The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) published new guide on Tuesday aimed at helping hedge fund firms and other alternative asset managers assess and enhance their cyber security defences.

The AIMA Guide to Sound Practices for Cyber Security examines the nature and scope of existing and emerging cyber security threats, and offers advice on effective methods for preventing or dealing with these threats.

The guide was created by a working group of AIMA’s Sound Practices Committee, a group of firms that advises the association on industry sound practices across a range of disciplines.

The guide looks at both the technology that can be used for data protection, threat prevention and detection; and how these technologies can be developed, either in-house or using cloud services. It also discusses issues such as governance, employee-related concerns, and the emerging regulatory environment for cyber security.

“Technological advances have brought great efficiencies to investment managers, but not without introducing new and unexpected risks. Cyber security is one of the biggest challenges facing all kinds of businesses today, and yet until now there has been very little guidance tailored to asset management firms in general, and hedge fund firms and other alternative asset managers in particular. This has raised questions both about fund managers’ understanding of the various cyber security-related issues and how their businesses could be impacted as well as their overall level of preparedness,” says AIMA CEO, Jack Inglis, in a statement.

“What is obvious is that vigilance and preparedness is key. With this Guide to Sound Practices, we hope that our members will be better equipped to understand and deal with these new and emerging challenges and threats,” he adds.

In an effort to help smaller fund managers and managers seeking to assess the effectiveness of their existing cyber security programs, the guide also indicates the level of difficulty that a firm might have in implementing certain types of threat preventions and threat detection techniques, AIMA says.