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New Compliance Tool Helps Companies Utilizing Social Media

While companies increasingly rely on social media for business marketing, support, and collaboration, they often ignore the associated risks such as non-compliance, data loss and legal issues.

While companies increasingly rely on social media for business marketing, support, and collaboration, they often ignore the associated risks such as non-compliance, data loss and legal issues.

Autonomy Corporation, an enterprise software company with dual headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom and San Francisco, hopes to help organizations manage these risks.

Autonomy today announced the availability of “Autonomy Social Media Governance,” a solution designed to monitor, govern, and protect organizations with employees engaging on social media sites.Autonomy Social Media Compliance

Autonomy Social Media Governance enables businesses to maintain compliance with new regulatory requirements around adoption of social media by employees, customers, advertisers, bloggers, and news organizations.

Regulators have recognized the influence and risks associated with these social media channels, and are starting to require organizations to actively monitor and govern employees’ social media interactions.

For instance, FINRA (The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), the independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States, recently issued FINRA Regulatory Notice 10-06, which requires member firms to supervise and archive content posted to social media for business purposes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the National Futures Association (NFA) are also developing rules associated with the use of social media.

According to a report published earlier this year by network security company, Palo Alto Networks, healthcare and financial services firms use an average of 28 social networking applications and p2p. The report showed that these heavily regulated industries are as “connected” as universities in terms of social networking and other Web 2.0 or “rogue” apps, and have little control over social networking applications and risks as such application usage continues to increase.

New regulatory requirements around social media add to the already burdensome task of adhering to current law for organizations – which requires that corporations archive, set policy, and make discoverable many forms of electronic information, including email, audio, and video.

Social media represents an extremely important new channel for businesses to develop engaging and profitable relationships with their customers. However, it is not without its risks, and for a business to leverage social media legally and profitably, corporations need to establish a comprehensive strategy to govern social media interaction.

For instance, a business could face regulatory issues if a bank employee marketed or misrepresented the value of a potential investment on social networks. Likewise, if an employee defamed another fellow employee, or a client, on a social site, this could raise legal issues for the company. Also, a pharmaceutical company could run into litigation issues if an employee denigrated a product on a social site that the company is actively promoting with advertising on traditional channels.

Autonomy will enable organizations to take advantage of the power and business value of social networks, while also maintaining compliance. Autonomy’s platform recognizes concepts, patterns, and relationships in unstructured information. The software applies this understanding to its archiving, policy management, supervision, and analytics technologies. As a result, Autonomy Social Media Governance automatically identifies content and conversations on social networks that less sophisticated keyword search technology would miss, and enables a corporation to tie these insights directly into a company’s existing compliance infrastructure.

This information can be stored in an archive and enables compliance officers, lawyers, and investigators a comprehensive policy management and analytics application to gain an understanding of their compliance status. Autonomy Social Media Governance’s dashboards combine data from all customer-facing channels, including email, audio, video, IM, web content, as well as social media, giving businesses a comprehensive view of their compliance risks across all channels.

“Social media is now a vital way to communicate and engage with customers in a positive manner to grow your business,” said George Tziahanas, Vice President of Compliance at Autonomy. “However, like every other customer-facing communication channel, regulated businesses need to govern, social media interactions pertaining to its company, products, or employees on social networks. Autonomy is the only company that can provide the necessary conceptual understanding of social network conversation, and tie it into an organization’s existing compliance and governance infrastructure.”

Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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