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ClusterSeven the only EUC management solution provider in the best-of-breed categoryLondon, U.K., 14 December 2016 – ClusterSeven, the leading provider of strategic software for End User Computing (EUC) management, today announced that Chartis, a research provider on global market for risk technology, has named its EUC governance platform as ‘best-of-breed’ in its 2016 FinTech Quadrant for data integrity and control solutions in financial services.

ClusterSeven is the only EUC management solutions provider included in the best-of-breed category in the Quadrant. Chartis describes best-of-breed solutions as having best-in-class point solution capabilities, depth of functionality, a growing client base, superior sales and marketing execution and a clear strategy for sustainable profitable growth.

Crucially, best-of-breed solution providers demonstrate a healthy rate of investment in R&D, and have specific product or go-to-market capabilities that give them a competitive advantage. ClusterSeven solution’s key differentiators as emphasised by Chartis include speed of deployment, offering visibility and control, supporting rapid evolution, detecting and escalating anomalies in unstructured data to reduce manual checks, automation and EUC management. Peyman Mestchian, Managing Partner, Chartis, said, “While many vendors offer some form of EUC management capability, the ClusterSeven solution delivers transparency of all EUC activity to substantial depth across multiple corporate financial and regulatory processes.

This is a key differentiator.” Additionally, Chartis especially highlighted ClusterSeven’s functionality from a regulatory perspective, stating, “ClusterSeven functionality is particularly associated with new or unusual data integrity and control processes, typically associated with new regulatory demands (such as BCBS 239 or stress testing), or processes tied to legacy architecture or customer-specific requirements that cannot easily be met by third-party solutions.” “Data integrity and quality is fundamental to regulatory commitments of course, but also for the more strategic aspects of business,” commented Chris Gomersall, CEO of ClusterSeven. “The ClusterSeven platform is designed to deliver visibility and control of organisations’ entire EUC landscape to minimise financial, operational, regulatory and reputational risk. We are delighted with our positioning in the quadrant and for the ‘shout out’ by Chartis.” The full 2016 Data Integrity and Control in Financial Services Report by Chartis is available here: http://www.chartis-research.com/research/reports/data-integrity-and-control-solutions-in-financial-services-2016 About ChartisChartis is the leading provider of research and analysis on the global market for risk technology and is part of Incisive Media which has market leading brands such as Risk and Waters Technology.

Chartis' goal is to support enterprises as they drive business performance through better risk management, corporate governance and compliance and to help clients make informed technology and business decisions by providing in-depth analysis and actionable advice on virtually all aspects of risk technology. RiskTech Quadrant®, RiskTech100® and FinTech QuadrantTM are registered trademarks of Chartis Research (http://www.chartis-research.com). About ClusterSevenLondon-based ClusterSeven has developed a range of market-leading software products that provide oversight and transparency of a firm’s spreadsheets, user-built databases and modelling tools.

ClusterSeven’s solutions provide departments such as finance and internal audit full confidence in the integrity of their firm’s spreadsheet data, while also offering substantial savings on the time and resources used to check data processes and accuracy. ClusterSeven was founded in 2003 and established a New York office in 2006.

The firm now has a third of the world’s top 30 banks as clients as well as multiple leading insurers, investment managers and energy firms.
In June 2015, private equity firm Azini Capital Partners LLP acquired 100% of ClusterSeven and has provided additional investment to promote high quality product development and wider customer engagement. For more information about ClusterSeven, visit www.clusterseven.com.For any PR & Media enquiries, please contact Laura Whitehead at PR@clusterseven.com

Henry Umney, Director, ClusterSeven, highlights his views on the technology trends in the banking and financial services sector in 2017:

  • CFOs will drive transformation to align EUC models and enterprise systems

With ever-growing financial regulation, CFOs are under increasing pressure to demonstrate with certainty that they have full knowledge of data sources used for reported statements, to rule out errors and misreporting. However, due to the ubiquitous, uncontrolled and unmonitored use of spreadsheets and end user computing (EUC) applications, many CFOs are struggling to offer such cast-iron guarantees.
In 2017, CFOs will drive transformation initiatives to align and integrate EUC models with enterprise systems to achieve end-to-end transparency of business-critical processes – right from the creation of an EUC application by a user, visibility of data lineage between EUCs through to its retirement in the corporate system.

  • Tangible efficiency-led cost savings will drive automation of business critical financial and compliance processes

With a vast number of day-to-day, but critical operational business processes, being undertaken in often poorly undocumented spreadsheets, the benefits accrued to users is reaching a tipping point whereby the very reasons for using such EUC applications – i.e. flexibility, agility, efficiency and productivity – are negating as they are becoming a drain on the time and resources of users.

