Last night we had a great turnout at the February 2012 DFW IT Professionals User Group meeting with awesome audience participation and input.
The subject of hedge fund operational due diligence is one that has risen to the forefront for both hedge fund managers and investors in recent years. Historically, there has been a general lack of transparency within the hedge fund industry; larger funds, in particular, often balked at investor inquiries.
Due diligence, as a process, did not gain significant importance until just a few short years ago. Hedge funds managers and investors are now taking due diligence seriously and making conscious steps to maintain open communication and increase information-sharing. Operational excellence has become one of the most important factors to hedge fund investors today as they determine where to allocate their money. What service providers are you engaged with and how do you determine their quality of service? Investors need to understand why hedge funds have made each of their operational choices, including when it comes to technology.
Investors have become much more aware of technology and how important a role it plays in the day-to-day operations of a hedge fund. Hedge funds should be prepared to recover from both short- and long-term disasters and be prepared to outline their processes and procedures (in writing!) to investors. Hedge fund operational due diligence is an opportunity and a marketing exercise – one that funds should undertake with educated personnel and a willingness to be open and transparent. Show investors that you have a 3+ year budget for working capital without any performance fees. Make sure to properly allocate expense and investment opportunities if you decide to launch a single investor fund or separately managed accounts. When it comes to seed arrangements, pick the right partner and put parameters around potential issues that could arise. Become familiar with the changing expectations on the cybersecurity front, from both investors and regulators.
The Cybersecurity Interpretive Notice applies to all membership categories--futures commission merchants, swap dealers, major swap participants, introducing brokers, forex dealer members, commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors. But whatever approach is taken, the Cybersecurity Interpretive Notice requires Members to adopt and enforce an information systems security program (ISSP) appropriate to its circumstances. Description of ongoing education and training related to information systems security for employees.
NFA recognizes that some Members may face a significant challenge implementing ISSPs by the March 1, 2016 effective date, and any programs that are adopted will be refined over time.
Eze Castle Integration’s Cybersecurity Practice Team is available to create Written Information System Security Programs for firms. Operating capital may be limited in the first few years after your launch, so careful budgeting and long range planning will serve your firm well. Governmental oversight of the financial industry has evolved dramatically in the last decade.
Apart from registration, you should also determine if there are any legislative implications for your new firm. Since 2014, cybersecurity preparedness is also a critical area of focus for regulatory bodies. Cloud services offer more flexibility than traditional infrastructure models and, beyond cost-savings, can reap rewards for new launches. Of course, one of the greatest benefits to using an outsourced cloud service is professional management and monitoring. Beyond infrastructure safeguards, it is critical that firms implement policies and procedures to protect firm and client assets.
While the list of considerations is surely long for new hedge fund managers, we've whittled it down to 10 Keys to Launching a Hedge Fund Successfully - a guide for new startups to use when setting off on their new journey.
We at Eze Castle Integration have identified the top four reasons why backups are critical to not only a firm’s growth, but also their survival. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has instituted regulations on the storage of financial records and electronic communication, and financial industry regulatory agencies such as FINRA now provide standards and guidance information on potential threats. The reasoning behind these recommendations is the volume of things that can go wrong with your data storage solution. Regulatory and compliance organizations recognize the necessity of data security and advocate for firms to have a comprehensive backup solution in place.
As reported by Gartner in the 2015 Gartner MQ Report for Enterprise Backup Software and Integrated Appliances, by 2017, the number of enterprises using the cloud as a backup destination will double, growing from twelve percent (12%) today.
Consider the impact to your business if you lost the data held in your CRM, financial, or reporting systems.
Backups should be an integrated part of not only the IT department, but of the overall business strategy. Businesses invest large amounts of time, money and resources into their operations; however, most are lacking a plan to protect this hard work. Because the security of data is imperative, it’s critical that firms choose the right provider to maintain tight control and visibility over business critical information. Communicate – It is important to let your employees know as soon as possible that they will no longer be able to get to work. Technology – Technology has facilitated the ability for an employee to work remotely during a storm, but there are still some considerations to think through. Hunker Down –During severe storms employee safety should be at the top of the priority list. Set Workload Expectations – As an employee, a storm can be disruptive to their normal work day. Updates – As a consistent theme throughout BCP, communication is key, and continued updates will keep the employee centered on their work and allow them to respond to changes quickly such as the reopening of the office building.
