The Risks of Free Instant Messaging in the Financial Services Workplace

The financial service industry has a unique set of security and regulatory risks that must be mitigated in today's business environment. Not only are financial institutions high-value targets for data breaches and fraud, but they're also exposed to legal liabilities when customer and employee privacy is violated.

When employees are allowed to use popular messaging apps like WhatsApp at work, they create security risks that can be avoided with a secure messaging app like Softros's LAN Messenger. In this article, we'll consider the risks that consumer messaging services pose to employers and how Softros's app can solve them.

Regulatory Compliance

Financial service enterprises need to comply with local government regulations. These regulations are often designed to ensure that audit trails are created to tracks all communications in the workplace. These records are needed when cases of employee and customer are investigated.

Email messages are easily archived, but more convenient business chat and consumer messaging services are replacing email as the communication tool of choice among employees. These services typically use a third-party internet server as the intermediary, and they rarely archive messages for later retrieval. As a result, important employee communications can be lost, which can lead to regulatory sanctions.

Data Privacy

Privacy regulations like the GDPR require all data processors to follow guidelines that limit consumer exposure to breaches of their confidential information. Employers, too, must consider the dangers of sensitive internal data being released intentionally or accidentally by their employees. This means they must ensure they have full control over where their data is sent and stored.

When employees send and receive sensitive employer or customer data to each other with consumer messaging apps, the data leaves the local network and travels to servers on the internet. These messages can be intercepted in transit. They can also be copied and stolen while they exist on third-party servers. Both of these threats can lead to privacy violations of the customer and the employer.

Network and Data Security

Businesses today must consider every aspect of their local area network's security given the threat environment that exists. The introduction of mobile devices and the popularity of free messaging services add new weaknesses to network security plans. When employees regularly send and receive data over the internet, firewall openings are created that must be monitored closely for hacker attacks.

Mobile devices and third-party services also cause employers to lose control of how and where their data is stored. For example, if a financial institution has the policy to encrypt and control access to customer information, it may not be enforceable when that data is transmitted to servers outside of the employer's network. If the data is stored on an employee's personal device, the employer can lose possession of that data when it leaves the workplace.

A Secure Messaging Solution

These regulatory, privacy and security problems that arise when employees use their own messaging services can be solved with a secure messenger solution. Softros designed LAN Messenger to address these concerns by using encryption and peer-to-peer network technology. It provides the same convenient collaborative tools like chat and file transfer without introducing new security risks.

Softros's app uses a peer-to-peer network of workstations that keeps internal communications inside the local network. This eliminates the problems of transmitting and storing data with third-party services. Their messenger also encrypts messages and file transfers to eliminate the risk to privacy and theft of sensitive data if it's intercepted.

Administrative tools are also included in this secure messaging tool such as remote desktop sessions and user management. It's easier to manage user accounts because the app resides on company workstations that are assigned to employees rather than on their personal devices. Messages and data transfers can be archived for auditing purposes in the same way as other internal communications like email.


You can download Softros's secure business chat solution and evaluate it for your business needs. Their customer service representatives will be happy to help with any questions you may have.