Two-thirds of respondents believe their employees are using unmonitored communication channels, increasing the need for compliance and security tools.
Theta Lake, a leader in modern collaboration compliance and security solutions, released its fourth annual report examining organizations’ use of collaboration and communication tools from a supervision and archiving standpoint. The 2022 Modern Communications Compliance and Security Report found that two-thirds (66%) of respondents believe employees in their companies are using unmonitored communications channels, posing heightened security and compliance risks to businesses.
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“Modern collaboration tools have become the foundation of the hybrid work environment, making it all the more important for organizations to have complete visibility into the communication channels employees are using,” said Stacey English, Director of Regulatory Intelligence at Theta Lake. “The findings are a wake-up call to the growing gap between the collaboration platforms employees prefer and the technology needed to remain in compliance. Our report provides a roadmap for businesses to meet the evolving communication needs and compliance mandates of the hybrid workforce.”
Business communications continue to evolve, presenting complex challenges for those tasked with maintaining compliance, security and data privacy. The survey findings indicate a broad subset of communications channels are unmonitored, while usage continues to spike. 67% of respondents expect the usage of collaboration tools across popular platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex, Slack and RingCentral to increase. Simultaneously, employees show a growing preference for the feature-rich tools available through these platforms over legacy methods of communication, with 81% using chat and 63% using video as much or more than email to communicate. In line with last year’s findings, the transfer of files via chat (52%) and the ability to share links in chat or on screen (41%) are still considered the riskiest features.
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Increasing Regulatory Oversight Underscores Importance of Maintaining Compliance
The evolution of workplace communications necessitates that compliance and unified communications teams be interlocked in decision-making moving forward. In light of the recent, intense regulatory scrutiny and enforcement surrounding unmonitored channels like WhatsApp resulting in over $2 billion in fines, organizations are taking notice. Four out of five respondents from financial services businesses anticipate there will be increased regulatory expectations to monitor video while 36% from all industries believe video conferencing and webcams create the greatest risks in terms of data privacy and employee misconduct. The fines levied against financial institutions are a bellwether for other industries experiencing gaps in robust monitoring measures, underpinning the need to stay ahead of increasing regulatory oversight.
Legacy Archiving Solutions Lack Support for Modern Communications Platforms
For compliance teams utilizing legacy archiving solutions, modern communications platforms prove difficult to oversee. 85% of organizations experience challenges in retrieving records, while 33% are using significant manual resources to search multiple systems and modes of communication. Simultaneously, 52% find it difficult to search modern communication channels outside of traditional email methods – increasing exposure to potential fines and sanctions for not being able to provide timely, complete data for investigations, litigation data privacy or other compliance purposes. With an additional 39% of respondents citing gaps in coverage as a top challenge with their current archiving tools, these findings highlight the growing divide between tools built for email and the need for enhanced archiving capabilities to keep pace in today’s increasingly complex communications environment.
“Collaboration platforms have been integral to business operations over the last three years, and our research indicates that usage isn’t slowing down,” said Devin Redmond, CEO of Theta Lake. “As businesses chart a path forward, the focus should be on picking the right subset of the most advanced market-leading UC tools like Zoom, Slack, RingCentral, and Cisco Webex for compliance integration, and modernizing compliance with tools like Theta Lake that provide tightly integrated compliance and security coverage for the full feature set of those UC tools. By creating a positive path of least resistance for employees, businesses can increase productivity while compliantly communicating with customers and partners where and how they prefer.”
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