Trader’s WhatsApp Blunder Illustrates Banks’ IT Dilemma: Agility vs. Compliance

In mid-January, a veteran trader at a major global bank made headlines after he was placed on leave for communicating with colleagues via an unauthorized group chat on WhatsApp. The app, which is owned by Facebook and has more than 1.5 billion active monthly users, encrypts messages–presenting a problem for banks that are required by compliance standards to monitor employee communication.


The incident illustrates the fine line financial institutions must navigate as enterprise IT becomes increasingly consumerized. The nature of modern, global business demands communication technology that is agile and consumer-friendly, while the confidential information exchanged within and among financial institutions requires adherence to rigorous security and compliance standards.


There is good news for financial firms: we built Symphony to solve both of these challenges at once by creating a platform that offers users the features and functionality of popular chat apps, while complying with the heightened security needs (such as true end-to-end encryption) and strict regulatory standards that govern the financial services industry. In addition, through integration arrangements with partners like Tencent’s WeChat, Symphony users can access consumer-facing chat apps via integrations on the Symphony platform that are authorized by compliance for business use.


The demand for secure, sanctioned, compliant workplace collaboration tools is stronger than ever. More than 450,000 users in highly regulated environments already use Symphony to ensure compliant use of chat and collaboration. 

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