Both private equity and hedge fund firms offer their client’s help in the handling of large amounts of money and highly sensitive data. With a company such as Agio, they prefer hedge funds because they feel private equity firms offer a higher degree of cybersecurity to remain safe and secure. Others feel this opinion is counterintuitive. Hedge funds are known for having complex systems, more transactions, more data and more movement of cash between those transactions.
Volume is not the only attribute which can determine how complex it is to secure any single entity. The difficulty for securing any entity revolves around the type of data, the information given during each transaction, the surface area and other qualities which make them much more difficult to secure. Agio can offer tips on how to start a private equity firm basing operations around secure cybersecurity practices. Below are some reasons why they are a bit harder to secure than other entities.
Top Reasons Private Equity Firms Like Agio Are More Difficult To Secure
It is not exactly simple to compare private equity firms and hedge funds because they are so different. However, if both firms were employing the same number of employees and had the same amount of assets invested, below are some of the top reasons why trained security experts would have more trouble protecting the private equity firm over the hedge fund firm.
Structured Data vs. Unstructured Data – Hedge fund firms are notorious for using structured databases for containing their data positions and trades. Employees working at private equity firms will often use unstructured documents such as Excel, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to create and send PDFs. Cybersecurity solutions will often be better able to secure structured databases over unstructured databases.
Surface Area – Surface area refers to both the data surface area and the geographic surface area. Compared to their hedge fund counterparts, private equity firm employees often travel to the locations of the companies in their portfolios. Additionally, the nature of their work makes it harder to predict exact data paths private equity firms will take. For example, private equity firms cannot predict deals they may execute in the coming months. Hedge funds, on the other hand, can use key data they collect to make exact predictions about how key data sets will be used and accessed for the next six months or longer.
Transaction Information/Publicly Available Deals – Acquisitions and transactions made by private equity firms are often listed in public records. This allows hackers to locate information and try to phish a company or office personnel for sensitive data. This type of deal is never public record with hedge fund firms.
Enterprise Equipment vs. Consumer Devices – Most private equity firms tend to own and use more consumer devices such as laptops and tablets. This type of hardware leaves a firm more susceptible to attacks. The hardware in these types of devices is able to be secured, but they often lack the enterprise management tools that are found in other types of firms more often.