Collaboration between the financial services industry and government entities has increased in response to rapidly evolving cybersecurity threats, but both sides agree there is room for improvement. Experts at the SmartBrief Cybersecurity Forum in New York City on Tuesday identified increased information sharing and the enactment of legislation already making the rounds on Capitol Hill as two ways to enhance the security of today’s financial markets.

Policy Enhancements

Karl Schimmeck, managing director of financial services operations for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said cybersecurity initiatives undertaken by the Obama Administration earlier this year have spurred greater engagement from a host of government agencies. Schimmeck also cited the NIST Framework unveiled in 2014 as example of the government helping industry devise best practices that can be put to use by all firms – large and small.

Chris Feeney, president of the Financial Services Roundtable’s BITS technology policy division, said government could help by harmonizing state laws within the U.S. (read more…)

The volume of data associated with communications in the financial services sector has exploded in recent years. But as firms allow communication to take place across more channels, a recent survey from Smarsh finds compliance efforts are not keeping pace.

Nearly one-third (32%) of firms that allow business communication through employees’ personal social media accounts do not have supervision or social media archiving solutions in place to monitor those messages. The compliance gap doubles to 64% when it comes to text messages – even as regulations call for the timely capture and production of e-communications upon request.

“You’ve got advisors and brokers communicating with their customers and communicating with business partners in the office all over text messaging because it is easy and its everywhere. The problem is most organizations don’t have the means to capture, archive or reproduce those communications,’ explains Smarsh founder and CEO Stephen Marsh. “Out of all the questions the survey asks and all the different aspects of compliance gaps, text messaging is the biggest risk area for many firms.”

These compliance gaps and other industry trends are highlighted in the Smarsh 2015 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey. (read more…)

Imagine yet another meeting to discuss the new building you’ve been hired to design or construct. But, instead of just sitting around looking at 2D plans and trying to “see” what it will look like, you all take out your tablet or smartphone. You fire up an application, point the camera at the plan and immediately are able to visualize a 3D building information model of what the building – or building component — looks like from your perspective.

Augmented reality construction technology

Move the camera around a bit to look at the roof or through the windows. Strip off the cladding and see the structural steel, the heating and ventilation conduits and then decide the best locations to run the networking cables to avoid clashes. And do it all from the comfort of a climate controlled room instead of the dusty plot of land where the building will be. (read more…)

“Without financial services, nothing else happens.” So says Broadridge President and CEO Rich Daly. SmartBrief caught up with Daly on the sidelines of the 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference to discuss how financial services firms can turn technology challenges and operational burdens into competitive advantages.

What do you think about the potential of financial utilities?

I have heard this idea for a long time. The elephant in the room is that nobody in the history of the world has ever taken a single-entity platform and successfully converted it to a multi-entity platform. I am not saying it is impossible, but no one has ever done it. It is like taking a studio apartment and saying you want to convert it into a sports arena. I guess you could do it, but you are starting with something that is entirely different to begin with.

The answer is trying to take the infrastructure we already have and using technology to re-engineer it so it is truly less costly for everyone. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by Interactive Data.

Martin Williams is recognized as an expert on the creation, collection and distribution of high-quality reference data for use across the financial instrument processing lifecycle. As vice president of Interactive Data’s Pricing and Reference Data Product Development team, Mr. Williams is responsible for the product strategy and for identifying and developing new business opportunities. Here he talks about how managed data services can help solve issues with data quality.

Question: What are managed data services and how do they differ from traditional data management?

Marty Williams: Managed data services are hosted solutions that provide access to great breadth and depth of data, using standard interfaces. By utilizing managed data services, firms are able to minimize internal IT and data management requirements and receive access to a wealth of data directly to their desktops, enabling a broader range of users to leverage information.

Traditionally, firms would manage the data acquisition, technology and infrastructure independently, but this has proven to be a time consuming and expensive practice. (read more…)