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Putting Plans Into Effect

As tech evolves, so too does the compliance landscape, and keeping up can prove quite the challenge for many businesses. Here, we share trends and predictions from Anthony West, CTO at Actiance and an expert in electronic communications compliance.

While 2017 was spent frantically preparing for regulations like MiFID II and GDPR, 2018 looks to be a year to stabilize and see if the work will pay off. As these regulations go into effect, the time has come to evaluate how they affect the enterprise ecosystem and if the adjustments made to compliance programs will be enough to satisfy regulators.

The benefits of the changes implemented last year will come primarily through compliance enforcement, which means that a major theme of 2018 will be proving compliance adherence through — or, in some cases, despite — continuously changing technology. With that in mind, these are the top trends to watch to ensure your company is demonstrating its commitment to protecting your customers and their data.

Companies will need to ensure they are using the latest security technologies to protect themselves from new external and internal threats as users move sensitive content to social channels as part of their business process.

Cyberattacks will be at an all-time high. Attackers are looking at new ways to penetrate corporations as they allow more broad-scale federation to external parties over instant messaging (IM) and other collaboration tools. While this is fantastic progress and an important component to digital transformation, it opens questions about how well IT and security departments are ensuring these new communications channels have the necessary protections in place that we’ve become accustomed to with email.

As email protection technology has vastly improved – protecting firms from internal and external threats with data loss prevention solutions – it is expected that bad actors will begin to target newer technologies in the areas of real-time communications and collaboration.

With regulations like MiFID II and GDPR top of mind in 2018, trusted immutable data and open access to data repositories will play a central role in compliance efforts.

Financial services firms are expected to be ready and able to demonstrate that they are MiFID II compliant. Piecing together and reconstructing trade events with electronic communications within the 72-hour regulatory SLA window is expected to be tested at scale in 2018. To meet global regulations, regulated entities are realizing that a combination of data science and technology solutions are key in helping them identify areas of risk.

Firms should avail themselves of best-of-breed systems that have open access to datasets for sophisticated, post- and near real-time data analysis, allowing them to automate the threading and reconstruction of conversations with minimal manual labor.

The explosion in the volume of data, especially in electronic communications, will continue to grow exponentially as firms leverage new tools internally and externally to improve employee productivity.

Advanced analytics and data management capabilities that leverage these datasets will also radically help drive innovative insights for line-of-business applications. For this to happen, firms need to have an unfettered, Open API and fast access to reliable, trusted datasets. Superior insights, the appeal of faster and better information access, is no longer a nice-to-have, but now mandatory for firms looking to deliver both superior insights to improve the customer experience and marketing programs that go beyond traditional compliance surveillance.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business conversations will evolve to allow corporations to attack increasing workloads. Use cases will include: regulatory supervision and surveillance; conducting more frequent security governance posture reviews by understanding sentiment; detecting stress, tone and personal information (per GDPR); and comparing current user behavior against a historical baseline.

AI was a common 2017 technology story with the nature of the technologies themselves being the narrative. With the right technology partnerships, corporations will be able to realize unparalleled speed and agility, providing efficient compliance review and relevant e-discovery results that may have once required an army of offshore people to process.

Blockchain-based ledgers will become more widespread across the industry. While blockchain technology may still be viewed by some as disruptive, its potential to increase trust and transparency in financial transactions and communications across groups is gradually becoming more understood.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Australian Securities Exchange are both exploring blockchain’s application for the clearing and settlement of financial events, while the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is developing a blockchain-based platform for trade finance. In these and other projects, we are seeing the move from disruption to adoption.

As these technologies continue to develop, and as companies adopt new forms of communication and collaboration, the moving target that is consistent regulatory compliance shows no signs of stopping. By keeping an eye on these major areas of innovation, however, organizations can prevent it from straying too far, avoid breaches and fines and ultimately keep customers and their data safer.

Anthony West

Anthony West is Chief Technology Officer for Actiance. Mr. West is regarded as an enterprise collaboration technology strategist, specializing in real-time communications platforms and B2B/B2C architectures that are critical to financial services and other regulated industries.

Prior to Actiance, Mr. West oversaw communications compliance infrastructure services at Credit Suisse, where he acquired a thorough understanding of what it takes for regulated firms to deploy modern communication channels in a compliant manner to prevent costly fines and violations. He has a Master’s Degree in Information Technology Management from the University of Sydney.

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