Why does the financial industry need a comprehensive approach to unstructured data archiving?

October 18, 2015 by Jatheon

Why does the financial industry need a comprehensive approach to unstructured data archiving?

The financial industry has some of the most complex operational regulations in the entire business world. Success in trading, financial management and other endeavors doesn’t just rely on business savvy and market analysis, but a strong working knowledge of relevant laws and regulations as well. A company that doesn’t place a high level of emphasis on compliance will see many of its gains washed away by regulatory fines and other penalties that hamstring specific operations and generally make operations more difficult.

Because compliance is so important – and because it involves so many different aspects of a business – it’s crucial to address every aspect. One area that can cause both frustration and significantly negative outcomes is the archiving and secure storage of unstructured communication data. Here’s a look at why unstructured communication data is so important to manage and how financial firms and companies can develop effective data archive solutions:

Managing information in a state of flux
Just 20 years ago, the Internet was in its infancy and the business applications of the major person-to-person communication tool it enabled – email – were still in the development stage. While some forward-thinking businesses were early adopters, it still took years for email to reach its status as a ubiquitous, universal tool for professional communication. This major shift was eventually met by financial industry regulations that placed clear responsibilities on those in the financial industry.

Now, years after the initial explosion of digital communication as a powerful business tool, financial businesses have to also contend with other forms of communication and information sharing. Both social media and instant messaging were eventually welcomed by businesses, and on a somewhat shorter timetable than email. What all three of these forms of digital communication have in common is their ephemeral or disposable nature. Chats disappear once the window and program are closed. Social media posts and conversations often remain in existence on the Web, but retrieving them in that format is an impractical exercise. Emails, while stored, are eventually deleted and hard if not impossible to sort through.

The transient existence of digital communication means both strong retention rules on the part of regulators and the need for financial organizations to implement effective, comprehensive and responsive archiving solutions.

“It’s not enough to simply store communications in a bulk format, they must also be indexed.”

The features the financial industry needs for compliance
Complying with a variety of financial and informational regulations can be extremely difficult unless the right approaches and systems are used. It’s not enough to simply store communications in a bulk format, they must also be indexed to make future retrieval successful and stored in formats compliant with relevant rules. Security of the information stored is also critical – an archiving solution that doesn’t offer monitoring of storage drives and support should an incident occur provides little in the way of continuous security. Archiving solutions that can provide this level of accessibility, security and compliance are simply necessary in the highly regulated financial world.

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