By Rachael Green, Benzinga
In the latest wave of crackdowns to come from the SEC’s two-year investigation into Wall Street’s use of messaging apps, a new batch of Wall Street firms were recently hit with multimillion-dollar fines. Over the last two years, the agency has already fined other major Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley for failure to maintain records of the work-related communications taking place in these apps.
With this recent batch of penalties, the SEC will have levied over $2.5 billion in fines on Wall Street to date. To get ahead of the crackdown, companies will need to take steps to make sure all communications are secure, private and archived to comply with FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) regulations.
Sekur Private Data Ltd. (OTCQX: SWISF) (CSE: SKUR) (FRA: GDT0) is offering an easy-to-use, secure and transparent solution in the form of its SekurMessenger app. The encrypted messaging app offers full privacy for users and multiple layers of data protection to keep communications as secure as possible – and with its addition of an encrypted message archiving feature for businesses, it makes it easier than ever to maintain the records the SEC requires to stay compliant with FINRA regulations.
The SEC Crackdown Takes Aim At Wall Street’s Use Of Personal Messaging Apps
At the heart of the ongoing SEC investigation are Meta’s (NASDAQ: META) WhatsApp, Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iMessage, and Signal among other messaging apps that the companies had been using to discuss work. The SEC requires financial firms to maintain detailed records of their business, including all work-related communications.
The way these messaging apps are set up and handle data is also often inherently not compliant with the strict data security and record-keeping requirements financial firms need to follow. WhatsApp, for example, asks for access to its users’ contact lists. Likewise, the lack of transparency about what data WhatsApp collects on its users, how it uses it and who it shares that data with are all concerns that make it hard to ensure FINRA compliance.
“Here are three takeaways for those firms who haven’t yet done so: self-report, cooperate and remediate. If you adopt that playbook, you’ll have a better outcome than if you wait for us to come calling,” said SEC Division of Enforcement Director Gurbir S. Grewal.
That means the onus is on companies to audit their own communication practices and take steps now to ensure compliance if they want a shot at avoiding the steep fines already levied against some of the biggest names on Wall Street.
SekurMessenger Could Give Companies A Way To Proactively Bring Communications Into Compliance
For companies that want to heed that warning from the SEC, switching to SekurMessenger could help ensure their communication practices are compliant. The app, which is available on both Android and iOS devices as well as on the web, offers a number of advanced security features including end-to-end encryption, proprietary VirtualVaults and Helix Tech.
Not only does this keep conversations secure, but it also provides a way to maintain privacy as the app doesn’t ask for a phone number or any other personal identification data. The messages and any files sent or received between users are stored in a secure cloud hosted on Swiss-based Sekur-owned servers. That secure storage also provides a place to safely archive sensitive work-related communications and is adding more enterprise-related features – such as a fully private network and mass onboarding of employees – when the company rolls out its upcoming Sekur Enterprise plans in late November of this year.
Businesses can also use archiving and auto export with SekurMail, the cybersecurity and internet privacy provider’s email service that offers similar advanced privacy and security features as the messaging app. Together, the two apps can make it easier for companies to maintain compliant records without compromising security or privacy when discussing sensitive work-related information. Both SekurMessenger and SekurMail offer private and secure communications with non-Sekur users through its chat-by-invite feature for its messenger solution and SekurSend/SekurReply feature for the mail solution. This makes it even more attractive as employees can offer the same secure and private communications with their clients without compromising their data and privacy.
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