Archiving and supervision as a process have been in the lexicon of most businesses since at least the late 1990s. However, avoiding archiving fines seems to continue to elude some organizations. Capturing electronic communication – be they for regulatory purposes or just good record keeping – should be in the “DNA” of any organization as good governance.
Of course in many industry segments – financial services, government and healthcare to name a few – it is mandatory. However, for the vast majority of organizations, having a record of what has been “said and done” allows you to manage and defend yourself, your organization and the brand.
Year over year, the fines and penalties continue to mount, even for something as mainstream (now) as email archiving. Even in the last six months we have seen fines both large and small, for failure to supervise email communications as well as for failure to properly design secure storage for retention of email messages.
Consider the addition of social media, blogs as well as text messaging as now largely normal daily activities, and the job of oversight, storage, reporting and exporting data becomes overwhelming. Avoiding archiving fines does not have to overly complicated.
There are key steps you can take to insure you not only have the right policies and procedures – but that they are evolving with your organization and the technology you use.
The days of just a cursory annual glance at your handbooks, policies and procedures are long gone. Not only does technology change at a breakneck pace – but so likely is your business and customers. Often this may be more subtle than you might imagine.
For example, the combination of smart phones (iPhone, Android, et al) the mass popularity of Facebook and YouTube have pushed even the most tech averse individuals to heavy daily use of their mobile devices. This has resulted in more than 50% of ALL Internet traffic being mobile. This means a higher proclivity to:
use a mobile device for business and personal apps throughout the work day,
message more informally across email. social media and text channels,
and visit web sites in mobile browser versus returning to laptop or desktop.
Just that simple shift has implications on your policies and procedures for:
general electronic communications use,
accessing the Internet from organization devices and networks,
email and social media policies,
mobile device policies.
Beyond that – are you archiving and managing all of those various communication types?
Building electronic communications policies and procedures into a quarterly review process will help keep you prepared. Likewise, speak with your vendor(s) providing archiving and automated reporting to insure your keyword and phrase policies are accurate and automated. Perhaps most critical, make certain your storage is non-delete and secured – as fines and legal damages can be most painful around inappropriate storage that leads to lost or deleted data.
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