The latest ClusterSeven survey report entitled, ‘The Spreadsheet is Here to Stay’, finds that internal audit, finance, compliance and risk management professionals spend, on average, 43% of their time monitoring and validating information on spreadsheets.

Those in management, spend closer to 47% of their time on this activity. With the use of spreadsheets for business-critical processes slated to grow over the next two years, financial institutions will look to streamline and automate the management of the financial and compliance processes in the EUC environment to optimise the efficiency and productivity gains such applications genuinely offer; and thereby make tangible financial savings as a result of reduced manual effort.

  • EUC risk management will be a key component of broader GRC strategies of financial institutions

To deliver against stringent governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) reporting and management goals, financial institutions regularly deploy GRC solutions to understand the organisation’s overall operational risk posture. With many regulators demanding transparency around the ecosystem of EUC tools (e.g.

BCBS239, CCAR, DFASR) that feed models, in 2017, financial institutions will look to make EUC risk management a key component of their broader GRC strategy. Presently, through enterprise GRC solutions alone, organisations are hampered in their ability to monitor the EUC landscape with the granularity that regulators are expecting.

  • Momentum will build to move core financial and compliance processes to the secure cloud

Research shows that with the adoption of Microsoft Office 365 in business, a large amount of sensitive data is already (and perhaps inadvertently) stored in the cloud. With employees now collaborating on critical spreadsheets via the cloud, the proliferation of uncontrolled EUCs will likely increase.

To meet workforce demands of 24x7 anytime, anywhere and from any device access to business information, financial institutions will be compelled to devise and execute on a broader cloud strategy, in order to formally move business critical spreadsheet and EUC-related operational processes to the secure cloud.

Note to editors: Henry Umney is available to discuss his views in more detail.

About ClusterSeven
London-based ClusterSeven has developed a range of market-leading software products that provide oversight and transparency of a firm’s spreadsheets, user-built databases and modelling tools.

ClusterSeven’s solutions provide departments such as finance and internal audit full confidence in the integrity of their firm’s spreadsheet data, while also offering substantial savings on the time and resources used to check data processes and accuracy.

ClusterSeven was founded in 2003 and established a New York office in 2006.

The firm now has a third of the world’s top 30 banks as clients as well as multiple leading insurers, investment managers and energy firms.
In June 2015, private equity firm Azini Capital Partners LLP acquired 100% of ClusterSeven and has provided additional investment to promote high quality product development and wider customer engagement.

For more information about ClusterSeven, visit www.clusterseven.com.
For any PR & Media enquiries, please contact Laura Whitehead at PR@clusterseven.com

Use of Excel spreadsheets for business critical processes to increase over next two years

London, U.K., 06 December 2016 – Findings of a new survey by ClusterSeven, the leading provider of strategic software for End User Computing (EUC), reveals that EUC risk is widely recognised by organisations in the UK and yet there’s only a small minority of businesses that are even imposing manual control policies to mitigate the emanating threats.

The report entitled ‘The Spreadsheet is Here to Stay’, suggests that this is indeed surprising as EUCs are one of the key contributors of financial, regulatory, operational and reputational risk.

An overwhelming 88% of respondents acknowledge the risks posed by spreadsheets and other EUCs, but only 24% are enforcing manual controls and even a smaller minority are instituting automated checks to curtail the risks. Particularly in the financial services industry, nearly 57% of respondents rate ‘spreadsheet’ risk as a serious or very serious.

More than 60% of organisations are relying on spreadsheets for business critical data processes, which represents a significant amount of work taking place in an unmonitored and uncontrolled business environment.

Furthermore, auditors (nearly 60%), regulators (40%) and risk and compliance professionals (nearly 45%) believe that this use of spreadsheets for business critical processes will increase over the next two years.

Clearly, EUC applications are the preferred option for numerical manipulation and problem solving.

This is despite the fact that financial and reputational loss due to EUC error is almost an expected outcome by organisations with early 50% of respondents expecting such an event to occur in the next two years.

Interestingly, 76% of organisations want to replace spreadsheets with a different type of business information management system, but 25% acknowledge that it is an unrealistic aspiration.

“The title of this report is very apt, spreadsheets are indeed here to stay,” commented Chris Gomersall, CEO of ClusterSeven. “Imperfect as spreadsheets and other EUCs might be, they offer users the flexibility and agility to speedily undertake complex calculations, produce reports and develop models to meet changing business needs. Rather than negligently risk loss, organisations are better off automating and adopting management processes so that EUCs and corporate systems can safely and securely co-exist to meet the needs of the users and business alike.

