Thursday, February 17, 2011

Real-time financial risk analysis solution for banks now available

Polaris Software, a company that specializes in financial technology, has recently launched a new risk assessment platform for international banks called Global Risk Audit (GRA).

GRA offers real-time management of financial figures coupled with credit audit capabilities that precisely assess the liquidity and credit risk exposure across dynamically intricate, mass business transactions.

The new banking solution from Polaris provides users with the ability to centralize exposure management across the bank's product offerings and assist in executing better-informed credit decisions.

GRA is a scalable solution to facilitate high volume payment requests and offers a flexible system to process variant messaging and communication standards.

The new innovation is parallel to Sageworks' web-based financial analysis software products. These tools, which are used widespread by lenders and financial analysts, help professionals monitor loan portfolios, assess credit risk, make industry comparisons, in addition to many other features to help improve client relations.

Polaris' GRA is based on SOA (service orientated architecture), covering specific business and financial services, modular types and reusable components - all of which can be used independently per client or converged with multiple accounts.

The product is also able to track bank risk with fast and accurate financial information about clients - by customer and industry sector; adaptability to coexist with the banks' existing business applications landscape; improved customer service such as reduced error rates automated referral process, enhanced global MIS reports at the customer level.

The solution also empowers the credit risk management team to enhance the available balance check process with the introduction of multiple balance computation by combining multiple balance/credit entities and accordingly frame the decisions.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Microsoft makes more managerial shifts

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, sets to extend a managerial shake-up targeted to adding additional product executives with educational backgrounds in engineering background.

These shifts may be announced this month, said one of the individuals. In January, Ballmer unleashed a server division president, claiming the company needed new leadership that could focus on areas such as cloud computing software.

Microsoft's move would broaden an effort to promote more people in management who have skills in engineering as well as experience executing product plans - an effort to chase key Web services rivals such as Apple Inc. and Google - two leaders in smartphones and tablet computers. The initiative is also an attempt to quite criticism from the board and investors that Microsoft is falling behind in some markets.

“Engineering is become a core focus because the company's CEO is seeing a need to expand on a vision. In order to execute on new technologies, rather than focusing on sales on sectors like used laptops.” said an analyst at research firm associated with Microsoft.

Ballmer wants to earn Microsoft a bigger piece of the pie in mobile phones and tablet computers, as well as ensure that the company isn't left in the dust around cloud software. Cloud technology enables customers keep their applications and information in remote data storage centers to access them over the Internet.

Some of the top management position replacements will most likely be executives who understand how to combine server software with Web-based services. Shifting the management team would also allow Ballmer re-exert his influence amid mounting criticism from investors, the people said.

In addition to the managerial changes soon to take place, efforts to buy Cisco equipment and build a solid hardware foundation are being considered. While it may seem like a long term process to up the company's technical capabilities, hints of a doing business with a Cisco reseller are being passed around.

Microsoft investors are concerned that the company is falling too far behind in tablet computers and mobile phones, said an analyst at Loomis Sayles & Co. Those devices could replace some personal-computer purchases, hindering a core revenue stream from Microsoft’s Windows operating system, he added.

Microsoft’s board has voiced concerns about Ballmer’s leadership as well, citing the company’s performance in mobile phones and new types of computing devices, according to a September regulatory filing.

"We need to ramp it up" said a inside official at the company. "Too many consumers are looking for used Dell computers, refurbished HP notebooks, and other refurbished products."

The CEO has already expressed a desire to appoint engineers or product experts to run divisions. Key management positions were replaced by engineering experts, rather than other company executives who were thought to be next in line. Although not for certain, there is some word about the company putting personnel on tasks specifically to help buy Cisco hardware.

When Chief Software Architect of Microsoft announced plans to step down in last year, Ballmer elected not to replace that role, claiming the company had “strong technical leaders in each business group.”

"We need to start driving new, innovative programs. Instead of competing with the 'Sell Cisco hardware' market, we need evolve into the tech company we set out to be." said a spokesperson in a recent announcement.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hackers Breach Nasdaq

Federal government investigators are puzzling the pieces to identify Hackers who have repeatedly penetrated the computer network of the company that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The platform that facilitates the trading operations of the exchange was not compromised, investigators told the media. However, it couldn't be determined which other parts of Nasdaq's computer network were hacked.

Official on the case are considering a wide range of possible motives for the hack, including theft of trade secrets, unlawful financial gain and a national-security threat designed to hinder the exchange.

Because of Nasdaq's vital role to many other critical systems, the hacking has set off a series of alarms within the government. Such systems include power companies, air-traffic-control systems, auto transport providers and all part of the nation's basic infrastructure. Other infrastructure components have been compromised in the past, including a situation in which hackers implemented potentially viral software programs in the U.S. electrical grid, according to national-security officials.

"So far, (the hackers) appear to have just been looking around," said an individual involved in the Nasdaq matter. Another person familiar with the case said the incidents were, for a computer network, the equivalent of someone snooping around someone's house and not touching anything.

Investigation into the matter was initiated by the Secret Service and now the case involves the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The motive mystery of the hackers is making investigators scratch their heads. They remain unsure whether they have completely plugged all potential gaps in the exhange's security—especially considering invaders often seek new routes to breach systems.

The Nasdaq case is part of what cyber-crime authorities consider a broader problem of hackers nosing around corporate computer networks.

Businesses in the U.S. are a consistent target, and often times their public websites are vandalized. It is less common for hackers to break into internal systems. Breaches like the case with the trading exchange will rarely see the media because companies are afraid that acknowledging such hacks would chase away customers.

A former World Bank computer security official who now works for Core Security Technologies said the most elite hackers are increasingly targeting financial institutions, or companies tied to many connections, like car shipping companies and those involved in the stock market.

Many hackers also pinpoint companies tied to financial analysis software due to their valuable database information.

"Many sophisticated hackers don't immediately try to monetize the situation; they oftentimes do what's called local information gathering, almost like collecting intelligence, to ascertain what would be the best way in the long term to monetize their presence," he said.

Officials familiar with the matter claimed the Secret Service started the investigation last year. People taking on the case have informed White House officials of the case, according to the people working on the investigations.

Authorities on the case have not yet been able to pinpoint a specific individual or country. Those working on the case said that some evidence points toward Russia, but the backers could be potentially anywhere, perhaps using computers in Russia merely as a conduit.

The hack leads to two causes for concern: preserving the dependability and stability of digital trading and sustaining investor faith in that computerized system and their financial risk management.

NYSE Euronext spokesman added reinforcement to the subject: "We take any potential threat seriously and we are continually working to ensure that our systems operate at the highest levels of security and integrity,"

The individual did not release any specific instances of hacking attempts against that exchange.

The issue of computer hacking is a problem for many tech-advanced countries. In the past, authorities in the U.S. have battled cyberattacks connected computers in Russia, China and Eastern Europe.

Good hackers utilize geography as a smokescreen. Officials noted Albert Gonzalez, a pro hacker, landed his biggest digital heist with help from computers in Europe. His residence is in Miami. Gonzalez used computers in the U.S., Latvia and Estoniato to steal over 100 million credit-card numbers from many sources, according to a 2009 federal indictment. Many of his sources came from online shopping stores ranging from microfiber cleaning cloth makers to estate jewelers.