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.
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.
Having a strong technology infrastructure in place is the backbone to any successful business. It helps firms to ensure uptime, unlock maximum operating efficiency and be risk-averse. A ‘strong’ infrastructure model is futureproof. It’s capable of responding quickly and effectively to any new opportunities and threats in the ever-evolving landscape that businesses operate in. Firms today are encouraged to evaluate their existing IT, and to think about shifting from a traditional, sluggish and inflexible structure to a more fluid model.
Keep reading for three key considerations to help your business achieve a futureproof stance.
In any relationship, when things are good, they’re usually pretty good. And when things are bad, sometimes they are really bad. There may come a point when you need to evaluate whether you’re still a good fit together.
Just like with a romantic relationship, your firm’s connection to a service provider (especially an infrastructure/cloud provider you rely on daily) should be strong enough to withstand a few hiccups and healthy enough to warrant open communication at all times. In some cases, it might be clear that you’re in a good place and moving forward together, but sometimes there are sure signs it’s time to call it quits.
Here are a few of those signs:
1. Your provider’s service levels are not up to snuff.
Maybe you recently experienced a major service outage or find that you not-so-conveniently have to work around confusing and interrupting maintenance schedules during work hours. You’re constantly frustrated and don’t feel like you are receiving the level of support that was agreed to – both verbally and as part of your Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Your SLA should clearly indicate the uptime standard (e.g. 99.995% availability) as well as repercussions to any breaches in the contract (for example, service credits) and associated RPOs if disaster recovery is involved
Outsourcing in the Alternative Investment Management Industry: Navigating Cyber, Legal and Operational Risks + Webinar Replay
Investment firms are increasingly drawn to outsourcing to manage complex technology and operational requirements. And, of course, with this evolution comes a range of considerations. In a recent webinar, Eze Castle Integration’s Executive Director, Dean Hill, and, Lawrence Brown, Information, Communications and Technology Partner at law firm Simmons & Simmons, explored the cyber, legal and operational risks for firms looking to outsource.
Watch the full webinar replay here.
Technology has changed the working world and continues to do so as it evolves at a rapid speed. Law firms around the globe have seen a significant improvement in the speed and efficiencies of business processes, gained from IT advances over the past two decades. Equally, the number of threats and risks targeting firms are on the rise. Cyber-attacks and social engineering methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated and deceptive in their approach to steal confidential client and firm data. For example, law firm Mossack Fonseca was under international scrutiny when more than 11.5 million firm documents, coined as ‘The Panama Papers’, were leaked in 2017. More recently, we’ve seen reputable businesses such as Facebook and British Airways fall victim to malicious breaches. As a result, firms and their clients are becoming more risk averse and paying greater attention to the security measures and practices in place to protect their reputation. And, with October globally recognised as ‘Cybersecurity Awareness Month’, there is no better time for firms to assess and strengthen any defence practices in place.
The support of a trusted managed services provider can help your firm keep on top of all things IT and leverage new innovations to retain and build your client base - all whilst boosting your operating efficiency as a business. Consider these top five reasons for partnering with a trusted managed services provider to see how you can take your firm to the next level.
Investment risk plays an important role in the life of a hedge fund manager, but technology risk should not. When it comes to your firm’s technology systems and operations, you want things to run efficiently, not add more stress to your already crowded plate.
Mitigating technology risk is a critical step to ensuring your hedge fund operates smoothly and successfully. Following are a few areas to keep in mind as you evaluate your firm’s technology risk:
Layers of Redundancy
One way to reduce your firm’s technology risk is to add layers of redundancy throughout your infrastructure. Whether you’re utilizing a cloud infrastructure or an on-premise environment, your servers, networking and telecomm lines should feature N+1 availability, a configuration in which multiple components have at least one independent backup component to ensure system functionality continues in the event of a failure.
With devices such as smartphones, wearable technologies and other smart devices becoming so prevalent in our everyday lives, it is no wonder that enterprises are taking advantage of the Internet of Things, or IoT. However, there are still some common misconceptions about IoT in the age of enterprise mobility. We outline four common misunderstandings and realities below.
Misconception #1: IoT is new technology
Reality: With approximately two-thirds of the world's 7.6 billion population now owning a mobile phone, and an estimated 50% those thought to be smartphones, IoT is anything but a new technology. Enterprises worldwide are expected to invest over $772 billion in IoT technology in 2018 alone, and by 2021 that number is expected to pass $1 trillion. With that said, by 2021, there may be more than 20 billion active IoT devices throughout the globe.
Misconception #2: IoT is only for consumer products
Reality: Building on our last point, with an estimated 20 billion IoT devices by 2021, the landscape is open for opportunity for enterprises looking to implement and utilize this technology for innovation and growing their business.
Since its launch, our Eze Voice offering has been providing clients reliable service for their workplace communication needs. For those of you who are unfamiliar with our VoIP offering, Eze Voice is a cloud-based solution that combines high levels of redundancy and quality of service with the other features that the financial industry requires. The platform uses our global private cloud infrastructure, the Eze Private Cloud, and is ideal for firms that require flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness that accompany cloud-based services.
On top of the flexibility and cost-effective nature of hosted voice, additional benefits of using a hosted voice platform include unlimited calling minutes, business continuity, and functionality and connectivity for remote or mobile workers.
How does it work?
When it comes to cloud terminology, the definitions can be...cloudy...for lack of a better word. While cloud computing is considered a business imperative, it can be complicated trying to decipher which model is best for your firm. Traditionally, the financial sector has outsourced to the private cloud due to the security it provides around the industry's highly classified and sensitive data. Now, many firms are moving to a hybrid cloud strategy, a mix of public and private cloud models.
Recently, we’ve seen a new model emerge: the multi-cloud strategy. While the multi-cloud strategy and hybrid cloud strategy are similar and are often confused, they have two different IT infrastructure models. According to TechTarget, a multi-cloud strategy is "the use of two or more cloud computing services for your cloud strategy." It is generally a mix of public cloud environments (like AWS, Google, Microsoft, and IBM), though it could be utilizing two private cloud infrastructures, or a combination of public and private. By that definition, hybrid cloud can be considered a type of multi-cloud strategy.
Now, to refresh, a hybrid cloud methodology converges features from the public and private cloud and on-prem solutions to create a strategy with the best features from public and private clouds. This creates a flexible platform that can meet a broad range of needs, including flexibility and security needs.
As previously mentioned, there are similarities between the two methodologies; hence they are often mistaken for one another. Both the hybrid cloud methodology and a multi-clouds strategy:
Utilize a mix of clouds to create an ideal structure for their environment
Have flexibility from multi-cloud access
Can tailor plan based on budget requirements
Increase redundancy due to multiple clouds