Use Proactive Monitoring to Automate and Enhance Compliance Efforts
When it comes to compliance adherence, IT departments everywhere face a common challenge: In the face of email, phone, instant messaging, text messaging, PIN communications and web browsing capabilities on today's smartphones, can you centrally capture and organize mobile data transactions AND ensure the data remains easy to access, audit and manage?
This challenge applies whether your company's compliance mandate stems from regulatory requirements or internal directives.
The BlackBerry® Enterprise Server provides data capture and logging capabilities. However, whenever the need arises to perform a data audit, the actual search, review, and extraction of data must be manually carried out.
"Many companies vastly underestimate the sheer volume of data that they will be forced to look at when running a compliance audit manually," says Gregg Fleet, Vice President of CONCEIVIUM, a BlackBerry Alliance Partner that offers monitoring solutions for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
"Unfortunately, this appreciation for the time involved often comes after a compliance-related event has put tremendous strain on an already overtaxed IT department," he says. "It's the kind of labor-intensive experience that often prompts companies to take a more proactive approach to monitoring for compliance breaches in advance."
Proactive Monitoring for Compliance Issues to Mitigate Risk and Reduce Costs
Proactive monitoring follows the same philosophy as proactive network monitoring and, as such, delivers the same primary benefits of risk mitigation and cost reduction.
With proactive monitoring of employee communications, a company's compliance department can be notified of compliance breach issues the moment they happen.
Scenarios that can trigger a compliance breach or compliance-related event can vary, depending on industry compliance regulations and a company's own internal compliance policies. Events might include a lawsuit filed against the company, or an employee inadvertently (or intentionally) mentioning the company on the mobile device during the "quite period" leading up to earnings reporting.
When a breach of compliance policy happens, or is suspected, overburdened IT departments suddenly find themselves under tremendous pressure to find and assemble the relevant communications data.
Pressure can come from various stakeholders including management, shareholders, legal counsel, the government, or the public, depending on the nature of the organization's business.
This period of intense pressure is prolonged when auditing procedures are conducted manually.
Reducing Compliance-Related Overhead with Automation
The manual inefficiencies and overhead can be reduced using applications that extract, monitor, and report on communication data automatically.
Applications from BlackBerry Alliance Members like CONCEIVIUM and its MobileMonitor/Analyzer software, for example, organize data captured on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server as transactions happen. These applications also provide intuitive interfaces for administrators — making an audit or report request a simple point-and-click procedure. This saves administrators hours of time that would have been spent performing a manual compliance audit.
Says Fleet, "One of CONCEIVIUM's clients, a financial institution, was spending more than fifty hours per month on manual audit activities. MobileMonitor automated these procedures and reduced the manual interaction to a simple point-and-click interface, where an administrator can easily and quickly run reports to get the same information. In this type of scenario, where you're talking about reducing the number of labor hours to virtually zero, the ROI is immediate."
"In addition, MobileMonitor can be used to monitor and report on data usage by user and user group, allowing for further overhead savings when purchasing data plans from a carrier."
Reducing Risk and Liability
In the "quiet period" example for publicly traded companies, where employees are prevented from discussing company performance, MobileMonitor could be set to monitor the entire user base — globally — for key words or key phrases, such as a particular acronym or stock symbol.
"Alerting a compliance department or executive to compliance breaches immediately, so they can be addressed in real time, can go a long way to minimize or reduce a company's liability for out-of-compliance practices," says Gregg. "Further or ongoing breaches via mobile devices can be handled long before they get out of hand."
Centralization of Compliance Procedures
CONCEIVIUM and its MobileMonitor/Analyzer also allows for IT cost savings through centralized management of compliance procedures. Through the BlackBerry Enterprise Sever companies around the world in various locations can monitor and manage data communications centrally, rather than performing audit procedures manually and locally with each BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Regional variations in terms of compliance regulations are easily accommodated for, with IT controls allowing the monitoring to be turned on or off for communications in different countries.
"In this type of scenario, where you're talking about reducing the number of IT labor hours to virtually zero, the ROI is immediate."
— Gregg Fleet, Vice President, CONCEIVIUM
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