The key to a successful business continuity plan lies in understanding the impact a disaster situation could have on a business and creating policies to respond to any such impact. The final critical element of a BCP is ensuring that it is tested and maintained on a regular basis. Or contact Eze Castle Integration to speak with one of our certified business continuity planners about best practices or to learn about why leading hedge funds rely on Eze Business Continuity Planning Services.
We spend a lot of time educating our clients about security best practices and encouraging them to implement comprehensive security policies and procedures to mitigate risk and protect both the firm and its employees. While companywide policies should reflect long-range expectations and corporate best practices, they should also include tactical recommendations that employees can follow to ensure they are complying with the company’s overall risk strategy. Provide information such as login IDs, passwords, social security numbers, account numbers, etc. It is no surprise that the investment industry landscape is becoming more and more competitive. A comprehensive DDQ covers a wide range of topics, from assets under management to audited financial statements and investment strategies. So, to help you get started, we have compiled the following list of some frequently asked DDQ questions. Does the firm have established, documented service level agreements in place with its technology partners to ensure a stable computing environment?
Is the policy regularly reviewed to determine whether the controls are operating as intended? Do the appropriate management officials approve the policy and any changes that may be made?
Does the firm’s IT staff (or technology partner) ensure appropriate access control to applications and sensitive company data? Is a solution in place to ensure mobile devices and laptops are secure in the event of loss or theft?
Has the firm established a dedicated location to retain backup copies of all critical data? Has a secondary working location been established to which employees should report in the event of a disruption or outage?
Is a comprehensive disaster recovery solution in place to provide system redundancy and ensure protection of critical data in the event of a disaster or system failure? Has the firm determined its crucial recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs)?
Resolution 2: Conduct a Security Assessment or if you rely totally on a cloud solution, make sure your provider has conducted a recent vulnerability assessment and request a copy of the report. Resolution 4: Ensure Your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Written Information Security Policies (WISPs) are current and accurately reflect your business operations and the evolving risk landscape. These factors may seem to support the belief that public clouds and free file sharing services would suffice for a business’s basic infrastructure and file sharing needs. While there are several popular services which enable file sharing among small groups of people, they are not easily scalable to support small businesses, and can quickly become clumsy and inefficient as the firm grows. While some free public cloud services are slightly more robust, these tools are not nearly as feature-rich as a dedicated private cloud system and are much more challenging to integrate with other systems or applications. Additionally, most free public cloud tools do not support integration with CRM, OMS or other third-party systems which firms will require as they grow. For investment management firms, uptime is crucial to operational efficiency and profitability. Having a comprehensive disaster recovery solution in place helps protect your fund’s data as well as its reputation. Institutional investors will likely not be comfortable having their information shared via a public file sharing service. The financial services industry continues to face compliance pressures and increased regulation. Comprehensive enterprise private cloud services can easily integrate with archiving tools to help ensure that all emails, IMs and attachments are indexed and easily retrievable. A component of Disaster Recovery that deals with the restoration of business system software and data, after the operating system environment has been restored or replaced. A pre-identified group of individuals that is reponsible for maintaining and executing the recovery process. A system of planning for, recovering and maintaining both the IT and business environments within an organisation regardless of the type of interruption. A collection of information on a wide range of areas from recovery assumptions and critical business processes to interdependencies and critical staff that is then analysed to assess impact a disaster may have.
The process of restoring and maintaining the data, equipment, applications and other technical resources on which a business depends.
A disaster recovery hot site is a remote physical location where you can maintain copies of all of your critical systems, such as trading applications, data, and documents.
A computer system or application that is essential to the functioning of your business and its processes.
