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Revisiting 2021's Most Valuable Lessons in Communication Surveillance

Cassandra Morrison

A lot has happened in the last 12 months. From a presidential inauguration to Adele’s new album release, the year has flown by. In year two of the pandemic, things continued to change for the communication surveillance world as regulations regarding evolving channels and data sources continued to be released. Finding ways to monitor all channels and remain compliant has always been challenging, but this year added even more fuel to the fire.

From the increased importance of ESG initiatives to social trading surveillance, 2022 is primed to be another one for the books. But before you dive in, take a look back at some of the best content from the past year about communication surveillance on The Relativity Blog.   

1. The Best Way to Review Chat Data for Communication Surveillance

With so much of the workforce distributed away from their colleagues in the day-to-day, applications like Slack, Bloomberg Chat, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams have never been more useful. What was once a spontaneous, desk-side conversation is now a virtual engagement that might move from email to Slack to Zoom as coworkers suss out the details of a collaborative project.

For financial services and other highly regulated industries, this didn’t just mean an increase in new channels, but an increase in communication volumes that compliance officers needed to review.  

It’s typical for surveillance teams to monitor and review email as part of their communication surveillance program. And while emails are fairly straightforward, chat data is where things get complicated—which is where our proprietary short message review comes in handy.

2. The Power of Partnering Archiving and Communication Surveillance Workflows

In May, we announced our partnership with the Proofpoint archive. Archiving is a key component for adequate comms surveillance. Ingesting and reviewing a growing number of data sources means a team needs a reliable archiving tool. To avoid the risk and hassle of moving data between systems at different stages of your compliance activities, the most defensible strategy involves a singular connection to a best-in-class archive for storing and monitoring data.

Connecting these two systems securely ensures you’re keeping surveillance data secure and accessible in a centralized place, while enabling your teams to access that data for any necessary review, investigation, and analysis of potential misconduct. Your data is only as good as the tools you have to ingest and organize it. Data that is not well understood quickly becomes more liability than asset, and your team shouldn’t leave those insights behind—or expose them to unnecessary risk.

By connecting with a robust surveillance platform, you can better pinpoint risk and reduce manual processes. Secure cloud-to-cloud transfers ensure the archive remains the single source of truth for all relevant data while limiting gaps in surveillance strategy. 

3. Analysing the FCA's Market Watch 66 for Compliance Teams

January brought the release of the FCA’s new regulatory guidelines with Market Watch 66, focused on expectations of communication recording during remote working. Our compliance subject matter expert broke down the key learnings like:

  • The risk of misconduct has increased, and any unmonitored communications channels such as WhatsApp are only adding to that minefield.

  • Communications channels, including audio, used for business work must be recorded and fully auditable.

  • Firms must be able to demonstrate to the FCA what management oversight and procedures they have in place to meet recording requirements.

4. Audio Surveillance Should be Seamless and Precise

From December 2019 to April 2020, Zoom increased from 10 million users to 300 million. Forescout Research Labs reported that, in the financial services industry specifically, Zoom installations on Windows devices grew more than 92 percent in a period of four weeks. The message is clear: voice and audio use cases are expanding rapidly and it’s more important than ever to find ways to monitor for continued regulatory and code-of-conduct compliance.   

Monitoring voice calls has always been challenging—from recording to transcribing and finally reviewing, analysis is tedious and takes a lot of time. However, there are ways to ensure a more effective process for surveillance teams. From more accurate transcription to an easy to view platform, teams should be able to review aComms with as much clarity as they can eComms. Find out how in this blog.

5. Looking Back at GameStop: What Surveillance Teams Need to Know

Back in February, GameStop and Reddit were on everyone’s minds and in every headline. In a disruption like no other, a social media site had done the impossible and made GameStop relevant again. Retail investors poured money into purchasing GME stock, which resulted in pushing stock prices to surge more than 700 percent in a week. At one point, prices went from $2 per share to over $300 per share—causing complete upheaval on Wall Street.

But what does this mean for compliance and surveillance teams? Our team dug in to give you all the details.

Gearing Up for the New Year

If we’ve learned anything in the last few years, it’s that there’s really no telling what’s in store for the next 12 months. But we’ve also learned that we are resilient and technology is adapting fast to help us keep pace with all the changes.

So take a few minutes to reflect on what you’ve learned and accomplished over the last year, and gear up for the adventures ahead. We’ll be here to help you tackle them all.

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Cassandra Morrison is a senior specialist in content marketing at Relativity, with a special focus on the platform's communication surveillance solution: Relativity Trace.

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