Over the last several years, a wide variety of financial institutions have been facing a number of different security challenges. This is because of the information that they are storing has sensitive data about their clients such as: the social security numbers and net worth. Over the course of time, this has become a major target for identify thieves who are looking to steal this material. At which point, the total amounts of attacks against these kinds of organizations have increased exponentially. A good example of this can be seen with a report that was released by the security firm McAffe. They identified 72 remote access threats that were directed against financial and government institutions over a five-year period. What makes this report so disturbing is that the attacks were largely undetected. As they were designed to steal vast amounts of data, without alerting security officials about their presence. This is significant, because it is illustrating how the overall scope of the threats against financial institutions has risen dramatically. (Bourdeau, 2011)
In the case of BCS Financial, they have been facing a number of possible challenges. Part of the reason for this, is because they are serving a variety of high net worth clients. As, the firm is known for storing and retrieving tremendous amounts of personal data that can be used as a way to understand the needs of each customer they are working with. As a result, the company is facing challenges surrounding the security of the information that they are storing. To prevent any kind of information from being compromised means that the firm must introduce a protocol that can effectively deal with these kinds of threats. To fully understand the way this can be achieved requires: examining how the use of technology can make the business more efficient, studying the impact of cloud technology protocols and the importance of planning / control procedures to protect confidential information. Once this occurs, it will offer specific insights about how the company can be able to address any possible threats. While at the same time, allowing them to utilize technology to more effectively service their clients.
Explain how using technology can make the business more efficient
The use of information technology can make the branch office of BCS Financial more efficient. The reason why, is because this will allow financial advisors and support personnel to quickly access client information about: their holdings, risk tolerance, financial objectives along with other relevant data. At which point, representatives can be able to offer customizable solutions that will address the individual needs of each customer in everything ranging from: the purchasing equity securities to estate planning. This is a part of an effort to keep up with the changes that the competition has been continually embracing. A good example of this can be seen by looking no further than, the system that is being utilized by ING Financial Services. Where, the firm has introduced a technology solution that will allow portfolio managers to communicate with buy and sell side analysts through the Bloomberg's primary research platform. As, this is designed to provide them with an advantage by: having greater access to the markets to assist clients in making decisions. This is significant, because it is illustrating in how numerous financial institutions are using this technology to improve their ability to service clients. ("ING Investment Management," 2011)
In the case of BCS Financial, a similar kind of solution is going to be utilized to provide our advisors with access to the latest technology solutions to address these challenges. At the same time, this will help the firm to be able to keep up with the changes in the technology that is being embraced by the competition. Once this occurs, it means that we can be able to offer customizable solutions that are superior to what many different competitors are providing. Once this takes place, we can address the specific needs of customers and increase the total amount of assets that are under our control.
The concept of cloud technology
To store the information we will be using what is known as cloud technology. This is when we are going to be storing all data virtually. Where, the firm will be utilizing the services of another provider to store and retrieve data about: clients, the markets, trading platforms, compliance issues and estate planning. The reason why this solution is being chosen is because, it can provide the company with a tremendous amount of data storage space without having to utilize in house servers. This reduces the costs associated with maintaining and retrieving any kind data that is necessary. At the same time, it decreases the possibilities of having the servers down, which can contribute to lost amounts of information. As, cloud computing will protect the organization and its data from facing these kinds of issues.
This is significant, because it is illustrating how this improving the ability of BCS Financial to quickly have access to large amounts of information without having to worry about any kind of lost data. At which point, the firm can be able to grow and increase the total amounts of storage, while not having to deal with possible challenges surrounding bandwidth or space in the future. Once this occurs, it means that we have access to a number of different pieces of information and solutions that will improve our ability to effectively respond to the demands of clients. While at the same time, it is allowing us to keep up with transformations that are being embraced by competitors. (Knorr, 2011)
The importance of information technology planning along with the control processes to protect confidential information and prevent major loss of information.
A major problem that is associated with storing the data of the firm through cloud computing is: that it is susceptible to major security breaches. To prevent this from happening, we have to create procedures to: protect the information and mitigate the losses of critical materials. As a result, we must examine a number of different elements to effectively deal with these kinds of challenges to include: looking at the software packages that will be utilized, the networks, email / instant messaging programs, website vulnerability and provide a disaster recovery plan. Once this takes place, it will offer specific insights as to how the company can be able to reduce the kinds of threats that they are facing.
The software packages that will be utilized
The first line of defense for BCS Financial is to use several different programs that IBM is offering to deal with cloud computing to include: Cloudburst and Systems Detector. Cloudburst is designed to provide a virtual firewall for all information that is being retrieved from remote data storage facilities. As, it encrypts and protects hackers from being able to monitor and attach Trojan horses to various data downloads. While, the systems detectors is when you can manage a host of different programs across a number of platforms. This will ensure that all applications that are being utilized will be able to: work effectively with the Cloudburst firewall that has been established. These different elements are important, because they are showing how this kind of software will allow the firm to download a wide variety of information from a number of different databases. While, allowing us to not worry about: any kind of major security breaches. ("IBM Systems for Cloud Computing," 2011)
The best network provider to store the massive amounts of data for the company is IBM. The reason why, is because they can deliver a virtual cloud network. This will improve our ability to integrate the different security features into the storage solutions that we are utilizing. Once this takes place, we will be taking steps to create…