Financial institutions always face the threat of criminal conduct related to money, markets, and financial services. To prevent fraud and protect investors, they must follow specific regulations to guarantee transparency in the transactions and market activities. With that goal, they must record and monitor all e-communication channels taking place within or from their organization. This is when e-communication surveillance monitoring comes of the essence.
The system monitors all communications between counterparties and clients through chats, emails, text messages, etc., to ensure non-leakage of private information. However, financial institutions face certain challenges while monitoring e-communication surveillance. Here, we will discuss a few challenges and how a financial institution can overcome them.
Selecting the Best Approach
An institution can perform e-Communication surveillance either manually, through automated solutions, or using a combination of both. When performed manually, the institutions monitor and control written e-communications from employees based on a pre-defined list of keywords. Manual monitoring is time-consuming, low-quality, and highly prone to human errors and false positives.
Automated monitoring systems search for key phrases and keywords from multiple channels, including phone calls, chats, emails, instant messages, text messages, etc. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing teach a computer program to comprehend human language. Moreover, they reduce operational costs while detecting suspicious activities automatically.
Respecting Employees’ Privacy
While e-communication surveillance raises a challenge regarding respecting employees’ privacy, the push to maintain transparency in regulations goes head-to-head with the need for data privacy. Financial institutions use broad-based privacy regulations to overcome this challenge to generate consistency in handling private information. These regulations permit work communications monitoring within the strict framework limits. Financial institutions must adhere to them and know what they can do and to what extent.
Most importantly, the financial institution must inform its employees that it will monitor their communications, why they are doing so, how much, and how they will use the data. The reasons for e-communication surveillance monitoring should be legitimate, explicit, and specified. While employers have no right to look at their employees’ private chats and emails sent using a work computer through their private accounts, employees must know that they should not send personal communications using their work equipment.
Storing and Processing Data
Storing and processing data is a crucial topic in financial institutions. They must manage data in such a manner that they meet the surveillance requirements while safeguarding employees’ privacy. Thus, addressing both the compliance regulations is a significant challenge for financial firms. To overcome this, many surveillance programs give individuals a ‘right to be forgotten’, in case their personal data is no longer processed, needed or if they withdraw their consent. On the other hand, firms have the right to retain data for legitimate reasons, though after informing the employee or the customer.
The financial institution must meet the requirements regarding data collection and transparency. At the same time, they must ensure their internal systems and policies are compliant, especially for data retention and recording. Storing only the relevant data and keeping it secure is a significant challenge for financial institutions undertaking e-communication surveillance monitoring. Another challenge is who can access the stored data and retrieve it during the retention period. To overcome this challenge, they require an audit trail that ensures all data is stored, retained, and deleted according to the regulations.
Determining the Extent of e-Communications Surveillance
Beyond regulatory perspectives, it’s challenging to determine how far can surveillance go. Financial institutions can monitor every activity on an employee’s personal communication channels through a surveillance system. They may view anything they type on their professional device through keylogging and screen capture techniques. These technologies store everything an individual types on a mobile or computer keyboard, including private messages, email addresses, bank details, passwords, etc.
Although it is an efficient method of identifying fraudulent activities, employees often see it as a violation of their privacy. It leaves a blurry line between espionage and recording communications for surveillance purposes. Therefore, firms must hire surveillance experts to monitor communications in line with regulatory frameworks while respecting employees’ privacy rights.
e-Communication surveillance monitoring is a field with complications varying from regulatory landscapes and mounting data volumes to shifting needs and respecting people’s privacy. Monitoring experts use the right technology to collect the needed data at the right time without hurting anyone’s rights. The communication surveillance monitoring platforms are rapidly evolving, and financial institutions may take advantage to gain an edge by overcoming these challenges.