Effective communications and collaboration tools have become more vital than ever recently. Yet while every firm will be able to benefit from strong solutions in the form of greater productivity, not every company will be able to take advantage of some of the most common tools available due to compliance requirements.
Those in heavily-regulated sectors, such as financial services, healthcare and others, will not only have to think about the usability and cost-effectiveness of their chosen solution but whether it will meet the specific security and compliance requirements of their industry.
The challenges facing highly regulated firms
Ensuring compliance with industry-specific regulations that are typically tighter than those other businesses have to face must be a top priority for firms in these sectors.
For example, the healthcare sector deals with personal sensitive medical data, so it is imperative that any communications where users discuss such matters are completely secure.
One area where this has long been a concern is in activities such as multidisciplinary team meetings, where cases may be discussed via videoconference by specialists in different locations.
However, it’s increasingly the case that patient-to-doctor communications will be the norm in the coming years. Remote consultations have grown hugely in 2020, but there have already been data breaches where unauthorised users inadvertently accessed video call recordings. Providers should look for solutions that can disable this functionality for example. See how ClineCall makes video conferencing secure for healthcare professionals.
Other sectors, however, will have their own issues and rules to adhere to. For example, financial services firms covered by the MiFID II regulation will have to keep comprehensive records of any communications regarding financial transactions for five years – and this covers everything from an audio recording of phone calls to SMS logs and email records.
Another importance compliance regulation is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) which is a set of requirements that ensures that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
Therefore, businesses must be able to monitor every channel on which such collaborations take place and have a clear strategy for how such records will be kept, stored and protected from unauthorised access.
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Compliance in collaboration apps
These requirements mean that many of the standard solutions that many businesses have been turning to recently to improve their communications and collaboration may not be suitable, enhancing the fact that employee behaviour may be a threat to GDPR efforts.
The likes of Zoom, for instance, which has had highly-publicised security issues since booming during the lockdown, will be unlikely to satisfy these requirements. Even enterprise-focused solutions like Microsoft Teams may not give the security these organisations need if not used correctly.
Therefore, they may have to turn to more specialised solutions that have been built from the ground up to address cybersecurity issues without compromising on functionality.
These tools benefit from economies of scale to provide a level of protection that businesses would not be able to achieve on their own. They can also allow firms to set out policies for areas such as call recording, online payments, medical data and data retention, whether this is to ensure all communications are logged or to prohibit recording when necessary.
If you’re uncertain about how to ensure your communication and collaboration systems are compliant, it also helps to have a telecoms expert partner who can assess your needs and make a bespoke recommendation.