When a financial giant bans text messages, Whatsapp, Google Talk, iMessage, and all other communication apps from its company-issued phones and bans employees from using those apps for work-related messages on their personal phones, it’s wake up call time for everyone in the industry.
This is the case from early in 2017, when Deutsche Bank AG, the Germany-based global banking and financial services company decided to ban communication apps.
According to reports, the company believes that unlike emails, text messages can’t be archived by the bank and so, while it will cause changes in the way employees work, the company must deactivate these apps in order to remain compliant with regulatory and legal requirements.
This step is part of the company’s process to improve compliance and clean up its reputation, which has been harmed by a series of probes into its role in the sale of toxic debt, manipulation of interest-rate benchmarks, and failure to prevent possible money laundering in Russia.
While Deutsche Bank sees this step as necessary in order to comply with regulations, other companies and state agencies have recognized that communication apps are a necessary and useful tool for their employees and archiving solutions exist that allow for full compliance with regulations.
Just months before the Deutsche Bank ban on communication apps, Washington State localities made news for banding together and purchasing text message archiving tools that would allow local government employees to stay connected with text messaging capabilities while still allowing state institutions to comply with public record laws and produce work-related text messages from the archives when necessary.
One can only speculate as to how long this ban can last. Will employees really be able to stay off of communication apps entirely in a world so reliant on messaging? Will the services being provided to customers suffer from this ban?
At the very least, we can hope that this serves as a wake up call to other companies in regulated industries, where compliance with regulations is key and encryption and archiving solutions are necessary. The solutions exist and can be integrated into these institutions, ensuring a secure flow of data that can be retrieved from the archives when necessary.