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Cloud Technology Blog for RIAs and Broker-Dealers

Upgrade Your Practice for Optimal Succession Planning

Focus Financial’s Anita Venkiteswaran says regulatory changes might prompt greater urgency.

On September 19, Anita Venkiteswaran of Focus Financial Partners will speak at External IT’s inaugural Wealth Management Technology & Cybersecurity Summit in New York. This event gathers industry leaders and influencers for a day of collaboration and networking on the most crucial matters impacting their businesses.  This blog is the first in the series of profiles of speakers for the upcoming summit.

Odds are high that you have not given much thought to your firm’s succession plan, but it would be better for your business if you did.

8/25/16 1:27 PM / by Robin Brown posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, Technology

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DNC Email Hack Reveals Costly Risks for Financial Firms

Learn how to keep client and company data safe from malicious outsiders.

The release of email data hacked from the Democratic National Committee made waves last month, on the eve of the party’s convention. Financial firms may think their emails lack the kind of juicy information that would make them a target for hackers. Quite the opposite. Financial firms of all sizes can fall prey to hackers, and many may not have the resources to respond to an attack.

8/16/16 5:00 PM / by Justin Kapahi posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, Technology

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Safety in the Cloud: A Primer on SaaS

Our new white paper shows you how to protect your firm when using Software as a Service tools. 

You might have heard about Software as a Service (SaaS), but chances are you could still learn a great deal about all the potential cybersecurity risks that go along with it. Our new white paper details the steps you can take to protect your firm and your client data when using these applications.

8/3/16 3:48 PM / by Robin Brown posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, Technology

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Look Out, The Dark Web Lurks Behind Sites That Appear Safe

Your employees and clients are at least as vulnerable as celebrity CEOs in the technology sector.

You may have heard that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Twitter and Vine accounts were hacked last week. The group responsible for the attack has previously targeted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. These highly publicized hacks are a major embarrassment, but tech execs are not the only ones who need to be on guard.

You, your firm, and your clients can all be affected by hackers stealing passwords and user IDs. The threat becomes all the more sinister when hackers put stolen information up for sale on the “dark web.” The dark web, also known as the “deep web,” refers to encrypted websites that cannot be found through Google or other search engines.

7/20/16 11:46 AM / by Justin Kapahi posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, Technology

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Finance Teams Seeking New Heights With Cloud Software

Big banks are not the only ones taking a stronger interest in the cloud.

Cloud-based platforms are on the rise among both large banks and the financial departments of North American companies. Higher regulatory hurdles and staffing costs are a big factor, according to recent news reports. But so is a growing sense of comfort with the technology on the part of business leaders.

Successful bosses at RIAs and broker-dealers have been known to track technology trends unfolding at national and global corporations. In addition to gaining insights about innovative operational processes, wealth management leaders can strategize about how to adapt the most suitable of them for their firm’s needs.

7/5/16 4:00 PM / by Sam Attias posted in Financial Services, Cloud Desktop, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Technology

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Central Banks Prepare For Blockchains And Digital Currencies

The Federal Reserve and three major global financial organizations have taken notice.

A technology that first gained international attention through the digital currency bitcoin has now garnered the interest of the most powerful financial institutions in the world. Representatives from 90 of the world’s central banks convened for presentations on how blockchains could revolutionize global commerce. As wealth managers know, if something is important to a central bank, it eventually affects investors. (To get the basics on Blockchain, check out an earlier blog.)

In addition to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, officials from the Bank for International Settlements, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund all participated. They gathered June 1 in Washington D.C. to hear insights from Adam Ludwin, the CEO of San Francisco-based startup Chain, Jeff Garzik, CEO of the Chicago-based startup Bloq, and Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. 

6/21/16 3:35 PM / by Justin Kapahi posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, News, Technology, Events

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Ransomware May Be Stalking Your Clients, And Their Money

Learn how to avoid this type of malware, then spread the word to protect your firm.

We live in an age where cyber thieves can infect your computer with malicious programs called “ransomware,” which locks up your operating system and holds your data hostage unless you pay off the hackers. The U.S. Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council has warned banks about this profound and rising threat.

Financial institutions, government agencies and hospitals are all prime targets because they provide vital services that cannot risk shutting down for extended periods of time. What’s worse, hackers can use ransomware as a distraction while they penetrate an operating system, reaching end users that interact with these organizations.

6/8/16 10:00 AM / by Justin Kapahi posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, News, Technology, Events

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Global Financial System Fights Back Against CyberAttacks

Top nations and banks are seeking ways to prevent theft and data destruction.

Fear of cyberattacks on the global financial system have garnered intense media attention lately. Wealth managers must be able to answer questions from clients and employees about how their firm combats such threats. Broker-dealers and RIAs can look to recent actions by the world’s top nations and banks for guidance.

Officials from the Group of Seven nations met in Japan a couple weeks ago to assess each country’s cybersecurity and collaborate on improvements. A congresswoman from New York sent a letter last week to federal regulators asking what they’re doing to ensure U.S. banks have sufficient protection from hackers. And the head of SWIFT introduced a five-point plan for preventing repeats of recent bank data breaches involving its system.

6/1/16 10:34 AM / by Justin Kapahi posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, News, Technology, Events

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Hacker Network “Anonymous” Targets Global Financial System

The global financial system is under attack. That’s not clickbait. 

On May 4 the loose international network of hackers known as “Anonymous” successfully penetrated the website defenses of Greece’s central bank and announced its intention to compromise cybersecurity at other central banks, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements, the London Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, PayPal, Visa and MasterCard. This 30-day digital campaign is called “Operation Icarus,” and an executive at the technology company Gartner has warned financial institutions to pay attention.

5/17/16 2:55 PM / by Justin Kapahi posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, News, Technology, Events

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Central Banks Are Vulnerable To Cybercrime. That Means You Are, Too.

Learn from the $81M theft involving Bangladesh, the U.S. Federal Reserve and SWIFT.

An unprecedented cyber theft transpired in February, one as daring as it is revelatory. When unknown thieves siphoned $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank, by using the SWIFT system to trick the U.S. Federal Reserve into turning over the money, the criminals showed that hackers can exploit virtually every aspect of the global financial system.

Ramifications for RIAs and broker-dealers should be obvious. If some of the biggest financial entities in the world can find themselves involved in cyber breaches, so can your firm. Larger institutions are obvious targets but harder to penetrate, while smaller firms are often overlooked but easier to penetrate.

5/10/16 2:29 PM / by Justin Kapahi posted in Financial Services, Cybersecurity, News, Technology, Events

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