The alternative – i.e. using EUCs uncontrolled – isn’t a business risk work taking as potentially the penalties could be crippling.”

This study was commissioned by ClusterSeven in 2016, surveying nearly 160 internal audit, finance, compliance and risk management professionals working in organisations across the UK.

To download the full report, visit: http://clusterseven.com/report/.

About ClusterSeven
London-based ClusterSeven has developed a range of market-leading software products that provide oversight and transparency of a firm’s spreadsheets, user-built databases and modelling tools.

ClusterSeven’s solutions provide departments such as finance and internal audit full confidence in the integrity of their firm’s spreadsheet data, while also offering substantial savings on the time and resources used to check data processes and accuracy.

ClusterSeven was founded in 2003 and established a New York office in 2006.

The firm now has a third of the world’s top 30 banks as clients as well as multiple leading insurers, investment managers and energy firms.
In June 2015, private equity firm Azini Capital Partners LLP acquired 100% of ClusterSeven and has provided additional investment to promote high quality product development and wider customer engagement.

For more information about ClusterSeven, visit www.clusterseven.com.
For any PR & Media enquiries, please contact Laura Whitehead at PR@clusterseven.com

The chip maker is offloading the analytics work of its anti-malware engine to the cloud to increase the effectiveness in detecting threats. Intel is turning to the cloud to make its consumer security capabilities more effective.The chip maker's security group this week unveiled enhancements to its McAfee AntiVirus Plus, Internet Security, Total Protection and LifeSafe software suite that aim to protect the growing number and variety of connected devices consumers are using as the internet of things (IoT) continues to grow."People are enjoying more and more connected devices as part of everyday life—in their homes, in their cars and even in the things they wear," John Giamatteo, corporate vice president and general manager at Intel Security, said in a statement. "This wave of new connectivity is exciting, and a reminder that security is more important than ever. We know our customers need solutions that protect their digital lives, particularly as connectivity continues to rise and threats continue to evolve."The enhanced security offerings are aimed at PCs as well as Apple Macs and mobile devices running on Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems. Central to the upgraded lineup is the McAfee Next Generation Anti-Malware Engine, which uses behavioral analytics and machine learning to better automatically detect and block malware as it arises without having to rely on human research, according to Intel officials.
It's also more efficient and effective at detecting malware threats by offloading the analytics work to the cloud, they said. In addition, Intel Security's True Key provides multifactor authentication to enable consumers to safely log in to websites using such technologies as facial recognition and fingerprints.

Among the updates to the software are master password reset and the ability to import data from other password managers.

The True Key app is included with LifeSafe, Total Protection and Internet Security.Intel Security also is offering enhancements to protection features for Mac and Android devices that officials said increases the ability to detect threats in the systems.

The chip maker also is making a Virus Protection Pledge that comes when a customer's subscription is renewed automatically, promising that if a consumer's device is infected with a virus they can't handle, the McAfee support group will remove it or the customer gets a refund.In announcing the enhancements, company officials pointed to not only the growing number of connected devices consumers are using but the rise in threats to those devices, particularly ransomware.

According to the McAfee Labs Threat Report released in June, new ransomware—where hackers steal data and refuse to give it back until a ransom has been paid—has grown 120 percent since the first quarter 2015.At the same time, most consumers now own at least three connected devices, putting a greater emphasis on the need for enhanced security capabilities, they said.Intel Security's announcement comes a month before the company's Focus 2016 security show, which runs Nov. 1-3 in Las Vegas.
In addition, it comes a month after Intel announced it is spinning out its cyber-security software business in a partnership with private equity firm TPG in a deal worth about $4.2 billion.
Intel and TPG will create a new, independent company based on the Intel Security unit and retaining the name the McAfee name.

TPG will own 51 percent of the new company, while Intel will own the other 49 percent.Intel bought McAfee in early 2011 for $7.6 billion with the idea of integrating more security capabilities into its chips to offer better protection from everything from PCs to servers.

The unit has made money over the years, but officials are steering the company in other directions to address such emerging markets at the internet of things (IoT), virtual reality, the cloud and data center systems.
ClusterSeven will help the Bank cost effectively determine the residual risk profile of its London operationLondon, U.K., 19 September 2016 – Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited (SMBCE), a subsidiary of the global Japanese commercial bank, is deploying ClusterSeven’s End User Computing (EUC) governance platform to enable the bank to understand its EUC (spreadsheets, databases and financial modelling tools) landscape, identify where the risks lie and institute the necessary automated controls to mitigate them.

