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3 Common Communication Surveillance Challenges and How to Tackle Them

Erika Sperekas

Collusion, insider trading, and other illegal behaviors aren’t explicitly described in emails, chats, voicemails, and other digital communications between bad actors. Compliance teams know they need to be on the lookout for coded language and tech-savvy participants, which is why effective communication surveillance goes beyond lexicon-based rules to cut through noise, reduce false positives, and quickly uncover the riskiest content. Beyond basic language, it requires a deep understanding of your business, global regulations, current technology, and so much more.

Ensuring that your compliance teams are able to keep up with regulations set by the FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, EBA, and other global regulatory bodies, and staying on top of linguistic nuances, aren’t the only challenges inherent to conducting a compliance review. In this rapidly evolving landscape, you want to build your surveillance operation on a platform that can integrate with diverse technologies—while centralizing your data and workflows.

Fortunately, technology is keeping up. Relativity Trace is purpose-built to handle communication surveillance requirements across a variety of customers, and the platform can be built upon to do even more. You need to work with data and communications in many ways, whether that’s translating languages, transcribing audio, or capturing mobile data. These are hard problems that require highly specific skills and technologies, so flexibility and the option to work with vendors who specialize in exactly what you need are critical.

Here's a look at a few of the obstacles compliance teams face—and the apps our community has built to tackle them.

Challenge #1: Rapidly Adapting to Evolving Communication Channels

Channels of communication vary greatly in the modern enterprise. From email to messaging tools like SMS, iMessage, WhatsApp, Slack, and Skype, employees spend the day switching between communication channels based on what feels most convenient. This means conversations can happen across data types and platforms, and compliance teams need to track multiple sources for insight on potentially nefarious behavior.

Another complication? These communications—already diverse by data type—may not always take place on company-owned computers or phones. What if your organization has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy?

This becomes a challenge in the world of compliance. Capturing and reviewing data from diverse platforms and devices means a lot of digital chasing, and very little time to do it if you want to stop illegal behaviors before they start.

Solution: Having a single repository for disparate communications is crucial for efficient, holistic surveillance and compliance review. Relativity Trace is that repository, and LeapXpert or TeleMessage’s Mobile Archiver app are some ways to bring data into the platform—from many platforms and devices—in near-real time.

Challenge #2: Translating Foreign Language Communications

Just as communication is happening on different platforms, they’re often happening in multiple languages as well. So how is your compliance team supposed to review Spanish messages when their native language is English?

Global organizations often have employees who speak dozens of languages. But it isn’t just the international giants who may come across this challenge. Employees in any location may use different languages to converse with customers or each other—and switching between languages can be an attempt at throwing off communication surveillance if two employees are colluding. It's not feasible to hire surveillance reviewers who speak every language your employees do.

Whether you’re monitoring international communications with a single compliance team, or simply coming across unexpected foreign language chats in your everyday course of business, you need to be prepared to translate and properly evaluate that data alongside the native file.

Solution: Integrating with a language translation vendor can help your team better understand and review communications happening in your organization. The Iconic Translation Connector for Relativity Trace is purpose-built to help with just that, detecting and translating multiple languages without reviewers or the data ever leaving the platform.

#3: Digging into Audio Recordings

As is the case in e-discovery and other review settings, audio data can be an entirely different animal than text when it comes to communication surveillance and compliance work. The content of this data can be exceedingly informative, but it needs to be transcribed before an automated system can categorize it alongside written communications.

When done manually, transcription is time-consuming in itself, and means an extra step in a process that must move quickly to be effective.

Even human review of audio data, done by listening to the recording, can be tricky. A moment of distraction can mean missed nuances, and it may be difficult to compare those review decisions holistically alongside those affecting other types of data in your repository.

Solution: Audio transcription is an ideal way to unite these recordings to other content, so you can read the data like any other and make holistic decisions accordingly. With the Intelligent Voice app for Relativity Trace, you can automatically generate transcriptions that are displayed alongside the recording itself—so if data is flagged by the system, reviewing with the full context of the voices involved is simple.

Be Ready for Any Compliance Challenge

In a field that evolves as quickly as compliance—with complications that vary from an evolving regulatory landscape to growing data volumes and shifting organizational needs—it’s important to constantly evaluate whether the technology you’re using is giving you the advantages you truly need at any given time.

Relativity Trace is rapidly evolving, too—not just from within the walls of Relativity, but thanks to our development partners as well.

We recently rolled out a dedicated app hub for Trace-compatible solutions, which seamlessly integrate with the platform and help you work smarter. Check out the full suite of options here to see whether there’s an application that will help you tackle a current challenge for your team. And be sure to check back frequently, because our partners are working on new innovations all the time.

Visit the Relativity Trace App Hub

Erika Sperekas is a product marketing specialist for Trace at Relativity.