In the context of a primary and secondary site, the primary site contains the original data that cannot be recreated.
The RTO is the duration of time and service level within which a business process must be restored after a disruption in order to avoid unacceptable losses. The RPO is the point in time to which a firm must recover data as defined by the organisation. A system of using multiple sources, devices or connections so that no single point of failure will completely stop the flow of information.
The identification and prioritisation of potential business risk and disruptions based on severity and likelihood of occurrence. The secondary site contains information and applications that are built from the primary repository information.
If regular testing is a critical component of an effective DR solution, why do many firms fail to do so?
Here at Eze Castle, we strive to educate our clients on different testing methods so that they find an option that best meets their unique business requirements. As we continue to educate our hedge fund and investment firm clients on disaster recovery testing methods and the available options, we have seen a drastic increase in the number of clients that elect to implement regular testing procedures. A: Users should verify that they have the functionality needed to work successfully from the DR site during a disaster.
A: If a firm fails to test its DR systems, they run the risk of the DR site not meeting current business requirements during a disaster. Q: Will testing our disaster recovery site disrupt our production site (and therefore normal business operations)? This year’s South by Southwest festival promised bigger crowds, bigger performances, huge headlining speakers - like First Lady Michelle Obama and lastly, an introduction to the next wave of dazzling technology.
As droves of people descended upon the 29th annual SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, they were expecting to see the next big thing in cinema, music and technology. At this year’s SXSW, Not Impossible Labs introduced a digital solution designed to assist those unable to speak. Architected by Eberling and computer software designer Javed Gangjee, they were able to design a technology that can take a person completely unfamiliar with computer technology and transform them into to a person capable of typing two-and-a-half words per minute or more. As in years past, this year’s SXSW did not go without its dissenters and naysayers that shouted about technology becoming too overwhelming and too large.
What’s great about this type of technology is that as it emerges and companies like McDonalds, Gatorade or Gillette convert them into incredible interactive marketing, it also allows for the technology to become mainstream, making it easier to get access to. And I’d be remise not to mention that this type of technology is already being used for good.
In 1842, a young woman by the name of Ada Lovelace, a British mathematician and daughter of Lord Byron, wrote what is considered to be the first computer program.


In simplest terms, it was the birth of the stepwise sequence of operations for solving certain mathematical problems and in conjunction with Charles Babbage, a path was written for the first executable computer program algorithm.
On Monday, we posted Fast Five Facts about Public, Private, Hybrid cloud platforms that list the benefits of each. The customer approached VAZATA with clear motivation to use hybrid cloud services and a need to divide the two applications between a private cloud services for the Accounting piece and a public cloud SaaS environment for the email -  by diversifying, it resulted in significant cost savings for the customer.
This same scenario is happening more and more frequently as hybrid cloud becomes a more popular option and it’s pretty safe to say that the operations team here at VAZATA would agree. If anything, you should revaluate whether you can diversify your service providers like this company.
To avoid confusion we provided some differentiators between public, private and hybrid cloud services. All this talk about the Cloud probably has your head spinning because of how different it is from one minute to the next.
When you’ve ensured that you have quick backup after those chaotic 30 days, your disaster recovery kicks in and you, as a medical institution, financial bank or the lady on the corner selling yarn for a living, fire it back up to get back to business. 95% of businesses experienced outages for reasons unrelated to natural disasters (ZOMBIES!) DRaaS provides protection that matches that of a large corporation. Studies show that at least 82% of enterprises had a hybrid cloud strategy, up from 74% recorded in 2014 and the numbers that are trickling in for 2015 are pretty phenomenal too. Back in 2010, the Whitehouse stepped in and introduced a new policy around IT reform, putting parameters around emerging CSPs, specifically the ones that wanted to do business with a Federal Agency or the Federal Government. VAZATA recently had the distinction of receiving Federal Risk Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP?) authorization for Managed Cloud Services after committing to a process that took a little over five years to complete; with that VAZATA was named the 21st company to reach that achievement.
