partners, friends, and colleagues Happy Holidays and a healthy, successful 2019!
For investment management firms, downtime caused by technology or application failure is not an option. Efficiency and speed are critical functions in this industry, and if your firm doesn't have the in-house experience to manage and troubleshoot IT issues, unnecessary downtime is inevitable. Continue reading for four signs that your investment management firm could benefit from an IT help desk partnership.
1.) Teams are suffering from downtime.
2.) Processes are stagnant.
3.) The firm doesn't have the in-house experience.
4.) Your IT team doesn't have the bandwidth to support the firm's employees.
If your firm is showing any of the signs above, you could be operating at lower efficiency and wasting valuable time and resources. This is not only frustrating for employees, but bad for the bottom line. Utilizing a help desk partnership is an excellent way of streamlining processes, creating additional resources for employees, improving efficiency and even increasing morale.
When evaluating partners for your help desk, make sure that they have deep financial services industry knowledge and experience, are well known and recognized in the industry, and come with raving reviews. If your firm is global, make sure that they offer global support, and have engineers live 24x7x365. On top of this, having a partner who utilizes a service management system, or a ticketing and tracking system, will keep your tickets organized and helps streamline the client support.
For more information on Eze Castle's Help Desk, contact us here.
It’s no secret that technology is the key to seamless business operations. This explains the increase in IT needs and spend we have seen over the years. Moreover, a report from Gartner predicts that spend will increase by up to three percent by 2020, and more so thereafter.
Being cost savvy whilst reaping the benefits of technology and infrastructure advances is the ultimate balance Finance Directors across the globe wish for. Is this possible to achieve, you ask? Yes, we say. Keep reading for three four considerations.
When it comes to investment management firms, collaboration, efficiency, and cutting edge technology are all critical factors when it comes to growth. At Eze Castle Integration, we partner with Microsoft to offer our clients the option to utilize OneDrive and SharePoint, two tools that can dramatically improve collaboration and streamline processes for businesses, increasing efficiency for everyone. With more people working remotely and traveling for business than ever before, mobility, security and ease of use for applications is more relevant than ever.
Before we outline the five ways SharePoint and OneDrive can transform your business operations and enhance collaboration for investment firms, let's outline the functionality of these applications. It is also key to note that in this blog, we're referring to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, which are business tools and products of Office365 for Business. There are similar tools you can utilize on your personal accounts, however today we're talking about how they can specifically impact your investment firm and day-to-day business.
OneDrive: Our partners at Microsoft simply define OneDrive as "the Microsoft cloud service that connects you to all your files". Simply put, OneDrive for Business is a storage location or repository for files and documents. You are able to access this tool through Office365, anywhere at anytime, regardless of whether you're connected to your firm's VPN.
SharePoint: Like OneDrive, you're also able to access SharePoint through Office365 anywhere and anytime. It's a tool that helps firms share and collaborate on documents and files from anywhere in a secure manner.
Now, let's dive into the 5 ways OneDrive and SharePoint Improve Collaboration for Investment Firms:
As previously mentioned, one of the best features of these tools is the ability to access your files anywhere. Today more than ever, due to technological advances like these, employees are are able to work remotely with little to no change in the processes. These tools allow you to securely store your files no matter where you are and whether you’re connected to your business’s VPN, share them with your team members or partners, and access them from any of your devices. If you aren’t connected to your firm’s network, you can access and work on documents in OneDrive, and when you return to the network, the files will automatically sync with your network, ensuring a seamless transition from working at home or from a plane to being back in the office.
Determining when the right time to move to the cloud is a challenge that many firms can face. The “real” answer is that it is never too early to outsource your IT. The future is cloudy, but that’s a good thing. Here are our 5 signs that it is time to outsource your IT.
Your Business Is in the Midst of Growth/Office Re-location
Moving to a new office securely, effectively and without complications takes a lot of planning and strategy. There are many technology areas that a firm should consider before, during, and or after a move. One of them includes outsourcing your IT. It is important that your firm takes the time to account for all the technology and data in its current office space and how much equipment you are bringing to the new space, so you can have enough space and power. Some firms might realize that the space they are moving to won’t be big enough, or that it is not fiscally logical to move outdated technology.
An office move or relocation is an ideal time to switch to the cloud. Many firms are understandably reluctant to take on the expense of moving a massive, expensive, and often outdated infrastructure to a new location – particularly if the company expects to phase out certain portions or components in the following 24-36 months. In such cases, migrating to the cloud before relocating an office can be a smart move.