Survey Reveals Message Supervision Plays a Growing Role in Risk Prevention

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Greater Social and Mobile Engagement

For the first time in five years, new and emerging communications channels were cited as a concern for fewer than half of the respondents. This year, all of the "big three" social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) were permitted for business communications at higher rates compared to last year, with LinkedIn experiencing the greatest increase (11.5 percent).

Firms are not only permitting employees to communicate on business social media accounts (for instance, corporate 'company pages') — they're allowing advisors to conduct business through personal social media accounts. Eighty percent of firms that allow social channels allow employees to use personal LinkedIn accounts and 63.5 percent allow personal Twitter accounts.

While the growth in policy and enforcement technology trends in the right direction, a compliance gap still remains. On average, 32 percent of firms that allow social channels do not have a solution in place to retain and supervise social media. The gap is 13 percent larger for firms that don't allow personal channels (but do allow corporate pages for business communications).

Recently, Smarsh, a leading provider of hosted archiving solutions for compliance and e-discovery, released its fifth "Electronic Communications Compliance Survey Report," which focused on key trends and challenges facing compliance officers around the retention and supervision of electronic communications.

Overall, the study found that compliance is taking on a more significant role across organizations – moving beyond traditional archiving and e-discovery efforts, to add value to sales and marketing, HR, risk assessment and cybersecurity.

In comparison to past studies, this year's report also found that compliance officers are feeling more confident about incorporating new communication channels for business, including social media. According to Stephen Marsh, CEO and found of Smash, nearly three-quarters of respondents now report having a BYOD policy and the ability to capture data to make non-business-specific tools compliant.

One apparent blind spot that has yet to be addressed, however, is the capturing and preserving of text messages used in business communication. Given the multiple tools and platforms that are used for messaging, compliance departments are not able to easily capture the data – leaving this area out of compliance. Nearly two-thirds of respondents admitted they had no confidence in their ability to reproduce messages.

"The oversight of electronic communications has evolved to become far more than the cursory, check-the-box review of email that existed years ago," said Marsh. "Today, with more data points and better technology at their disposal, compliance teams are more empowered to identify risky communications and then mitigate potentially damaging issues before they become serious. Also, as the compliance role is elevated in importance within an organization, convergence with IT and marketing initiatives is increasing. As a result, compliance is becoming an enabler of social media usage, and a key part of cybersecurity strategy."

 

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