Government agency or not, you can take advantage of where you store your mission critical data. We’ve recently made an announcement about the milestone to shed light around our Virtual Federal Image (VFI) platform and its benefits, including the common tools, processes, and ease of provisioning, all while affording agencies a level of security that is not normally available in existing public cloud environments.
VAZATA is a managed hosting, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and cloud managed service provider serving Global 1000 businesses, U.S. Back in 2010, the Whitehouse stepped in and introduced a new policy around IT reform putting parameters around emerging CSPs, specifically the ones that wanted to do business with a Federal Agency or the Federal Government. FedRAMP is the result of close collaboration with cybersecurity and cloud experts from the General Services Administration (GSA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD), National Security Agency (NSA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council and its working groups, as well as private industry. The Internet of Everything (IoE) or Internet of Things (IoT)  is the network of physical objects, devices, vehicles, buildings and other items with sensors and network connectivity that exchange data.
Internet of Things (IoT) or Internet of Everything (IoE) is the quiet communication that is happening all the time. What I found to be the most intriguing was that some of the technology showcased was eerily familiar.
At $4,000, this thing better spin records and do my taxes at the same time but to some, $4K for a turntable is an absolute prize. All in all, this camera is cool, I’d consider buying it at its $400 - $700 price point. Imagine this, you’re introduced to someone and you have a reaction that spikes your adrenaline.
The dress is comprised of dozens of Curie computing modules that tell the dress when to expand. Don't forget to do Quinn a favor and follow Paranet on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Prior to the economic downfall in 2008 and high-profile investment scandals made infamous by Bernard Madoff and others, hedge fund due diligence was viewed as an unnecessary assignment. They figured there would never be a shortage of investors, so there wasn’t a need to spend extra time satisfying their needs. In the past, the responsibilities associated with hedge fund due diligence would often fall under the role of a CFO, CCO or other executive – someone who had very little time to devote specifically to due diligence.
There has, undoubtedly, been a significant increase in the number of due diligence inquiries by hedge fund investors, and the questions they are asking are much more relevant and involved - that rings true across business and operations functions, technology departments and the investment side of the business.
They want more information, more transparency and more assurances that fund managers have done their own due diligence in assembling and managing their infrastructure and overall businesses. Small-scale disasters, such as winter weather scenarios, and larger incidents like the Madoff scandal have initiated a real shift in the hedge fund industry and highlighted the need for hedge funds to have robust technology solutions in place and systems and procedures to keep them operational at all times. During the due diligence process, they often ask to see systems at work, the processes through which data is transmitted and stored, and how testing procedures work.
Explain the designs and processes of your operations, particularly when it comes to your technology.
If you do not have an in-house IT staff, you can ask your technology service provider to do this for you.
You will score points with investors if you are up front about everything and don’t attempt to hide anything. Hire a consultant to help you with this – it is the single easiest way to prepare for a real investor review. Test your disaster recovery system frequently (at least twice annually), and show the results to investors. Investors want to see that funds are serious and that they value operations and technology as vital aspects to their businesses. It does not begin when an investor comes in for a meeting and end when they walk out the door.
Not only must emerging managers evaluate traditional deployment strategies, but consider current factors influencing the financial landscape.
There was quite a bit of content discussed during the 1-hour event, so we’ve pulled out some key takeaways. Target those who have a history of being receptive to founder share class and who may offer lower management and performance fees.
Recognize where the private cloud has an edge: high-touch, industry-specific service and support, scalability and application integration, and security and compliance. Value is derived from knowledge of the application, knowledge of business, and having a dedicated support team. The NFA's Interpretive Notice to NFA Compliance Rules 2-9, 2-36 and 2-49 entitled Information Systems Security Programs requires Member firms to adopt and enforce written policies and procedures to secure customer data and access to their electronic systems.
Executive-level participation and annual review of the information security program is expected. NFA expects to devote appropriate resources, such as providing additional guidance, to assist Members as they develop and implement their ISSPs. Don't forget to visit Hedge IT on Thursday as we reveal the last of our key considerations for starting a hedge fund.
