In this three-part e-book, Don DeLoach walks public sector organizations through the key elements needed to respond quickly and accurately to open records requests: identifying what information needs to be retained and archived, best practices and procedures for retaining communications, finding and implementing an automated solution, and the important roles stakeholders play in the records response process.
- The challenges of archiving communications
- Choosing the right archiving solution for your organization
- Internal policies and rules
Results from the 2017 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey show that the current compliance landscape has continued to become increasingly broad, complex, and heavily scrutinized. In addition to trying to keep up with an ever-expanding number of non-email communication options, firms are dealing with an unprecedented increase in regulatory actions, with 2016 shattering the record for the amount of fines levied on the financial services industry. With more employees than ever clamoring for the collaboration and knowledge sharing communication tools that have become essential to growing a successful business, it’s increasingly important for compliance teams to understand how other firms are managing the challenges posed by supervising new channels and platforms. In this report, you’ll find out: Want to compare against last year’s survey report? You can find it here.
Results from the 2017 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey show that the current compliance landscape has continued to become increasingly broad, complex, and heavily scrutinized. In addition to trying to keep up with an ever-expanding number of non-email communication options, firms are dealing with an unprecedented increase in regulatory actions, with 2016 shattering the record for the amount of fines levied on the financial services industry.
With more employees than ever clamoring for the collaboration and knowledge sharing communication tools that have become essential to growing a successful business, it’s increasingly important for compliance teams to understand how other firms are managing the challenges posed by supervising new channels and platforms.
In this report, you’ll find out:
Want to compare against last year’s survey report? You can find it here.
Upcoming Webinar: Key Findings from the 2017 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey
June 15, 2017, 10am PT / 1pm ET
Smarsh conducted it’s annual survey of compliance firms and found an industry facing a barrage of new communications and compliance concerns.
With more comprehensive regulatory exams and a growing chorus of clients and employees clamoring to use new communications channels like text messaging for business, compliance teams have seen a transformative and tumultuous year.
It’s time to take stock of the compliance landscape, and to understand how other firms are managing the challenges posed by supervising new channels and platforms.
Companies keep business records for regulatory and legal reasons, with IT departments and records managers typically holding the keys to the records kingdom, sometimes assisted by outside vendors. In financial services, records are frequently examined for compliance purposes, and comprehensive record keeping is a specialty of its own. In addition, protecting proprietary and business IP is vital, as is safeguarding confidential customer information.
But when employees use their mobile devices for personal and business communications, danger lurks. Text messages are the fast-growing source of business record risk.
Nearly all employees text, and many mix business and personal messages. A business record may be created every time an employee taps out a text, and the records can quickly multiply when the text is answered, shared, forwarded, revised, or deleted.
What happens to all these texts?
It’s hard to say because text message record keeping policies and procedures are in their infancy.
However, companies that don’t incorporate text messages into their business record archiving systems are squarely in harm’s way.
Text message archiving sounds daunting, and with good reason. Most messaging systems lack functions for message capture, search and retrieval, identification and preservation. And there are many different devices, service providers, and text messaging systems (some promising disappearing messages, anonymity or encryption), with unique features and operations. Adding to the challenge, record keeping rules aren’t uniform — their applicability depends on the type of record, type of business, regulatory agency involved and other factors. User privacy is also a thorny records management issue.
How do you know if texts are business records?
Rule of thumb: If a text message includes information about business activities or functions, it’s usually an official business record. A 2015 court case involving government employees’ text messages provides a good example of this rule. The Washington Supreme Court said business-related texts on private cell phones were public records under the Washington Public Records Act: “Records can qualify as public records if they contain any information that refers to or impacts the actions, processes, and functions of government.”
If a company can’t produce its business records, it can’t defend legal claims against the organization, or prove lawful conduct in a supervisory exam. Inability to produce text message records can undermine corporate claims and defenses. In some courtrooms, judges reject claims of “lost” mobile device records, and allow negative inferences to be drawn about what incriminating evidence may have been in the missing electronic communications.
