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Tools to tackle diverse security challenges

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Cybersecurity is a diverse and to most, a generally unfamiliar challenge, which the investment management industry needs to approach from several angles in order to be effective. 


Cybersecurity is a diverse and to most, a generally unfamiliar challenge, which the investment management industry needs to approach from several angles in order to be effective. 

Unfortunately, there is no black box, single hire or other singular silver bullet solution that will solve the cybersecurity challenge by itself. So organisations need to be prepared by having  an array of multiple solutions and tools at their disposal to defend against, respond to and remediate a potential attack.

The standards for cybersecurity compliance are currently undergoing significant overhaul, with the industry regulators contemplating a new regime entirely and the institutional investment community driving ODD firms to heighten security standards. Regulation is supporting this change with state, federal and global laws and security frameworks, standards and other requirements all becoming more comprehensive in relation to deliverables and controls.

“The world is really in a perpetual state of breach and there is no infallible solution that will guarantee a breach will not occur period,” says John Araneo (pictured, above-right), managing director, cybersecurity and general counsel, Align, “Luckily there remains no law, regulation or other rule that requires firms to provide a guarantee of absolute immunity from breaches, but rather the current requirements are simply that firms develop a combination of reasonable defenses and thoughtful and appropriately-scaled controls designed to respond and remediate any cyber security events.”

Vinod Paul (pictured, above-left), COO, Align, explains how increased regulation, ODD standards that continue to push for operational transparency, the decentralised workforce and cybersecurity risks generally have all converged and coalesced on the shoulders of the investment management industry. 
“Our Cybersecurity Advisory solution is one of several pillars that support Align’s overall approach to the investment management industry. This is based on the belief that, as the world becomes more and more digital, the underlying technological infrastructure of any investment management firm must be more robust, sophisticated, transparent and secure than ever before,” Paul adds.

The Align Managed Services leadership team recognised this back in 2015 and they believe that they have designed the new prototype MSP for investment advisors for the next few decades. 

According to Araneo, Align’s approach to cybersecurity within investment management is unique: “We understand cybersecurity is a multifactorial challenge that requires a multidisciplinary approach. Align is one of the industry’s leading firm that combines robust managed IT solutions alongside of complementing cybersecurity advisory services, allowing our clients to attack cybersecurity challenges on technological, operational, governance, security and compliance levels, contemporaneously, efficiently and at an appropriately scaled cadence.”

As the industry continues to develop and progress, Araneo and Paul point to the sophistication of the firm’s clients: “They will continue to become more informed and more demanding in their needs for technology and cybersecurity compliance. As technology, IT, and cybersecurity continue to evolve, Align will remain focused on the changes in the road and adapt swiftly and decisively to stay ahead of the industry and what our clients need.”

Align’s comprehensive managed IT services encompass everything from cloud computing and outsourced IT support, to Cybersecurity services that encompass information protection, user access, threat and vulnerability management, mobile security and incident response services. As a premier, award-winning Managed Service Provider with a specialty in the highly demanding financial services vertical, Align deeply understands the complexities of running successful and secure IT infrastructure. 

Vinod Paul, COO, Align – Paul brings over 20 years of in-depth financial services and technology experience to his role as Align’s Chief Operating Officer. Vinod’s responsibilities include the strategic development of Align’s Managed Services offerings, including oversight of Align Cybersecurity, the company’s comprehensive cybersecurity risk management solution. In his current role, Paul is also responsible for managing senior client relationships with alternative asset managers, providing ongoing guidance with respect to industry best practices and forward-looking trends in Managed Services.

Widely known as a luminary in the financial services sector, Paul previously led and innovated a leading Global Managed IT Service provider in its customer-facing engagements, including service delivery and business development on a global basis. Over his 13 years as Managing Director, Paul helped establish this firm as a premier Managed Service provider in the financial services space. Prior to that, Vinod was a director of technical services for Martin Progressive where he supervised an engineering staff supporting 6,000 customers, as well as a management and engineering consultant to IBM Global Services, Lucent Technologies, Tyco Submarine Systems and Penguin Putnam Publishing.

Paul serves on the global board of directors for Help for Children/Hedge Funds Care, a worldwide nonprofit dedicated to supporting efforts to prevent and treat child abuse. He attended Rutgers University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences.


John Araneo, managing director, cybersecurity and general counsel, Align – Araneo possesses a broad corporate legal background, encompassing investment management law, data privacy and cybersecurity law, corporate governance and employment law. Having published numerous articles on data privacy and data asset protection and other legal issues since 1996, Araneo is an established author, cybersecurity expert and a well-known thought leader on the legal, regulatory, governance and employment law issues related to cybersecurity. Previously, Aranao practiced law in the investment management space, representing investment advisors and fund managers, most recently as a partner of Cole-Frieman & Mallon, LLP, a firm that represents over 600 asset management clients and launches approximately 70 private investment funds annually. John remains a practicing attorney with Cole-Frieman & Mallon, LLP in an ‘Of Counsel’ capacity.

Araneo serves on the Committee of Hearts for Help For Children/Hedge Fund Cares, a global nonprofit dedicated to supporting efforts to prevent and treat child abuse. John received his Bachelors at Johnson & Wales University and his law degree from Maurice A Dean School of Law at Hofstra University.

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