Smarsh 10th Annual Threat & Compliance Survey Highlights Surging Regulatory Dangers Of Distant Work With Intensified Use Of Digital Communications By Monetary Companies

PORTLAND, Ore., February 22, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Smarsh®, with which companies can manage risks in the context of their digital communications and future-proof their compliance and monitoring, today published its 10th annual report on the risk and compliance survey, in which the responses of more than 100 Compliance experts in the financial services industry are recorded. The survey found that the widespread and rapid shift to work-from-home models over the past year in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a double-edged sword for businesses – technology made it possible to connect, collaborate and being productive, but the lack of control over these new channels poses significant regulatory and reputational risks.

Smarsh collects and archives billions of digital messages each month from broker-dealers, Registered Investment Advisor Firms (RIA), insurance companies and global banks. The companies and institutions included in the survey comprise 450,000 professionals who provide more than support $ 1.3 trillion in assets under management.

Comment on the survey results, Stephen MarshSmarsh Founder and Chairman said, “Our results underscore that financial services companies have adopted digital communication and collaboration platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams on a far wider scale and at a faster pace than is widely believed. The pandemic has positioned digital communication trends at an accelerated rate In order to remain part of the long-term industry landscape no matter what happens in the public health space this year and beyond. With the incredible growth in the volume and diversity of digital communications content, companies need to ensure they have extended customer loyalty and regulatory efforts accordingly Those who don’t are much more vulnerable to risk. “

“Enterprises are facing an urgent need to monitor the broadest range of digital communication and collaboration tools possible,” continued Marsh. “Regulators have made it clear that failure to do so will result in significant fines and penalties. As a result, financial services companies have two options: they can break their budget by hiring whole new departments of compliance professionals to do more manual monitoring, or they can Leverage the latest technology to provide cost-effective, highly scalable monitoring of digital communications that enables them to more effectively meet regulatory expectations. “

Main results

  • Around 70% of respondents switched mainly to remote working models due to the pandemic. Within this group, 86% have switched more than three quarters of their workforce to a remote model. As a result of the shift to the remote workforce, financial firms have grave concerns about cybersecurity risks and employee oversight challenges in an environment that is ripe for fraud and error.
  • More than half (51%) of respondents said they had recently introduced tools like zoom or added seats or features in response to work-from-home mandates. However, of the 83% of organizations that allow conferencing tools, only 22% have retention and monitoring programs in place for the resulting communication content. This suggests that there is a compliance gap between corporate policies and procedures and corporate regulatory obligations. As new communication tools proliferate and evolve, this gap is likely to widen.
  • Instant message and collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack have become connective tissue for many companies that have migrated to remote working. However, they also present unique retention and monitoring challenges. Almost a third (30%) of the companies that use these tools for business purposes do not have a system to hold and monitor the generated content.
  • Although 48% of respondents viewed “understanding new and changing regulations” as a primary concern related to policies, regulations and enforcement of electronic communications, 63% lacked confidence in meeting auditors’ communication data requirements from digital meeting solution platforms, although the business communication comes from these digital platforms are a fair game for regulators.

Face the challenge

In 2020, collaboration and conference platforms became critical. Collaboration platforms bundle instant messaging, video conferencing, whiteboarding and other functions in a cohesive, user-friendly package. Even if the global pandemic comes to an end, the transition to a very distant work organization and the acceptance of the ever-growing number of digital communication tools will continue in the long term.

Smarsh’s 10th Annual Risk and Compliance Survey Report shows that regulators will continue to be vigilant in auditing financial firms that do not capture, retain, monitor, and produce on demand all work-related digital communications. Because of this, these companies need a combination of strict compliance and monitoring policies, employee training and modern technology to adequately mitigate risk.

“The future of digital communications compliance for asset managers and financial institutions is defined by what we call communications intelligence,” said Marsh. “Simply put, it is the seamless combination of capture, monitoring, archiving and e-discovery of digital communications content that is built into the latest artificial intelligence technologies. At the heart of Communications Intelligence is recognizing the enormous potential to harness the ever-growing Potential amounts of digital data to proactively identify potential regulatory risk while enabling companies to find previously undiscovered insights that are critical to growth and innovation. “

To download a copy of the 10th Annual Risk and Compliance Survey, visit:

To hear firsthand the results and impact of this year’s survey from Marsh and other industry thought leaders, sign up for our February 23 Webinar here:

About the survey

The data for this report was generated from a survey of over 100 IT and compliance managers and practitioners. The questions were answered via an online survey and the answers were collected from third parties.

About smarsh

Smarsh is the globally recognized leader in archiving solutions for electronic communications for regulated organizations. The Smarsh Connected Suite provides innovative capture, archiving, e-discovery and monitoring solutions for the broadest communication channels in the industry.

The Smarsh platform is scalable for companies of all sizes and offers customers trustworthy compliance. It enables them to strategically future-proof their compliance as new communication channels are introduced and to gain more insight and value from the data in their archive. Customers strengthen their compliance and e-discovery initiatives and benefit from productive use of email, social media, mobile / text messaging, instant messaging and collaboration, web and voice channels.

Smarsh serves a global customer base that spans the top banks North America and Europealong with leading brokerage firms, insurers and registered investment advisors. Smarsh also enables federal and state government agencies to meet their public record and electronic discovery needs. More information is available at

Media contacts
Michael Dugan or Joseph Kuo
Haven Tower Group
424 317 4852 or 424 317 4851
[email protected]


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