Takeaways from this post:

  • Manual compliance methods cannot keep pace with the volume and velocity of modern digital communications.
  • Compliance teams struggle to restrict the use of third-party channels. 52% of enterprises cite the use of unsanctioned apps as their biggest security and compliance challenge.
  • Compliance automation applies AI and machine learning to the information processing challenge that is at the core of compliance.
  • When compliance teams can trust that cloud channels are fully secured, they can greenlight new tools and help drive growth.

For almost a third of enterprises, when it comes to digital technologies, regulatory compliance is their biggest concern. Despite this, across industries, many compliance teams approach their task the same way they have for decades: Manually.

However, the manual method was developed in a paper and pen era. Modern-day digital communications operate at an overwhelming volume and velocity. It is impossible for compliance staff to manually vet even a fraction of enterprise-wide digital interactions.

Sampling is a partial and inadequate solution. Often, compliance departments try to restrict the use of third party cloud channels; but this doesn’t work. Hence 52% of enterprises cite the use of unsanctioned apps as their biggest security and compliance challenge.

In short, manual compliance is no longer fit for purpose. In its place, compliance automation frameworks have emerged. Automated compliance and automated policy compliance systems bring AI and machine learning to bear on the information processing that is at the core of enterprise compliance. By trading the manual for the automated, compliance automation delivers superior risk mitigation, cost savings, process efficiencies, and improved customer experience.

Most powerfully of all, compliance automation empowers compliance teams to greenlight crucial cloud channels, and help drive growth.

Modern Digital Communications: Too Much to Handle

In today’s business landscape, enterprises generate thousands or tens of thousands of digital human interactions every single day. Increasingly, the bulk of these communications don’t occur over email; they occur within third-party cloud channels that exist outside the traditional security perimeter.

  • On messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and WeChat, customer teams engage with customers.
  • On social media apps like Instagram and Twitter, marketing teams and executives build brand reputation.
  • On internal collaboration tools like Slack and Teams, organizations drive operations.

Any of the messages and interactions on these channels could contain a compliance threat, and lead to fines, lawsuits, or reputational damage.

Expecting human teams to stay on top of everything is like expecting to notice the proverbial needle in a haystack. For this reason, compliance teams get nervous. They tell sales and marketing teams not to use insecure, opaque third-party cloud channels.

In reality, though, teams use these apps anyway. This is a key reason why 52% of enterprises cite the use of unsanctioned apps as their biggest security and compliance challenge.

Manual Compliance: Not Fit for Purpose

To illustrate the inadequacy of manual review, consider two SafeGuard users:

  • A Global 100 pharmaceutical company needed a new way to securely reach providers and customers in the emerging market of Brazil. The COVID-19 outbreak forced the enterprise to fully embrace WhatsApp. Over 400 field personnel were using WhatsApp on a daily basis, and all these communications fell under strict industry regulations. The company was generating over 118,000 messages every month (and they were scaling).
  • A global asset management firm with $50bn in assets seeking to drive revenue in the crucial market of China. This required leveraging WeChat, the leading digital communication channel for Chinese citizens. China possesses strict regulations around business communications. These regulations have to be adhered to whether a company is communicating in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. The company was generating almost 1,000 WeChat messages every month (and they were scaling).

In order to truly ensure compliance, these companies would need to check every one of these messages for potential compliance violations.

In reality, this isn’t possible. There are simply too many messages. The manual approach to this challenge is “sampling”: Gathering 10% of communications, and taking them to be representative of the other 90%. Sampling was developed as an ad-hoc way to deal with the overwhelming volume of modern digital communications. However, sampling inherently is a partial, half-solution. Eventually, an issue in the other 90% will raise its head.

Compliance Automation: A Better Way

Compliance automation software modernizes compliance and makes it possible to handle the scale of modern digital communications.

  • By leveraging AI and machine learning, an automated compliance platform is able to oversee and monitor every single digital interaction on every digital platform.
  • Compliance automation software works around the clock, providing 100% channel coverage at all times.
  • Without requiring any human intervention, an automated compliance platform quarantines problematic messages, files, or posts, preventing them from going live. The right people receive alerts without delay, and the resolution process can start right away.
  • Compliance automation tools are infinitely scalable. However many channels are onboarded, or however many messages these channels, they are able to cover all enterprise communications.
  • A fully comprehensive compliance automation platform offers full record-keeping and archiving.

And when compliance is automated, it isn’t only the defensive side of things that is strengthened. When the foundations are firm, the offense also improves.

Once the compliance department can trust that channels like WhatsApp are being used compliantly, they can green light them. The dangerous use of sanctioned apps can stop. Compliance can cease being seen as the Department of No, and become an enabler of business growth.

Automating Time-to-Value

When you automate compliance, you automate time-to-value. When an organization can trust that all its digital interactions are compliant, it can focus on developing products. It can rapidly move to global rollouts.

Other benefits also accrue. Once compliance automation software is up and running, the staff who used to spend hours on inefficient manual compliance processes can be deployed to higher value work. Business-wide efficiencies are created, boosting agility. Sales data is better than ever before, because the record-keeping is so thorough. This translates into market data and a competitive advantage.

The future of compliance is automated compliance. For enterprises, the sooner they realize this, the better.

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