Hedge funds, private equity firms and registered investment advisers now operate in a world where they are beholden to regulatory bodies with growing expectations and requirements.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which redefined the registration requirements for hedge funds, also set forth new reporting requirements and standards for safeguards. With the prevalence of cyber threats and attacks, the SEC’s Office of Compliance and Examinations (OCIE) has incorporated cybersecurity into its examination targets. Firms can add users nearly instantly – a welcome benefit for startups looking to ramp up quickly. You can do this by conducting employee awareness training to keep all users informed and educated about the cyber environment and the threats that may arise.
And be sure to come back to Hedge IT later this week when we'll be sharing an excerpt from our brand new whitepaper on the same topic! Regulatory agencies and investors now expect businesses to have backup solutions and comprehensive record-keeping practices. In addition, international regulators such as the FCA, a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, are also demanding firms to have a data backup solution. From hardware failure, software corruption, virus or network security breaches, to natural disasters and human error, the threat to your data is endless. Businesses that demonstrate that their data is secure and backed up have a competitive edge when security questions inevitably come their way. And by 2017, seventy-five percent (75%) of organizations will have replaced their remote-office tape backup with a disk-based backup solution that incorporates replication, up from forty-five percent (45%) today. A SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey by Symantec found that downtime costs small businesses an average of approximately $12,500 per day and medium businesses $23,000 per day.
Eze Castle partners with KeepItSafe, a leading provider for managed online backup and recovery, to deliver our Eze Vault services. For example, what exactly will your employees need to fulfill their functions remotely and are they trained to do so?
Therefore, if the storm seems to be impassable it is best to allow employees to work remotely. In addition to providing employees with security best practices they should follow, don’t forget to also include a list of actions they should not. Over the past few years, as regulations have changed and investors increasingly seek transparency, hedge funds are spending more time than ever preparing for the due diligence process. As this trend continues, investors are raising their expectations and looking towards hedge funds that display the highest levels in operational excellence.
One major area of focus is the hedge fund’s IT and accompanying cybersecurity policies and procedures. Are steps being taken to ensure visitors do not have the ability to observe or access sensitive employee systems and documents? Have appropriate training and documentation been established and shared with all personnel? So here’s a list of the top 4 IT resolutions that will help keep your hedge fund safe and sound in 2016. Everything and everyone is going cloud so take some time to explore what a cloud solution could bring to your firm. The goal here is to gauge the level of security in place to protect against external threats and cyber-attacks. With investors and regulators asking to review these polices, they are no longer just nice-to-haves.
Because infrastructure costs are spread across all users who are employing the service, each individual client is able to operate at a low cost. However, upon closer examination, it is clear that there are a number of areas in which these tools fall drastically short of meeting the crucial business needs of investment management firms.
Once your firm expands to the point of requiring additional applications such as a CRM, OMS and accounting tools, a free file sharing provider’s capabilities will no longer be enough to support your needs. For instance, although Gmail or Hotmail may be able to handle basic email needs, they will not provide the full business email experience as is attainable via Microsoft Exchange, and they are lacking many of the features and capabilities that Exchange provides. They also lack integrated voicemail capabilities, which means users cannot manage voice messages easily from their PC. Free public cloud services are not accompanied by dedicated, vertical-specific IT support that is incorporated with quality private cloud infrastructures.
It also instills confidence with investors and other stakeholders while providing a competitive advantage. These tools have earned a negative perception due to their lack of effective security precautions. In addition to the IT infrastructure, it covers people, facilities, workplaces, equipment, business processes, and more. High availability can be implemented into a firm's IT infrastructure by reducing any single points of failure using redundant components. In working on the Eze Disaster Recovery team, I have heard a variety of reasons from clients as to why this is the case.
Current technologies allow IT providers to overcome just about any objection users may have with regards to DR testing. We often find that firms grow, evolve, and change their production environments as they develop and expand their businesses.
At Eze Castle, we typically recommend that users think about their daily workflow when testing to help ensure all critical applications and data are available in the event of an outage.
