Michael Kitces #FinTech

More compliance officers allowing LinkedIn

Compliance and archiving application provider Smarsh shares results of third annual survey

May 23, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

By Davis Janowski

I am often critical and suspicious of small-scale surveys conducted by companies that sell related products, but when they are specialized, I perk up and give them a read.

In this case, I perused the third annual Electronic Communications Compliance Survey conducted by compliance and archiving application provider Smarsh.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Smarsh found that social media usage is increasing rapidly in financial services across a variety of channels, and that the bring-your-own-device trend has presented a raft of new challenges as non-corporate-owned devices must now be monitored too.

I was intrigued to find that two-thirds of firms surveyed are now allowing use of LinkedIn, which is a 10% increase over last year's survey. And further, LinkedIn also happens to be the most requested social media network among the employees overseen by the respondents, at 87%, followed distantly by Facebook at 43%.

The firm surveyed 284 people working in financial services who have “direct compliance supervision responsibility." Respondents came from among a range of job classifications and levels that included a number of top managers and chief compliance officers.

I am simply relating some of the chief findings here and hope to later compare this year's results (the survey was conducted between January and March) with those of past years.

The survey was based on 22 questions the firm said were designed “to identify current trends and to share insight on policies and practices surrounding the retention, supervision and protection of electronic communications.”

While many concerns appeared pretty consistent with last year's results, one concern presented in the survey rose in importance: The need to balance employee privacy considerations with oversight obligations was of concern to 55% of respondents.

More mundane were those that remained a consistent concern: new and changing regulations (67%), appearance of new communications channels (64%) and the perception of increased scrutiny and enforcement by regulators (63%).

I also found the data related to mobile devices of interest. While not surprising thanks to its overwhelming popularity, Apple Inc.'s devices are being allowed on the networks of 77% of respondents, Blackberry among 72% and Windows among 59%. What I did find a little bit surprising, Android devices are allowed among 67% of firms.

I am interested to see if I can find any correlation between firm size and these results. My rationale is that some large firms with sophisticated IT might deem some operating systems more of a threat to network security than smaller firms.

Despite all the craziness often cited in the media regarding the popularity of both iOS and Android (check out this video for a commercial moment of levity on that front), evidence does suggest that the somewhat more-open development environment of the latter operating system has made it more of a target for those creating malware and computer viruses (see the end of this referenced piece for more on threats and what you can do).

As I said, I will try to dive a bit deeper on this, and if anyone has other curious questions they would like to share I am happy to inquire on those as well.

For a copy of the full survey report you can visit Smarsh online.

Some related Android posts:

Android dominating much of the mobile world

Android operating system catching up

Android apps on the Blackberry PlayBook?

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