Compliance Challenges For Communication

Today’s new environment shows a marked shift of responsibility from the regulator to the regulated. Until now, the obligation for understanding communications media used in the negotiation of each transaction was firmly with the authorities, with requests often media-specific, and targeting individuals, rather than transactions. However, the change in the processing, analysis and recovery of data retained by regulated firms is happening now. The Dodd-Frank Act, and the interpretation of the ‘intention’ of the rules by the CFTC, means firms must produce communication records relating to specific transactions, and in the future, the industry should expect to see requests that target individual trades.
In the US, mobile recording has not been the norm, and systems have not been designed to cope with the massive increase in volume that tracking mobile and voice in conjunction with email conversations will bring.
Now with the increased privacy and security awareness among businesses, customers, and elected officials, traditional best practices are being incorporated into new laws, regulations and supervisory guidance that define a higher security standard that all affected organizations must achieve. Information security is no longer only a prudent business decision, it is mandated.
Legal mandates require organizations to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information. The growing number of laws and regulations that mandate effective electronic security steps make management and control critical to any business that plans to allow the use of electronic messaging and communication tools in conducting business.
The ability to search for keywords and phrases has been an integral part of the compliance officer’s monitoring and retrieval process─regular searching of users’ email, Bloomberg and other text-based messages is now commoditized, and forms part of almost all retention platforms. However, the ability to search for keywords in voice recordings and integrate them within the lifecycle of a specific trade is a challenge that compliance officers are about to face.
Banks are now starting to deploy systems to allow them to meet the challenges of increased retention and retrieval challenges. A correctly deployed and targeted system is able to increase productivity and reduce false positives for the monitoring and retrieval of messages.

How to Avoid Fines & Lawsuits by Making Your Mobile Communications Compliant

MobileGuard, a New York City based mobile phone compliance technology company, announces its latest webinar, How to Avoid Fines & Lawsuits by Making Your Mobile Communications Compliant, scheduled for January 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM EST.

The unprecedented fines, penalties, and law suits faced by major financial institutions in 2013 clearly demonstrates that the government is not averse to aggressively investigating and prosecuting organizations for noncompliance with regulations and rules. While a large number of organizations have implemented solutions to comply with regulating bodies, studies indicate that mobile recording is still an open issue. More than 50% of the mobile workforce falls short of FINRA requirements.

The one-hour webinar will address the challenges faced by organizations, due to the rapid growth of smartphones in the workforce plus the increasing BYOD (bring your own device) policies. These trends pose new threats of security breaches, data corruption, fraud, legal infractions, and regulatory violations, causing FINRA and the SEC to continue to enforce its regulations of electronic communication. Participants in the webinar will also gain insight into how companies are deploying solutions to comply with these financial regulations.

MobileGuard, one of the first firms in the mobile compliance space with patented technology, will present in detail its mobile recording solution, which includes text recording, archiving, logging, monitoring and analytics; called MessageGuard. Provided as a client or on-premise solution, MessageGuard is a feature rich and user-friendly system that archives sms text messages in a format that is easy to access. The webinar will demonstrate MessageGuard’s unique value in enterprise, what to do with iPhone enterprise , and why have leading financial institutions have chosen this solution. Mobile regulation is key!

Avoid security breaches, client lawsuits, government fines and a damaged reputation due to the misuse of mobile devices in the workplace. How to Avoid Fines & Lawsuits by Making Your Mobile Communications Compliant is free to attend. To register simply visit www.MobileGuard.com/mobile-compliance-webinar.

Samsung Quest for Enterprise

The timing couldn’t be better for Android to increase its penetration into the enterprise, especially with Android mobile devices, as of the third quarter of this year, representing 81.9% of total market share (consumer and business) and with BYOD policies becoming increasingly prevalent. Also, as recently as 2010, Blackberry dominated the enterprise in smartphone sales, but since then, its market share has plummeted, creating a huge opportunity for Android. Likewise, the iPhone (iOS), experiencing great success in consumer markets sales in recent years, found its way into the enterprise, and in 2011 became the leader in enterprise market penetration. However, that too is projected to change by year end, with Android overtaking the iPhone with an estimated 50% of enterprise market share. (Source: line graph by IDC).

mobile enterprise

 

 

South Korean-based Samsung, the worldwide leader in Android mobile phones, has led the charge in seizing the opportunity for Android mobile device penetration of the enterprise market. Understanding that security is perceived to be the greatest concern among IT managers, particularly with Android devices, the company launched its Knox security platform, which provides security from the hardware through the application layer. The objective of Knox was to provide greater management and control over employees’ Samsung mobile devices, enabling IT managers to disable any devices that are lost or stolen and receive alerts when a device has been hacked or decoded.

