The best risk management strategies are constantly evolving in a way that aligns with the shifts in the threats and vulnerabilities that confront companies in all industries and business sectors. Technology accounts for a central area of concern in the risk management landscape. This is, in large part, due to the ever-changing nature of Digital Transformation and other high-tech advances.
The timespan from 2020 through 2022 has brought about many high-tech innovations, many of them stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic brought about many advances in technologies that were related to collaboration and communication as companies sought to maintain productivity and connect with customers, clients and colleagues during times of social distancing and lockdowns.
While these technologies have effectively bridged the gaps that were created by the COVID-19 pandemic, they also opened the door to a number of threats with vulnerabilities — issues that must be addressed as part of an organization’s risk management strategy. But what is the biggest risk management issue of 2023? And how can business leaders ensure that these risks are mitigated and addressed in a way that prevents damage to a company and its interests?
Instant Messaging for Business as a Risk Management Issue
Instant messaging may very well represent the biggest risk management issue of 2023 for companies in all business sectors and industries. An increasing number of companies have turned to instant messaging apps in an effort to communicate more effectively with clients and colleagues alike. But many fail to appreciate several significant messaging app risk management concerns until they find themselves directly confronting major challenges and threats.
Instant messaging risk management concerns are many and varied. The potential consequences and adverse impacts can prove extremely damaging to a business and its ability to remain profitable on a long term basis. This begs the question: what are the risks and threats associated with using instant messaging apps for business communications?
Consumer-Grade Instant Messaging Apps – Instant messaging apps abound, consumer-targeted messaging platforms lack a number of critical tools and capabilities that are essential for use in a business setting. Firstly, your employees may be using several different instant messaging apps, which poses a challenge from an operational standpoint. A single messaging platform allows you to centralize communications — something that is essential for effective communication and collaboration. What’s more, consumer-targeted mobile apps lack moderation tools and other admin capabilities. Each messaging app account is fully controlled by the user too, which means that your company could lose access to important messaging data. And this says nothing of the regulatory compliance-related challenges that can arise.
Messaging Data Ownership and Control – Do you control and own your company’s messaging data? If your employees are using a consumer-grade instant messaging app for company communications, your business almost certainly lacks any real control or ownership of that information. In fact, messaging data may only be retained within a consumer-grade messaging app platform for a matter of weeks before the information is purged from the system and lost forever. Business leaders may be shocked to realize that they lack any sort of ownership — and even control — over critical messaging data. This is yet another problem with using consumer-grade messaging apps for business communications. Companies risk the loss of essential information when using third-party messaging platforms.
Messaging Data Retention and Record Keeping Challenges – Messaging data often includes information that must be retained for a specific minimum time frame in order to comply with record keeping laws and requirements. Data may also need to be retained for future reference within the organization itself. Whatever the case, instant messages can contain valuable and even mission critical information. Yet many companies lack the tools needed to meet these data storage needs and they may fail to appreciate the issue until they realize that they’ve failed to retain essential messaging data. Many may also find themselves facing steep fines and penalties for record keeping violations — a scenario that underscores the importance of using an instant messaging app that allows for regular message data exports and data storage.
Regulatory Compliance Reporting and Auditing Issues – There are numerous regulatory compliance requirements that call for very specific data management and data retention practices. Many of these regulating bodies also have strict reporting and auditing requirements. Yet consumer-grade messaging apps usually lack the tools needed to audit and export data in a manner that allows for proper reporting. Non-compliance is a very real concern for companies that allow employees to communicate with a consumer-grade messaging platform. The solution: use an instant messaging tool with tools and features that allow for full compliance.
Privacy and Sensitive Information – Instant messages may include sensitive information, such as financial data or protected patient health information (PHI), which is protected by HIPAA regulations. Fines and penalties can be significant for companies that fail to protect and encrypt messaging data. For this reason, it is important that a business identifies applicable privacy laws and regulations that are designed to protect sensitive data. Once those requirements are identified, a company’s IT team can work to implement the necessary security measures such as encryption and firewalls. Data protection efforts usually entail a review of user permissions and other data management practices since most applicable regulations call for strict oversight of who can access sensitive data stores.
Admin and Moderation Tools – Third-party instant messaging apps lack the admin and moderation tools, resulting in a digital environment that can be very problematic from a standpoint of inclusion and HR. If employees are using a messaging app designed for the average Joe, then your business almost certainly lacks the ability to moderate or even control a key communication channel. This translates into some significant risks, especially those associated with bad actors gone rogue.
Instant messaging risk management threats can be devastating to a company’s financials. Take the case of nearly a dozen major financial institutions that were recently hit with nearly $2 billion dollars in fines by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). It was discovered that these banks were allowing for the use of consumer-grade messaging apps for communications with clients. The apps, which includedWhatsApp, iMessage and Signal, lacked the tools required to achieve compliance with record keeping laws. The regulators at the CTFC and SEC issued precedent-setting fines to the banks with combined totals at $1.8 billion. With individual companies seeing hundreds of millions in fines, it’s fair to say that regulatory compliance represents a major risk management consideration.
Minimizing Risk With a Business Messaging App
It’s clear the instant messaging represents a key area of concern in the risk management landscape. Many of these risks can be mitigated with the deployment of an instant messaging mobile app and desktop platform that’s specifically designed for business communications. That is precisely what SayHey Messenger® is designed to do.
SayHey Messenger® is a unique and regulatory-compliant business instant messaging platform that solves many of the challenges that companies face when it comes to communication. The team at 7T developed SayHey Messenger® as a method for patching the holes in your company’s messaging situation.
The SayHey Messenger® app features:
- Data sovereignty for control and ownership of all messaging data;
- Fully compliant instant messaging for regulated businesses;
- Seamlessly integrates into existing company software platforms;
- Admin portal for moderation, auditing, and inclusivity;
- SayHey Spaces for company-wide broadcasts and team collaborations;
- Engaging, intuitive user interface for incredible adoption rates;
- Send compliant SMS messages to external users with full data retention; and
- Custom UI with your logo, colors and branding elements for a style that’s all yours.
SayHey Messenger® offers two deployments: a SayHey Messenger® Business deployment with a mobile app platform (for iOS and Android) and web app portal. There’s also SayHey Messenger® Enterprise deployments, which entail storing all messaging data in the client’s private cloud environment and the platform is fully integrated within the client’s existing software platforms, including mobile applications. This allows users to access their instant messages without leaving the screen, leading to greater productivity, higher user adoption rates and better efficiency.
Consider using SayHey Messenger® as your business messaging platform. And the best part? We can deploy this business messaging solution in a matter of days. Contact us today to learn more about SayHey Messenger®.