Hedge Fund Industry’s Biggest Concerns Over Cyber Security Lie in Potential External Attacks & Security Practices of Employees

April, 2015 – In the wake of heightened activity regarding hackers targeting financial institutions, members of the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable indicated that their biggest concerns about protecting sensitive information lie in the possibility of external attacks and lax security practices among employees.

Cyber Security was the focus of the Roundtable’s April event, where a panel of industry experts discussed the challenges of fending off increasingly sophisticated hackers, malware and ransomware that is able to morph on an almost daily basis. “Security breaches have become an unfortunate reality for the hedge fund industry, so it is an issue that needs to be at the forefront –particularly amidst heightened regulatory oversight of security in general,” said Timothy P. Selby, President of the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable. “We want to make sure that Roundtable members have an avenue for learning about and discussing the most important issues in the industry.”

Given the speed at which malware and ransomware programs have been evolving, panelists agreed that there isn’t a company in existence –whether in or out of the financial industry– that is invulnerable to attack. As one panelist put it: “There are two kinds of companies: those who’ve been hacked, and those who just don’t know it.”

As part of the event, the Roundtable conducted its latest monthly survey on Cyber Security.


Following are some of the key findings of that survey:

  • When it comes to identifying the biggest risks in protecting sensitive information, 48% of respondents cited the potential of outside attacks; 32% cited lax practices among employees; 14% said the possibility of involuntary internal security breaches and 6% pointed to the failure to encrypt sensitive data.
  • 36% of members responding to the poll indicated that they believe their firms do not have adequate firewalls and anti-virus software programs in place to fend off serious risks.
  • Only 60% of respondents said their firms allow employees to use removable media, such as USB plugs.
  • Only 40% of respondents said that their firms use third party providers to secure their systems. Of those who do outsource security, 69% indicated that they believe the key decision makers in their firms are truly aware of the risks outsourcing creates.
  • When asked whether their firms have increased the amount of money they allocate to cyber security over the past two years, 63% of respondents said they had; 21% indicated that their firms have added full-time IT staff and only 16% of respondents said they believe their firms were already allocating sufficient money to the issue.

April’s “bonus” question: When asked how they believe the final season of Mad Men will end, 30% of respondents believe Don & Peggy will end up together; 28% believe Don will wake up next to Betty and everything will have been a dream; 26% believe the show will wind up in the 80’s with Peggy running the entire firm and 16% think that everyone will have died from either lung cancer and/or alcoholism.


About The New York Hedge Fund Roundtable:

The New York Hedge Fund Roundtable is a non-profit organization focused on promoting ethics and best practices within the alternative investment industry. The membership consists of investors, fund managers and other industry professionals who regularly meet to discuss current issues within the industry and connect with peers. Monthly events center around thought-provoking speakers and panels designed to keep members apprised of timely and important issues within the alternative investment industry. The Roundtable’s goal is to provide a forum for thought leadership, where industry professional have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills and to network with other individuals committed to advancing the industry with the highest ethical standards. For additional information about the Roundtable, visit: http://www.nyhfr.org