3 Reasons Your Business Needs to Archive Text Messages
posted Jul 9, 2018 by Daniel M. Andrea, CPA, CITP, CISA in the Business Blog
Okay, so you have your email, social media accounts and corporate websites equipped with the latest security precautions…you’re all set, right? Well, not exactly. Text messages must be considered in your cybersecurity policies and processes, too. In many instances, professionals use texting to conduct company business, and more often than not, businesses have no recordkeeping protocols in place to secure this data.
Texting and business…what you should know
Texting has become one of the main ways employees connect with one another and customers, too, meaning there needs to be some kind of recordkeeping policy in place to keep track of what is sent and received.
The problem is most companies don’t have an archiving solution in place for retaining text messages, which presents a significant risk. The reality is, any highly regulated industry that has recordkeeping requirements for business communication MUST archive electronic messages, no matter what platform they are using.
- Text messages must be kept in a searchable format that no one in the company can tamper with
- Text messages must also be produced quickly for “e-discovery”, public records request, and regulatory examinations.
Risks involved if you don’t keep good records
Texts can be requested as part of a litigation event. Texts are considered relevant “electronically stored information,” or ESI within an organization. The issue with text messages, however, unlike other forms of electronic communication, is that data collection is not straightforward. Companies have to figure out how to collect and preserve data from numerous devices, operating systems, and device ownership scenarios. Otherwise, there is risk of data loss, missing records, not to mention hefty legal penalties.
Without proper monitoring safeguards in place, a company is vulnerable to brand problems. With brand problems, you risk your ability to attract talent, and might lose customers as a result. You might already monitor emails, social media accounts and your corporate websites, but text messages need to be part of this, too. Managing your brand by monitoring texts can make it easier to assess potential threats and mitigate issues when they arise.
Are you in a highly regulated industry? In other words, is your business controlled by government rules? Financial service firms, for example, are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to archive and monitor electronic business communications. Studies show, however, that firms lack confidence they can meet those standards. You don’t want to get caught with a lawsuit—make sure you’re complying with SEC and FINRA if you’re involved in the financial service sector.
Even if you’re not in a highly regulated industry, almost all industries have a regulatory compliance policy in place with regards to retaining and producing content and communication with clients—be sure you comply.
Benefits of archiving texts
- Support court cases
- Enable employees to access older content
- Maintain a record of your organization’s history
- Ensures data remains secure and retrievable for years to come
Want to learn more? Contact us today.