Electronic communications are becoming more central to the way firms do business in financial services and new forms are being developed every year. Such is the rate of new electronic communications that there has been a needed increase in regulation to ensure that all customer communications are clear, fair, not misleading and remain consistent throughout the customer journey.
This has propelled the latest changes around MiFID II and FINRA legislation regarding how communications are to be recorded and stored for protection and accountability for both customers and finacial firms. In our guide "Electronic Communications in MiFID II, Article 16", we identified web archiving as a much required need for financial firms as the best way to properly and efficiently record communications in a legal and compliant way.
There are mutliple options for web archiving, from free tools to fully managed services and solutions which are available - the one you choose should be able to handle your firm's compliance and legal requirements.
In addition to this, you will need to convince your board to buy into web archiving as the right solution for your firm in complying with MiFID II, Article 16 - so here are some questions and hesitancies you could be presented with and how we would recommend you respond.
"Aren't we already compliant with backups?"
In our earlier blog "Backup vs. Archiving for MiFID II", we explained the difference between a backup and an archive and how they are each used for different scenarios.
A backup is used to help a business recover lost, deleted or corrupted data from a saved point in time and aims to restore operations as efficiently as possible. However, data in a backup is not normally protected against being manipulated and changed.
An archive, on the other hand, is for long-term preservation and retention of historical data for regulatory compliance - and should be unchangeable and incorruptible.
Based on this, data that is inly backed up is not legally admissible in court, nor is it compliance with MiFID II.
"Aren't social media messages stored indefinitely anyway?"
No. The FCA has specific guidance (FG15/4) pertaining to social media and customer communications in which they state:
"Firms should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this."
This is because third party sites like social media platforms may refresh their content at any time (and may delete older material) and individuals could also delete their own conversation threads or remove their accounts from the platform. In order to comply fully with MiFID II, Article 16 in recording all electronic communications, your archiving provider must also be able to archive any social media platforms that your firm uses.
"Can't we do this in-house?"
Is it possible to undertake the archiving of your firm's web content in-house. However, it is a resource-intensive task when you add up the full list of electronic communications that your firm handles - you website, all social media channels, blogs, RSS feeds, SMS/MMS and more. You also need to ensure that all archiving is done in an ISO compliant manner in order for records to be legally admissible.
"How much will a web archiving solutions cost?"
There are varying costs for different types of web archiving solutions. However, if your chosen provider is able to offer a SaaS model for your firm, it might be less than you expect and a small trade-off for the competitive advantage of being able to do business across mutiple electronic communication channels.
"Are they able to handle the volume of our data?"
If your provider truly has cutting-edge technology, they should be able to demonstrate the ability to archive all your data as well as index it for search purposes at the frequency that you require. At MirrorWeb, for example, we archive more than 150TB of data for the National Archives, amounting to over 16 billions documents across 4000+ websites. Additionally, any one of these archives can be retrieved in seconds thanks to our full text search capabilities.
"Is it safe to archive data in the cloud?"
Yes. As the cloud market has matured, it's no longer considered an inherent security risk and is often deemed more secure than on-premise data storage. The added benefit is that the cloud is accessible at all times from any location with an internet connection and saves on investments required for any infrastructure. That said, you may want to consider the stability of the cloud service provider - global providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), for instance, aren't going anywhere any time soon and so the availability of your data will be assured, whereas smaller providers may not offer the same peace of mind for long-term data retention.
"Will the solution meet our data sovereignty requirements?"
Yes, if you choose a web archiving provider that has the ability to store your archives in local data centres (whether their own or facilities operated by a infrastructure partner such as AWS, which offer data centres across mutliple regions to satisfy local customers' latency and data sovereignty needs).
MirrorWeb: Your Archiving Partner
With a cloud-native company such as MirrorWeb, you'll be using a trusted a secure archiving service provider with extensive experience in understanding the strict requirements of the financial and public sector which allows us to offer scaleable solutions to fit.
- Big data processing specialists
- UK-based, with all data stored in local territories
- ISO9001 and ISO27001 certified
- Fully security-cleared for the UK Government
- Able to manage 150+TB of historic data across multiple AWS availability zones and regions
- Able to provide a true "Google-like" search across the 16 billion documents within the UK Government's National Archives
We are parterned with AWS and Manchester University with which we are developing ML and AI tools, funded by Innovate UK. These exclusive partnerships have allowed us to secure some of the biggest clients who require effective archiving for their websites and social media, including:
Our effective and fully compliant Enterprise and SaaS turnkey archiving solutions allow us to provide both high-level public and financial sector organisations with the ability to meet their legally imposed compliance demands set forth by regulatory bodies as well as for historic and legislative purposes.
If you would like to see how our archiving solutions can help you organisation comply with MiFID II's electronic communications recording requirements, get a free archive of your web content today.