Microsoft Helps Financial Services Firms Modernize and Strengthen Communication Governance

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Financial Services Blog articles.

If one area is a challenge for financial services firms looking to digitally transform the way they do business, that area is communication governance. Due to regulations like MiFID II, FINRA Rule 3110, and GDPR, these firms must ensure they capture, store, and manage access to digital communications internally between employees as well as externally with customers, partners, or regulators. Many financial firms remain dependent on traditional communication methods (email, IM, voice) mainly because they already have the processes and tools in place to ensure regulatory compliance for any relevant information they capture. Newer communication platforms that include capabilities like persistent chat, video, voice chat, and document sharing can add a layer of complexity around communication governance - and when there are 200 regulatory updates per day from 750 regulatory bodies[1], financial firms often find themselves sacrificing modernization.


Microsoft knows that communication governance can be a huge challenge, which is why we’re excited to announce the availability of retention policies for Microsoft Teams, a hub for teamwork with chat, files, calls, and meetings. Teams admins can use the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center to set retention policies for Teams chats and team channels and decide proactively whether to retain content for the entire organization, specific locations or users, or specific teams. This means that financial services firms can provide a modern collaboration platform while still carefully managing information to:

  • Comply proactively with industry regulations and internal policies that require content retention for a minimum period
  • Help reduce risk in the event of litigation or a security breach by permanently deleting old content that they no longer need to keep
  • Expedite the document review process and avoid unnecessary efforts to dig into duplicate or less relevant records
  • Share knowledge effectively and be more agile by helping to ensure that employees work only with content that’s current and relevant to them

For Teams chat and channel messages, a copy is stored in the chat service and a separate copy is stored (archived) in Exchange online mailboxes (both user and group). By default, Teams chat, channel, and files data are retained forever. Teams retention policies enable Teams admins to set two main types of policies for Teams chat and channel messages:

  • Preservation. These policies preserve information for a specified time period. That means even if employees delete Teams messages on their devices, the messages are preserved for compliance reasons and available in eDiscovery for the specified time, after which they can be deleted either automatically per the policy or manually by an administrator.
  • Deletion. These policies help ensure organizations do not preserve data that could be a liability. After the specified duration, data is deleted from all relevant storage in Teams.

In addition, Teams admins can now use the Data Privacy tab in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center to manage the process and execution of data subject requests for data within Teams. This helps financial firms that need to respond to Data Subject Requests from individuals in the EU who request access to their data, which is a core requirement for GDPR compliance.


Click here to learn more!


[1] Thomson Reuters, “Cost of Compliance,” 2017

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