There are other risks, too. Experts say most mobile-based security breaches are caused by employees. Compounding this, employees using their own mobile devices don’t feel particularly responsible for loss of company data on those devices. Some employees disable company-required security on their phones. A 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report also notes few organizations prioritize securing mobile devices.
Companies can no longer pretend they don’t know their employees use text messaging for business communications. However, they can reduce the risks by adopting text message policies and enforcement guidelines. Here are some first steps that companies can take to begin the process:
- Train employees on business record keeping responsibilities, so they understand what business records are and why they must be kept.
- Establish business texting policies and guidelines. May business be done by texting to or from an employee’s personal accounts? What restrictions apply? Examples: No deleting business text messages from devices without permission; no encryption apps or burner phones may be used to hide business messages;
- Establish and communicate consequences for employee text message violations.
- Implement the policies, audit for compliance, apply sanctions when necessary.
Text messaging is an immediate and simple way of communicating, so many government employees prefer it over email or other traditional methods. However, FOIA laws require all electronic communications used for business to be archived and available for public record requests. It doesn’t matter whether an employee uses his/her personal or government-issued cell phone, both are fair game.
In this guide we’ll show how public sector organizations can build an airtight mobile strategy. Learn about device scenarios, policy creation, mobile device management, and the archiving process.
- Device ownership scenarios – advantages and disadvantages
- Key questions to answer for an airtight policy
- How to retain & report text message content
The popularity of text messaging is growing every year, and many employees and their clients now expect to use it as a tool to conduct business.
Prohibiting the use of text messages is not only unsustainable for an increasingly mobile workplace, but it also does not protect your organization from risk — it simply hides risk where you can’t see and manage it.
- How to handle any compliance or policy challenges of text messages
- Why your organization’s device ownership scenario matters, and how to choose the right one
- How to account for text messaging in your policies, and use technology solutions to manage risk
As the calendar flips to a new year, we are excited to integrate with Slack to bring archiving and compliance support for Slack Enterprise Grid, the new offering which powers the design, usage and administrative management of multiple interconnected Slack workspaces across a customer’s entire business.
The integration enables customers to quickly and securely search, review and produce Slack Enterprise Grid content within The Archiving Platform from Smarsh, alongside email, social media, text messaging and other electronic communications—as part of a comprehensive compliance, e-discovery and risk management solution.
Slack continues to gain popularity around the world as organizations of all sizes look to collaborate more quickly and securely. With the integration, Slack Enterprise Grid customers can leverage The Archiving Platform from Smarsh to:
- Capture, index, and search Slack Enterprise Grid messages, notifications, files and more in their original format, regardless of a user’s device, location, or network
- Search across all communications within Slack Enterprise Grid and review fully threaded conversations to see the context of messages, updates, comments and files
- Leverage a full supervision audit trail that tracks each review session within The Archiving Platform, and actions taken on specific messages
- Escalate and tag Slack content based on cases, events or topics
- Assign or forward Slack Enterprise Grid messages to supervisors for further review
- Export only necessary Slack data in multiple formats securely and directly to outside counsel, regulatory examiners or third-party e-discovery providers during litigation events
- Preserve Slack communication on non-erasable, non-rewriteable media in its native, unaltered format to meet recordkeeping obligations
- Search Slack content alongside other message types, such as email, text messaging, and social media, in one consolidated destination in The Archiving Platform from Smarsh
Slack is a team communication tool that brings together all of your team communications in one place, instantly searchable and available wherever you go. Launched in February of 2014, Slack is the fastest growing SaaS company ever and is used by more than 5 million daily active users.
You can find more information about archiving and compliance for Slack here.
Texting is simple, concise and compatible with virtually every mobile device, operating system and wireless carrier – making it extremely accessible when a client or a prospect wants to reach out in a time-crunched world. But even though text is easy, reliable and intuitive—if it’s used for business communications, it can create enormous risk.
- What you need to do to manage your reputation with text supervision
- How to prepare for the possibility of litigation or discovery requests that include text messages
- The solutions available to protect your business from the risk posed by text messaging