This is driven by the ever-growing and stringent reporting requirements stipulated by Common Reporting (COREP), the reporting framework issued by the European Banking Authority for the Capital Requirements Directive; and the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, among many other Prudential Regulation Authority directives. The ClusterSeven framework will be centrally deployed in the Risk Management department of the bank and rolled out to users across the bank.

This will encourage broader ‘ownership’ of risk management. SMBCE will establish a central, automated control framework for EUC management based on the risk policies and procedures of the organisation.

The bank will have visibility of all its critical EUC files across their lifecycle – from creation through to retirement – that have been prioritised and reside in the ClusterSeven solution.

To support SMBCE’s data integrity, departments will be able to easily track and closely monitor the changes being made to the critical / high risk EUC files. Where there is duplication of models for similar calculations, the bank will be able to eliminate repetition, for cost and time efficiency. Likewise, where deemed important, the bank will be able to decommission critical EUC files and move the data to the enterprise system for confidentiality and data security. “This approach to EUC control will enable us to help control the bank’s residual risk,” explained Keith Haylock, Assistant General Manager, Risk Management Department at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited. “As the burden of regulatory reporting has grown, so has the use of EUC applications in the organisation.

The number of reports we need to submit have increased from 20 to nearly 200.

An understanding, visibility and control of our EUC landscape is vital.

The ClusterSeven solution will assist us with our own internal business risk management and governance, and in complying with the regulatory mandate.” SMBCE chose the ClusterSeven platform for its functionality and suitability for the organisation, proven track record for successful deployment, the team’s consultancy-led approach to implementation and excellent customer support.

All this clearly came to light in the way the company undertook the six-week proof of concept at the bank. Chris Gomersall, CEO of ClusterSeven, commented, “Often, regulation is the trigger for financial institutions to undertake EUC risk management. Nonetheless, it’s only after EUC management is embedded that organisations realise and appreciate the true business value of the discipline.

A recent report from Chartis, which for the first time quantifies the risk associated with EUC errors, clearly demonstrates that organisations have no choice, but to make EUC risk management a Board-level agenda item, due to the financial, regulatory and operational risks they face. “EUC management provides control and change management mechanisms to ensure the highest quality of data, which is fundamental to curtailing all manner of business risks and informed decision-making in today’s highly competitive business environment.

Automation is the only cost-effective and fool-proof way to control and manage the environment.” About ClusterSevenLondon-based ClusterSeven has developed a range of market-leading software products that provide oversight and transparency of a firm’s spreadsheets, user-built databases and modelling tools.

ClusterSeven’s solutions provide departments such as finance and internal audit full confidence in the integrity of their firm’s spreadsheet data, while also offering substantial savings on the time and resources used to check data processes and accuracy. ClusterSeven was founded in 2003 and established a New York office in 2006.

The firm now has a third of the world’s top 30 banks as clients as well as multiple leading insurers, investment managers and energy firms.
In June 2015, private equity firm Azini Capital Partners LLP acquired 100% of ClusterSeven and has provided additional investment to promote high quality product development and wider customer engagement. For more information about ClusterSeven, visit www.clusterseven.com.For any PR & Media enquiries, please contact Laura Whitehead at PR@clusterseven.com
Private equity firm TPG will take a 51 percent stake and Intel will keep a 49 percent share in a security company that will adopt the McAfee name.   Intel is spinning out its cybersecurity software business in a partnership with private equity firm TPG in the latest move by top-tier tech vendor to remake itself in an industry undergoing rapid change.Intel officials said Sept. 7 that the chip maker and TPG will create a new independent company based on its Intel Security unit in a deal worth about $4.2 billion, a far cry from the $7.6 billion Intel paid for the McAfee security software company in 2010.

TPG will own 51 percent of the business and Intel 49 percent, and the private equity firm also will put in another $1.1 billion into the new company to help accelerate growth. Chris Young, senior vice president and general manager of the Intel Security Group, will become the CEO of the new company, which will adopt the McAfee name.
Intel officials in 2014 pushed the McAfee brand into the background, renaming the business Intel Security. The announcement confirmed the speculation of the last several months that Intel was interested in shedding the cybersecurity software unit, which has been viewed as a disappointment for the chip maker since the acquisition six years ago.
Intel officials at the time said that buying a security software vendor would enable the company to build better security features on its processors and better protect PCs, servers and other systems from attack.The security unit has done well financially.
In the last quarter it generated $537 million in revenue, a 10 percent increase over the same period in 2015, and through the first half of the year, revenue grew 11 percent, to $1.1 billion, officials said. Operating income hit $182 million—a 391 percent gain—and bookings increased 7 percent a year from 2013 to 2015.
Still, the business never followed through on the promise that company executives had hoped for.