Despite upgrades to Knox security as recently as three months ago, Samsung has encountered some problems serving its large business customers, including the US government. Some of the problems have come in the way of delayed roll outs of Knox in its popular models, like the Galaxy S4, due to deficiencies and bugs detected in the software. For that matter, Samsung didn’t launch any device pre-loaded with Knox until September, when the Galaxy Note-3 phone tablet was launched.

By most accounts, enterprise customers seem willing to work with Samsung developers in meeting their stringent demands in both security and customer support, despite a rough start in both of these areas. And despite Blackberry’s recent decline, Blackberry is still heralded as the standard for enterprise mobile systems, especially in security, against which Samsung’s success will continue to be measured. Progress is being made, but Knox will likely need more refinements before it is at enterprise grade security.

Realizing the challenges of conquering the enterprise and representing enterprise sales as its highest priority, Samsung released a public statement two weeks ago, stating the company had received strong interest and positive feedback from its customers about Knox, adding that it is working with several Fortune 500 and government customers on deploying the security system and expected large scale success in 2014. (Source: WSJ, “Samsung’s Next Challenge: Selling Phones to Business,” 12/04/13.)

No doubt, Samsung has a ways to go to become the dominant player in the enterprise for mobile devices. As an ISV partner of Samsung, we at MobileGuard are confident they will succeed.

 

Android For Enterprise

A confluence of market dominance by Android and the growth of BYOD policies (bring your own device) in the enterprise suggests that Android will be making its way into the enterprise in a big way. Android, Google’s open source mobile operating system, clearly has become the leader in the world of smartphone OS, recording an 81.9% market share in the third quarter of this year. By comparison, iOS (iPhone), for all of its popularity, represents a meager 12.1% market share. android blog 1
However,the iPhone is still the top company-owned smartphone, but Android devices used in companies are increasing and are most likely to be brought to work by staff, according to IDC. Also IDC calculated that during 2012, 87.7 million Android devices would be shipped to businesses and 15.1 million to individuals who would take their devices to work. (Source: Steve Ranger, “Are Android smartphones finally poised to conquer the enterprise?” www.zdnet.com, Feb. 18, 2013). At the same time, the widespread growth of the overall smartphone market and the subsequent desire of employees to use their smartphones in the workplace have prompted greater BYOD acceptance within the enterprise, with additional theoretical benefits to the business, such as lower capital costs and maintenance expenses of mobile devices. According to Gartner, the momentum growth in BYOD policies will be unstoppable in the future, as their graph below suggests. bring your own device android
All of this suggests that Android will soon have a significant role in mobile business communications. Anticipating this phenomenon and in an effort to make the Android phone more enterprise acceptable, smartphone companies like Samsung, the worldwide leader in Android mobile phone sales, have been addressing some of the concerns of IT managers with Android, the greatest of which is security. For example, in September, Samsung announced its plan to add additional security for its Android mobile phones that support its Knox security technology, which provides security from the hardware through the application layer, while retaining compatibility with the Android OS. The latest release of Android 4.0 in late 2011 does support device encryption on smartphones, but the vast number of pre-existing Android releases on several different device types that lack security will still require IT to take extra precautions in managing these devices.
According to TechCrunch, “Each version of Android has improved management and security capabilities, but the vast array of devices on the market means it’s unlikely that enterprises will ever deal with only one device type. This doesn’t negate the prominence of Android in the enterprise, it simply means CIOs must arm themselves with the right protective measures.” (Source: Neil Florio, “Enterprise Android Adoption: A CIO’s Big Dream or Worst Nightmare?” www.techcrunch.com, Nov. 17, 2012). Within specific markets, like financial services, insurance, healthcare and government, wherein mobile phone communication is regulated, enterprise IT managers are faced with additional challenges with Android devices. In addition to addressing mobile device management, including security, they must also have a compliance solution which captures, archives, and monitors text and voice messages.

BlackBerry: We Are Committed to Reclaiming our Success

Blackberry has high hopes for John Chen, by offering the interim CEO $85 million worth of restricted stock. Seems like that might just be the best idea for the trailing mobile provider.

Blackberry stock has started to rise as the company decided to stay public and acquired $1 billion from Fairfax Financial Holdings and other institutional investors. John Chen declaired “not dwelling on the past and has financial strenght for the long-haul” about BlackBerry. BlackBerry has mostly succeeded in cracking out a technically advanced product, but it has paid no attention to having a relateable business system that can influence consumers when choosing one device over the other. He underlined three assets the struggling phone maker is leveraging to plow ahead: BBM, the BlackBerry network, and QNX.

