CEO's Corner

Avoiding the Costly Repercussions of Noncompliance with Secure Mobile Messaging and Collaboration

Anurag Lal Anurag Lal, President and CEO of Infinite Convergence.

The landscape of regulatory compliance continues to grow in complexity. Today, enterprises in every sector must comply with evolving and increasingly stringent industry and government regulations. As fines for noncompliance grow, organizations can’t afford to roll the dice on communication apps that open them up to major compliance risk. It is now more than ever business critical for enterprises to avoid the high stakes risk of noncompliant business communication by adopting secure, compliant mobile messaging technology.

A cautionary tale of the massive financial impact of noncompliant business communication were the recent fines levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 16 financial firms and banks related to their use of consumer messaging apps in work communication. When the dust settled on the SEC’s investigation, these 16 companies agreed to pay combined penalties of more than $1.1 billion.

Record fines are also becoming the norm for violations of data security and privacy laws. International Law Firm DLA Piper reported that fines issued for GDPR noncompliance increased sevenfold in 2021 reaching $1.2 billion. One of the largest GDPR noncompliance fines that year was levied on WhatsApp. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission fined WhatsApp a record €225 million ($267 million) for lack of transparency “about the processing of information between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies.”

In the healthcare sector, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adjusted Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) penalties to account for inflation. HIPPA violations are now subject to penalties of up to $60,226 per violation and up to $1,919,173 per calendar year. To date, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the organization which enforces HIPPA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules, settled or imposed a civil money penalty in 126 cases resulting in a total dollar amount of $133,519,272.00.

At the same time regulatory complexity and fines are increasing, enterprises are facing growing compliance challenges with the shift to hybrid work. A recent 451 Research report - Banks face large fines as SEC reins in the use of messaging apps - noted that “the shift to hybrid work and the growing use of digital and mobile communications significantly raises the risk for organizations dealing with highly sensitive information such as trade secrets, intellectual property and M&A. These factors have escalated the urgency for organizations to deploy secure digital communications and collaboration tools that are simple to use — without compromising on data, privacy and regulatory compliance requirements.”

The report highlighted that “offerings like NetSfere Enterprise provide a mobile platform for messaging, voice and video with device-to-device encryption, and compliance and IT administration features for regulatory requirements.”

A robust mobile messaging and collaboration platform, NetSfere Enterprise is a secure by design and compliance guaranteed solution that takes the compliance risk out of business communication for enterprises. No compliance risk means no risk of regulatory fines and penalties, no risk of reputational damage, no risk of data privacy and security breaches and no risk of business disruption for organizations.

The bottom line is that enterprises today simply can’t afford compliance risk. With end-to-end encrypted mobile messaging technology like NetSfere, enterprises can enjoy secure, compliant business communication and avoid the devastating and costly repercussions of noncompliance.