The use of private messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have become increasingly popular in recent years. Many tout the convenience and connectivity compared with traditional email or messaging systems. However, using these apps for business purposes can pose serious risks and affect your organization's compliance.
Companies in regulated industries like finance, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals are required to maintain records of all communications related to their business. This includes emails, instant messages, and text messages. If employees are using private messaging apps to communicate about work-related matters, these communications may not be captured by the company's records retention policies. This violation exposes companies to significant legal and regulatory implications, including hefty fines.
The impact of these fines can be significant. The SEC has begun cracking down on companies that use unauthorized private messaging apps. Several companies have been fined in recent years resulting in over $1.8B in fines for failure to archive communications and for using unauthorized messaging apps.
Beyond financial penalties, there are additional potential corporate and individual implications of using private messaging apps. Companies may face reputational damage and subsequent loss of investor confidence. Employees face serious individual implications if they inadvertently expose confidential or sensitive information.
To mitigate these risks and avoid substantial fines, companies need to take a proactive approach to managing their corporate communications. This includes implementing policies and procedures that govern the use of messaging apps, educating employees on the risks of using private apps, and investing in telecom and mobile management solutions that can capture and archive communications across all channels.
With the SEC cracking down on the use of unauthorized private messaging apps, your organization could be facing legal, regulatory, and reputational risks. Safeguard your profits and reputation by implementing a corporate managed mobility plan.