Blackberry’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) for Blackberry 10 is being utilized throughout Europe for all its new devices. Blackberry previously claimed that it wishes to focus more on its services than its actual devices. BlackBerry is reinventing EMM by bringing together Device Management, Security, Unified Communications and Applications. Blackberry is now embracing its competitors by allowing Blackberry Messenger on iOS and Androids. Also on the new BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, they can manage Android and iPhone devices as well as their tablets.

Organizations around the world rely heavily on Blackberry and their services, and they are ready for the positive change.

Blackberry Making A Comeback

BlackBerry is alive and kicking. BlackBerry said that KPMG’s Italian operations have ordered 3,500 BlackBerry 10 devices and have committed to using BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to manage its mobile devices.

BlackBerry acknowledges that BB10’s adoption rate has been slower than expected, though that may be an understatement: of the 5.9 million phones it sold between June and the end of August, 4.2 million were devices running BlackBerry 7, its old operating system. Blackberry 7 remains far more successful. Blackberry 7 phones are 72% of their sales. They can’t afford to stop selling them.

The new BlackBerry Z30 comes with a five-inch screen, improved battery life and faster processor than the models released earlier this year. BlackBerry says the Z30 will be stocked by other Canadian carriers, including Bell and Telus, as well as retailers like Best Buy and Future Shop. Prices will be set by the various retailers.

Blackberry Z30 is ideal for business as blackberry has always been. The QWERTY keyboards and emphasis on email and messaging meant that IT departments fell in love with the company as it was ideal for the mobile worker. The BlackBerry Z30 is a device that is well suited for business users. BlackBerry Enterprise backs up the BB Z30.

BlackBerry’s secure enterprise network holds the most value for a potential buyer in the smartphone industry. The enterprise market is however seeing companies increasingly being open about employees bringing their own devices to work. BlackBerry could still benefit from having a large installed BES base with a proven mobile device management software that now has cross-platform support.

Lenova is considering a purchase of Blackberry, adding that the firm has signed a non-disclosure agreement to look at the smartphone maker’s books. It is unclear if Lenova’s primary interest is in BlackBerry’s hardware or software expertise. Lenova would consider an acquisition to boost its presence in the US.

Enterprise Is The New Niche Market For Galaxy Smartphones

Enterprise Smartphones

Samsung introduced the Galaxy S4 in March. What most people don’t realize is there are actually five Galaxy S4 models. There’s the standard 5-inch model, the 4.3-inch Mini, a ridiculously almost tablet sized 6.3-inch called the Mega, and an elite camera phone named the Zoom. Last, but certainly not least, there is the Galaxy S4 Active, a water-resistant model that makes all other smartphones feel vulnerable to any/all types of damage.

Divide and conquer is the current strategy of smartphone makers. Not so long ago, all were amazed and jealous by the magnificent iPhone. Manufacturers were forced to turn to niche markets, where there are fewer competitors and customers are more likely to pay a bit extra for an expensive new gadget. Some tangential markets have yet to be really explored. The decline of Blackberry has left a gaping hole for enterprise compliant devices. Businesses have embraced the iPhone and Android devices. Currently Apple is a consumer facilitating company, unlikely to embrace the business world’s inclination for email friendly keyboards, advanced security and close integration with company regulations and mandates. Android is unfortunately regarded as unsecured and Windows Phones is mostly limited to unattractive colored handsets.

This means there may be a window of opportunity for some new competitor; or for an old one to make a comeback. Who will rise to the occasion?

The Toll of Noncompliance

Noncompliance banking

New York, New York, September 13, 2013 – It’s no secret that many large US brokerage houses have come under scrutiny in the aftermath of the great recession, along with many of the practices that are blamed for bringing about the economic decline. As regulators continue to sort through the financial rubble and investigate these firms with a punitive eye, legal related expenses continue to amass at staggering levels.

 

According to today’s Wall Street Journal, in the past five years JP Morgan alone has run up a whopping tab of over $18 billion in legal related expenses. (Note: That’s $ billions – not $ millions). Facing at least seven separate investigations in areas ranging from trading oversight to mortgage bond sales to overseas hiring practices, the company continues to negotiate settlements with several different agencies, which still could lead to another $600 million in penalties. Bank of America and Citigroup, reported in the same article, face the same dilemma. In 2008 – 2012, each incurred legal related expenses  of $16.1 billion and $7.2  billion respectively. (WSJ: “Embattled JP Morgan Bulks Up Oversight,” Sept. 13, 2013).