Typically, DR solution agreements will include regular testing as part of the service package, and we strongly recommend all firms take advantage of this component. However, the reality is that many disaster recovery solutions (including Eze Castle’s!) can be tested in a manner that avoids any disruption to the production environment. Even just a few moments of downtime could be extremely costly, so it is essential that firms implement sound business continuity procedures. The program gave Don Moir his voice back and even more remarkable, he gained independence back as well.
A children’s hospital in Atlanta is looking at VR as a means to immerse their patients into a completely different environment while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. They had assets that required certain levels of compliance, while pieces of their environment that did not. Knowing which one is best for your company can be a challenge so here’s some fast facts about each.
In the movie World War Z starring Brad Pitt, they still had power, running water and some sense of order, so I’m going to start there. I get that DRaaS might seem a little extreme if you feel like you may not want to replicate your data in case zombies come crashing into your office.
To prepare for a zombie attack (or maybe an earthquake, whichever comes first), we know we have to have a continual plan to replicate your physical or virtual servers through a third-party as a fail-safe way to protect yourself from a man-made or natural catastrophe. If you’re an SMB, DRaaS is not something strictly related to businesses with large volumes of data.


With such a high level of utilization, the landscape can get crowded and regulation for public and private sectors can shift and change rapidly, making it feel like the Wild West. Our FedRAMP security authorization is the highest level of security attainable and with an intense audit performed every 30-days so you know your data is fully protected.
It’s estimated that this last year, a total spend of $235 billion was supported by IoT. In fact, I wonder what some of this stuff is even doing there since some were introduced back in the 1930’s. The electronic motor has been replaced with a wireless one to eliminate vibrations and deliver clearer audio. Let me begin with, the first Super 8 camera was introduced in 1965; 51 years later, here it is again. But throw in physical Super 8 film cartridges, and you might find me wondering why I didn’t leave it to the experts.
The workloads vary, the sensitivity varies, and the need for public and private cloud vary.
But as the hedge fund industry has evolved over the last several years, so has the need and desire for operational excellence. You can also compile a comprehensive presentation or simply have an open question and answer session with your potential investors. Due diligence is an ongoing process that can continue to improve and evolve as investors and fund managers open the lines of communication and maintain an open dialogue. Prepare an institutional set of documents up front if you are looking to attract institutional money versus high net money.
They include risk assessment, governance, training, access control, vendor management, and information sharing.
Additionally, firms must provide employees training during the onboarding processes as well as periodically during employment. For example, system safeguards such as data protection, disaster recovery measures and email archiving are requirements under Dodd-Frank. Having released two extensive questionnaires and several risk alerts focused on security, the SEC has made it clear to investment firms that they will be investigating the practices employed at firms and increasing expectations for the future.
Startups have a variety of options when it comes to settling on their technology infrastructure. Users can gain access to email, file services and applications from virtually anywhere, and built-in disaster recovery provides confidence that everything is protected from the inside out. Users should understand how security threats may present themselves (phishing schemes, social engineering, etc.) as well as how they can become cybersecurity assets to your firm.
Successfully operating a new startup beyond the first year is a feat many managers struggle to accomplish, therefore it's critical for emerging managers to gain a full understanding of the industry that awaits them and the hurdles they should expect to face.
Understanding the need and importance of implementing a backup solution can add instrumental value to your business. With today’s financial services companies managing exponentially growing volumes of sensitive data, the risk of loss grows as well. If something were to happen to the data center where your production system lives, you can resume operations in DR. Having a third-party backup solution provides geographic diversity of data assets, which is key for a complete business strategy.
Recently, KeepItSafe highlighted the success of a backup and recovery case when a company’s servers crashed, and with it, so too did their records of billing history, accounts receivable and accounts payable. With these unprecedented levels of snow, New York City was forced to halt public transportation and implemented a mandatory restriction on private transportation as well.
One must also consider licensing, infrastructure, security, and employee comfort as working from home will be a change for them. If essential functions are unable to meet their workload demands from home, then temporary office space with redundant power is always an option.
