COO Thought Leadership Dinner: Complexity is the Enemy of Security

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Our fourth monthly COO dinner took place last Wednesday, April 30, at Rouge Tomate on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The thought leadership dinner series was born out of Gravitas Trends, our annual thought leadership event hosted every October. The annual event featured a new roundtable format, which was well-reviewed by participants; thus, we decided to host a truncated version of Trends every month.

The monthly dinners are meant to be private, informal gatherings of senior fund executives where they can talk industry trends and key issues around scale, efficiency, and growth. These closed-door discussions have proven successful networking ventures for our guests.

Jayesh Punater, our Founder and CEO, says the dinner series is a large focus for us in 2014. “Our monthly COO dinners are one of our most significant initiatives for 2014,” he explains. “We have found a great need for COOs and CFOs to talk about their key successes, difficulties, and initiatives in a safe environment. There is no set agenda at the dinners – the discussion is whatever the attendees want it to be.”

The open floor discussion last Wednesday honed in on cybersecurity and the increasing complexity with which funds must operate. Accordingly to a cybersecurity professional attendee, complexity is the enemy of security. A more complex machine does not ensure it will never be hacked, it simply ensures it will take longer to be hacked. But, simplicity could prove to be the enemy of functionality as firms must ensure their systems are compliant with increasing regulatory demands.

Cybercriminals are organized and successful operations have changed the questions from “Will firm X be hacked?” to “When will firm X be hacked?” Attacks are inevitable and nearly impossible to contain to one computer. Firms should work at moving the defensive model away from the computer and on to the network because it’s harder for the hackers to replicate the whole network.

The single computer, on the other hand, is a different story. In the meantime, consider getting a new personal computer every year!