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Mobile Compliance: 2022 Key Takeaways


In the banking industry, 2022 was a significant landmark for mobile communications compliance. Until that point the risk of using unmonitored mobiles for market abuse was never a real priority for the financial firms, except for a few innovative and forward-looking global players.

From the vendor’s perspective, this year represents a huge turning point in awareness on mobile communications compliance, the difference between work and personal devices, and the firms taking a keen interest in problem solving technologies.

Here are the 2022 key takeaways on mobile communications compliance in the financial industry.

  1. Record regulatory fines for using personal devices

Regulators in the US, SEC and CFTC came down hard on most major financial firms concluding their first major round of investigations with the collective $US2 billion fine. A total of 16 global banks were fined for the failure to keep records on business communications over various personal messaging channels. More investigations on smaller investment firms are already underway.

  1. Two-device policies continue

Whilst some banks are thriving towards the single-device policy, most banks continue to implement a clear-cut difference and strict rules between work and personal mobile devices. A general rule of thumb is that all business communications must be conducted over work devices, and personal devices can only be used in emergencies.

  1. Compliance controls on work and personal devices require different technologies

Mobile device is a mobile device, right? So, the solution to manage both work and personal devices should be the same? Unfortunately, this is where most confusion comes from. Due to privacy laws and subsequent technical restrictions by device manufactures, monitoring work and personal device compliance need two completely different technology approaches.

Mobile Compliance: 2022 Key Takeaways

4. Personal wearables are a notable new threat

Connected smart devices is a threat that’s basically overlooked in financial firms. Ranging from smart watches to smart glasses, they barely draw any attention. All you need is to activate your smartwatch and provide a live feed to the bad actor straight from the trading floor without anyone noticing. All wearables are personal devices and fall into the same category as personal mobiles.

5. Mobiles are a technology that need to be controlled with technology

Mobile security threats and vulnerabilities are still hugely underrated by the financial firms. Unbelievably so, this is still a risk that most banks continue to manage with policies, awareness and drawing some physical mobile-free zones on their trading floors. Mobile phones and all other wearables are ubiquitous part of our lives now with devices getting smaller, eventually crawling under our skins. It doesn’t matter whether you ban the devices or allow emergency calls on personal devices or implement a single-device policies – all scenarios must be controlled with technology that works.

We at Mobilewatch would like to thank all the firms and regulators for engaging with us on this innovative topic of mobile communications compliance. A special thanks goes to all of you who see the “Elephant in the Room” and are genuinely keen to drive forward new controls, technology, and the way our trading floors operate.

Wishing all our clients, partners, and colleagues a peaceful Christmas and a bright New Year!


Published: 19 December 2022

Author: Raili Maripuu

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