It is always important to review your business continuity plan and make sure employees are aware of their roles if an issue were to occur.
In today's landscape, however, investors and regulators alike expect and demand that firms implement preparedness plans for disasters and cyber-attacks. Take a look below and discover a vast range of security tips and tricks from email encryption to proper security measures for protecting computers and mobile devices. One important way to ensure your firm meets these high standards is to complete a due diligence questionnaire (DDQ) that can be shared with potential investors.
At Eze Castle, we frequently assist our hedge fund clients in completing DDQ questions on technology, and we often see the same types of questions popping up. In addition, a great resource for conducting due diligence on a hedge fund's service providers is the 200 question document published by the Alternative Investment Technology Executives Club (AITEC). From enhanced security and disaster recovery to resiliency and extensive application sets, a cloud solution may be a game changer for your firm. It is not uncommon for firms to change their production environments as they grow and evolve, but it is critical that DR remains an exact mirror so users have a seamless experience should activation occur.
Beyond having Business Continuity and Information Security Plans, you also need to appoint a Chief Information Security Officer and have an incident response playbook. Public cloud tools are typically larger in scale than private enterprise clouds, which provide users with seamless, on-demand scalability. While this tool may be suitable in helping your firm get off the ground with minimal upfront costs, it is not a viable long-term solution. In fact, several of these providers have experienced outages in recent years, some of which have lasted for hours or days at a time. In a business setting, this could mean that sensitive company or client data is exposed externally. Public cloud tools may not include a built in disaster recovery solution, so this is a significant additional cost that your firm will have to consider. The SEC currently advises that funds retain all internal and external email and IM business communications, a perspective that is shared by the majority of investors as well. Be sure to read our articles on the difference between DR & BCP and preparing for a worst case scenario.
Additionally, we are hearing from a growing number of hedge fund clients whose investors now require them to test their DR solutions and report on the results from those tests.
In turn, the DR site needs to evolve and change simultaneously in order to continuously meet business requirements. Results should be documented and provided back to your DR provider so that they can assist you with resolving any issues that may have arisen during the course of the test. Regular testing helps to capture the ever-changing requirements of a business, so that gaps or issues can be addressed in advance of a disaster. You could decorate the place with colorful balloons, paint brushes and whatever doodle you thought would be cool and then walk away with a printed copy of your masterpiece! But remember, you want to pick up where life left off before you ran away from your sleepwalking neighbor. From the security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring, it’s an intense audit all around. The company provides highly secure, stable, and scalable technology solutions that meet the challenges of its global customers using a proprietary cloud architecture called vStructure™.
Another one was Google Glass - people have actually coined the term Glasshole because of them, yikes!
Physically, there’s a 10-mm thick aluminum top panel and an aluminum tonearm, making the turntable look sturdier, sleeker and more contemporary. The device offers a digital LCD flip-out panel as a viewfinder, integrated microphone and the capability of shooting at 9, 12, 18, 24 and 25 frames per second. In its most refined definition, hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment which uses a mix of on premise and third-party, public cloud services with communication between the two platforms. Hedge funds should continue to take the time to understand where the real risks are within their businesses and work to instill confidence with their investors. Regardless of the assets your firm is launching with, you will be expected to have sophisticated and comprehensive policies and procedures in place from day one to combat cyber threats. With the birth of cloud technology, firms can save on upfront capital expenditures and host their infrastructure in the cloud – providing flexibility within those startup budgets. A reputable cloud services provider not only provides world-class infrastructure and resiliency; it also assumes responsibility for the management and daily maintenance of your cloud environment. Investors also have high expectations, and before they will even consider allocating money to your firm, they want to understand what protections you’ve put in place to protect their assets.
However, if something is deleted in the production environment, that action is typically mirrored, thus deleted in DR as well. DR allows the rapid recovery of IT operations while cloud backups provide another layer of protection by leveraging a third-party vendor to secure your data in an alternative location.