At the same time, under CEO Brian Krzanich, Intel executives over the past year have been working to restructure the company to address emerging markets like the internet of things (IoT), drones, virtual reality (VR) and the cloud, while at the same time growing the data center business and reducing its reliance on the contracting global PC space.Part of the restructuring includes 12,000 job cuts.In a letter posted on the Intel website, Young told customers that they "will benefit from a focused, agile and independent provider further committed to protecting you, recognizing that you require simplicity in your security environment as much as you do effectiveness. With McAfee, you will get a proven player with a leading portfolio—focusing on endpoint and cloud as security control points, combined with actionable threat intelligence, analytics and orchestration—allowing you to detect and respond to more threats and with fewer resources."According to Young, the Intel Security Group protects more than 250 million endpoints, counts almost two-thirds of the world's largest 2,000 companies as customers, defends  more than 200 million consumers and detects more than 400,000 new threats each day.Group officials last year unveiled a strategy shift in which the company was moving away from selling point security products and instead would focus on building out a platform approach that would better address that changing threat landscape. Officials got rid of some technologies—including mobile-device management, firewalls and email—enhanced others and created new products, such as the Data Exchange Layer (DXL), which enables instant communication and collaboration among disparate security technologies from multiple vendors, and Endpoint Security 10, for device security.
Intel's goal in acquiring McAfee was to sell security software for more than just PCs. Intel is spinning off its McAfee virus protection subsidiary, creating an independent cybersecurity company that will continue to sell products under the McAfee name. Intel agreed to acquire McAfee for $7.68 billion almost exactly seven years ago, when the mobile device era was still in its infancy.
Its goal was to remake the company, once a household name for PC security, into a peddler of protection for every Internet-connected device. McAfee continued to make PC security software, but also branched out with product offerings like LiveSafe, which protects nearly every Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS device, and whose antivirus capabilities rated highly in PCMag's tests. But McAfee's transformation under Intel largely failed to convince the smartphone-wielding public that it needed cybersecurity protection for more devices. Most people's first visit to the app store is likely to download Facebook, not virus protection. So Intel will rid itself of the McAfee experiment—though it will continue to own 49 percent of the company—in a transaction valuing the business at approximately $4.2 billion. Private investment firm TPG will own the other 51 percent. Current Intel senior vice president Christopher Young will lead the newly-independent McAfee.
In an open letter to investors, employees, and customers, he explained that his company will continue to offer multiple-device security suites. "We have the right strategy and product portfolio to stay ahead of the adversaries who undermine our digital world," he wrote. "In the end, McAfee will emerge in a position of greater strength, still fully committed to being the best provider in the cybersecurity industry worldwide."
Chipzilla wing loses $3.5bn in six years – almost as fast as John McAfee in a strip club Intel is selling off a majority stake in its security software arm – formerly known as McAfee – to private equity firm TPG, which will rename itself to, er, McAfee. Chipzilla bought McAfee in 2010 for $7.68bn. Wednesday's deal valued the division at $4.2bn: Intel will get back just $3.1bn in cash and retain a 49 per cent in the new venture, while TPG gets majority control and promises a $1.1bn equity investment for future operations. "Security remains important in everything we do at Intel, and going forward we will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices," said Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel. "As we collaborate with TPG to establish McAfee as an independent company, we will also share in the future success of the business and in the market demand for top-flight security solutions, creating long-term value for McAfee's customers, partners, employees and Intel's shareholders." Chris Young, the general manager of Intel Security, will run the new operation and, in a letter to customers, partners, and staff [PDF], said Intel would continue to play a technological role in the reborn McAfee, and the investment from TPG would allow a faster rollout of new products and technologies. For its part, TPG gets a stake in a growing IT market that could prove very lucrative.
Intel Security/McAfee pulled in revenues of $1.1bn in the last quarter, up 11 per cent, and generated an operating income of $182m. "We have long identified the cybersecurity sector, which has experienced strong growth due to the increasing volume and severity of cyberattacks, as one of the most important areas in technology," said Bryan Taylor, a partner at TPG. "Given McAfee's leading global market position, loyal customer base, and trusted technology, we see a compelling opportunity to invest in a highly strategic platform that is growing consistently and addressing significant and evolving market demand." Rumors of a sale by Intel have been circulating for months and for good reason.

The company is looking to refocus on its core business and security software doesn't fit into that model.
Some Intel Security execs would, after a few drinks, expound at length about how Intel didn't really "get" the former McAfee team. Now the firm will have some independence and many of those execs will be happy with their new overlords in comparison. However, there may be a fly in the ointment for the new firm if the man who named the company wants his brand back. ®