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09 Feb 2016

Next Generation Data Security

Today on the blog, learn about the advantages of next generation data security and why traditional forms of encryption are no longer enough when it comes to protecting data.

Historically, encryption was the best way for hedge funds to keep data secure. Encryption is the process of encoding data so that only authorized parties can have access and focuses on controlling access to data rather than controlling the data itself. To achieve a higher level of data security, more restrictions around behavior would have to be set. But in today’s mobile world, employees need to be able to transport files outside of the corporate network in order to travel and work from home efficiently. As a result, hedge funds are left struggling with the conflict of being able to achieve data security while still maintaining a flexible and efficient work environment. Next generation data security has come about as a result of this challenge.

Next generation data security focuses on controlling data at the file level as opposed to controlling the data’s location. Traditional forms of data security, such a disk and file encryption, restrict location, and are difficult to accommodate the flexible, mobile work environment required by most hedge funds.

With traditional data security, once the file leaves the network, the administrator loses control, and the only way to combat this risk is by setting up cumbersome, location based permissions. With newer forms of data security, administrators can control and protect information independent of where it is located, whether that be in file shares, emails, laptops, or the cloud, and revoke access at any given time. This allows employees to work flexibly while still providing appropriate levels of security, and is especially helpful in the case of an employee leaving the hedge fund.

It is very important that hedge funds adapt to this next generation of data security if they want to keep up with the technology demands of the hedge fund industry. Despite many hedge funds adopting policies that prohibit cloud based file sharing or USB drives, many employees will still find a way to use them if doing so makes their life easier. Hedge funds must accept and adapt to this challenge, and can own the situation by investing in solutions that do not inhibit employee productivity and that focus on controlling the data itself rather than the perimeters. Next generation data security acknowledges the need for workplace efficiency while still meeting the new regulatory requirements pertaining to data security and control.

RFA has recently released a new, next generation data security service that goes beyond the capabilities of traditional disk and file encryption so that hedge funds can securely share and store files on any device. Administrators receive direct insight into where and how information is being used, and can revoke access or delete files regardless of location. The new service directly responds to the SEC requirements relating to data control and builds upon RFA’s existing cybersecurity offering which includes data governance, user training and testing capabilities.

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