For many on the buy side, it’s time to face the facts: Banks are no longer the most attractive targets for sophisticated cyber criminals—hedge funds and asset managers are.
In particular, the smaller firms, which nonetheless manage billions of dollars in cash and intellectual property, are vulnerable to crafty crooks with a little market know-how. It’s a situation that Eze Castle Integration (ECI) has been working hard to change over the years, and the reason why it’s won the best buy-side cybersecurity platform category at this year’s Buy-Side Technology Awards.
“In addition to facing tough market conditions, hedge funds must assess and address cybersecurity risks in the ever-evolving threat landscape they operate in. This is where Eze Castle Integration come in; we help funds to implement bulletproof layers of security and defence practices. Our clients rest assured knowing that they can rely on us to ensure that they have the technology, policies and employee training in place for complete cybersecurity protection,” says Dean Hill, executive director at ECI.
ECI provides such services for alternative investment managers in a number of ways. At a basic level it conducts penetration testing and threat assessments, probing the weaknesses of a firm’s defensive walls in order to shore them up against attack. But a large amount of time is also spent on the educational aspect that Hill mentions. This ranges from an institutional level, where ECI will take a firm through a macro strategy when it comes to cybersecurity, but also a personal level, through instructing individuals with respect to how to practice proper cybersecurity at home and harden their personal devices against intrusion.
Where ECI really adds value outside of this, though, is through its active monitoring capabilities. It has partnered with another firm—which Hill declines to name—to provide a security operations center that offers global coverage for monitoring a client firm’s infrastructure, meaning that there is always somebody watching for intruders.Looking ahead, ECI is busy integrating “next-generation” technology at present into its firewalls and other defensive arsenal, but it is also looking ahead into the next wave of emerging tech. Artificial intelligence, for instance, is “at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” Hill says, in terms of how machine learning can be applied to the security process. The firm is already using it within its own operations center. “As we head into 2019, I think that artificial intelligence will be a big part of the security offering,” Hill says.
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