 

In addition, with the SEC and FINRA now ratcheting up their regulations, it has become painfully clear to the financial industry that regulatory compliance is no longer a peripheral consideration, and measures must be taken to mitigate risk. To that end, according to the Journal, JP Morgan “plans to spend an additional $4 billion and commit 5,000 extra employees this year to clean up its risk and compliance problems, according to people close to the bank.” Without doubt, all financial firms are following suit, and corporate compliance departments are being granted greater autonomy and authority.

 

And contrary to the belief of many, “compliance” usually touches every employee in a company – not just its executives. For that matter, as an example, it may be easier and less conspicuous for a financial executive’s admin assistant to illegally divulge insider information than it is for an executive. For this reason and others, compliance policies need to be ubiquitous across the organization, clearly defined, well communicated, and enforceable, with the necessary resources in place to administer them. To be compliant comes at a cost, but in the final analysis, the investment may save a company from unexpected  fines, law suits and damage of reputation, which significantly out way the investment.

About MobileGuard

 

MobileGuard is the leading provider of mobile communications management solutions, and ensures compliance with all relevant regulatory bodies. MobileGuard’s patented solutions provide the monitoring, capturing, logging, archiving, and supervision of all communications on company mobile devices. MobileGuard’s mobile communication compliance solutions are provided as either a hosted platform or in the customer’s environment. To learn more, please visit www.MobileGuard.com.

Email: press@MobileGuard.com
Phone: 646 459 4354
Website: www.MobileGuard.com

How To Address The Sunshine Law Text Messaging Issue

The general rule of the Sunshine Law is that every person has the right to inspect or copy any public record made or received in connection with a transaction involving official business by a public body.

Public records include all documents, regardless of physical form or characteristics, and are not limited to traditional written documents: emails, SMS messages, letters, memos, maps, books, and recordings, all fall under the definition of “public records,” as they are a record made or received in connection with transactions of official agency business.

In this context, any public official who uses his or her mobile phone to exchange SMS messages or emails with another official, or with anyone else, should have the communication logged and archived, and it should be available to the public upon request, according on the Sunshine Law.

From this perspective, when a message sent to/from a commissioner’s mobile device disappears, that person could be the target of criticism, as in the recent case of Orange County commissioners who are now subject to an investigation initiated by the Florida Department of Law.

The FL. Statute sec. 119.011(1) (1995) expansively defines “public record” to include: “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of physical form, characteristics or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.

So how can we avoid these cases? The fact is, there are multiple solutions: One of the possibilities could be to forward county-related text to an archive, similar to the one established for commissioner email. Another could be to hold each board member personally responsible for saving those text messages.

Yes, either of the aforementioned solutions could work, but there is one more alternative. And if you are looking to comply with the Sunshine Law, the method the department adopts should aim to be totally transparent for both sides: the user and the public.

A third-party tool that monitors, stores and provides easy access to all text messages initiated and received on the mobile device could be the answer.

Importance Of Internal SMS Monitoring Justified by David Petraeus Scandal

Most Companies monitor their employees SMS messages on business owned cell phones as well as email messages legally.  It has become a standard procedure to stay compliant with many of the regulatory mandates by FINRA, HIPAA and the FSA. The importance behind mobile recording and monitoring text messages is to ensure compliance as well as prevention of nefarious communications. Companies use their business phones for personal use which can cost the company a significant amount of money,  not to mention insider trading or any other immoral actions that can be monitored via Email, SMS and MMS.

The private sectors understand the importance of cell phone surveillance and has found it to be a very effective way to thwart any communications which can compromise an organization and its reputation.

But what about the public sector?

Reports suggest that the  David Petraeus case was built off of the discovery of inappropriate e-mails and text messages. Jill Kelley, a close personal friend of Petraeus, received threatening e-mails from an anonymous account and she asked an FBI agent to do some email and text message spying.  The agent discovered that the messages were being sent by Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s biographer, and had also found e-mail correspondence that revealed the true nature of Broadwell’s relationship with Petraeus.

david petreaus

But why was this process so long? Was it because the top officials are immuned from such things like email and SMS monitoring and are not required to backup their SMS messages?  Does the public sector not take monitoring seriously enough? Does the government only monitor specific people?

This complicated love scandal proves that having one’s  text messages  stored and monitored can be very invasive to the personal life, but it is also necessary to the proper functioning of an organization or business.  It is challenging to keep track of all employees and their activities, but mobile recording and monitoring makes it much easier.

Wall street has realized the importance of Mobile Monitoring, now it’s time for the government to take it a little more seriously.

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