Jonas proved to be kind in the fact that the majority of the impact fell on the weekend but many firms can recall more disruptive storms occurring during regular business hours leaving many employees feeling stranded. Just as importantly, if an outage does occur, there is no way to effectively communicate with an IT support expert to address and resolve the issue in a timely manner. Also, because security measures are typically much more lax than with an enterprise-grade private cloud service, emails and other communications may be susceptible to interception by hackers. With a top quality private cloud infrastructure, disaster recovery is built directly into the offering and is seamlessly integrated to ensure your data is protected at all times. Public cloud and free email tools do not contain effective archiving and recovery capabilities, and could put your firm at risk of compliance violations should an issue arise.
This trend is putting more pressure on firms to participate in regular testing than ever before. By regularly testing their DR sites, firms can ensure all of these needs are met and they will be fully prepared to continue operations should a disaster occur.
This requires less coordination with user groups, and therefore has minimal impact on the firm’s daily operations. Because sedatives aren’t as necessary for the patient, the physiology and psychology associated with it has been measured with overwhelming positivity.
It wasn’t until I sat to rewatch all of the Star Wars movies before going to see Force Awakens that I saw it. The Internet of Things (IoT) is ushering in a new world that will change the way we live, work, buy, travel, communicate and so much more and without cloud-based applications none of it would be possible.
The camera will come built with a specific lens, but because it has a C-mount available, it will thus be compatible with ridiculous range of other lenses. Disaster recovery, business continuity planning and cybersecurity preparedness should all be viewed as full business exercises, not solely technology ones. Be sure to enable your firm’s processes to comply with SEC recommendations including risk assessments, infrastructure practices, policy documentation, etc. With hackers savvier than ever and financial firms as known targets, it’s critical that firms establish a comprehensive approach to security to not only meet investor and regulatory demands but also to protect firm assets and mitigate business risk. Backups, on the other hand, create an offline copy of your data which is not accessible except to restore, sometimes utilizing a third-party vendor to store that data in an alternate location. The importance of protecting this data is interconnected to the importance of the overall operations of the business.
To alleviate the stress incurred during winter storms, we sat down with our own Business Continuity Analyst, Matt Donahue, who creates, writes, and audits hedge fund’s business continuity plans. As far as specific remote access technologies, Matt recommends Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Citrix or Outlook Web Access (OWA), depending on a user’s specific needs. These tests do not need to be elaborate, for example, a work from home day or a call tree run through might suffice. With premier private cloud providers, your solution is accompanied by 24x7x365 help desk support equipped with the knowledge and resources to resolve technical issues quickly. Doctors are hopeful they can incorporate this technology in other aspects of medicine like surgery.
It was in Star Wars, Episode IV (Remastered) that I almost came out of my seat, I couldn’t believe it - Jabba the Hutt looked like a CGI nightmare! Plain and simple, if your device can communicate in any way to the Internet, the Internet will talk back. If not forthcoming, you may open up your firm to serious regulatory and criminal prosecution. Your cloud services provider should act as your trusted technology adviser and, as such, give you the flexibility and time you need to focus on your investment priorities without worrying about security updates and patch controls. If access to a file was lost in both production and DR, backups grant the ability to recover the data and continue business as usual. This is an example of a successful case; however, many businesses lacking a backup solution are not so lucky.
Matt spoke with us about different BCP scenarios and provided tips to keep your firm operational during the worst of storms.
That’s what the cloud is offering - the ability to maintain business development awareness, customer engagement and real time market analytics.
In the next few years, we’ll see an abundance of cloud based applications that will take data and make it transformative, funneling it into your sales engines, models and forecasts to feed the funnel. Your next steps should be an evaluation of whether your business can leverage the Internet of Things, how to ensure your infrastructure is ready for a cloud led industry and finally how make sure it’s safe, reliable and disaster proof. The new world of technology is coming your way and will shape many cloud-based applications, be selective of how you decide to leverage customer data and shape the way you do business to be smarter, more instinctual and agile.



How to prepare in times of disaster 5.5
How do you build an emp device

Rubric: Electromagnetic Pulse Shield



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