By: Bill Tolson on December 21st, 2017

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The Need for Social Media Archiving

regulatory compliance | Archive2Azure | Social Media


In my frequent discussions with customers about the benefits of cloud archiving for regulatory, legal, abd business reasons, I still find a large percentage that still don't worry about archiving corporate social media content.

Some industries, such as the financial services and pharmaceutical industries, have specific regulatory retention requirements around how companies use social media for business purposes. For specifics on those regulations, you can check out the SEC, FINRA, and FDA sites. However, the point I am focusing on in this blog is that corporate social media archiving is not only driven by government regulations.

In many/most organizations, business critical and sensitive content generated by, and stored in both enterprise-grade and non-enterprise social media accounts is not being properly overseen, managed, archived, and retained. This exposes organizations to a variety of risks (besides regulatory liability) including an inability to place potentially responsive content on legal hold and the inability to find and produce information during eDiscovery.

Another major issue with unmanaged corporate social media activity is the fact that they can serve as an open door for IP theft, ransomware infiltration, and virus introduction. The key for organizations is to intelligently enable the use of social media platforms and gain from the productivity and other benefits they provide. However, being aware of, and protecting against the increased risk is paramount.

In November 2017, Archive360and Osterman Research published a white paper titled Best Practices for Archiving and Securing Social media and Collaboration Platforms. This report discovered some very interesting facts about the penetration of social media into the corporate world.  For example:

  • 66% of companies now have a company managed LinkedIn account
  • 75%  now have a company managed Facebook account
  • 68%  now have a company managed Twitter account

The problem with the above numbers is that many/most organizations lack several badly needed social media controls including:

  • Acceptable use policies
  • Definitively stated employee responsibilities (and enforcement consequences)
  • Technological controls and protections
  • Policy/content control to ensure IP or PII is not leaked
  • Managed retention/disposition for regulatory compliance
  • Litigation/legal hold/eDiscovery functionality

 Social media use by the organization and individual employees can be a huge marketing, sales, and productivity tool. But without the correct safeguards, it can become a gigantic liability.

For more information on this topic, you can download the Osterman Research report titled Best Practices for Archiving and Securing Social media and Collaboration Platforms.

 For additional related content, check out these blogs:

Social Media Archiving and the Financial Services Industry

Best Practices For Email Archive Migration To Office 365

Best Practices For Protecting Your Data When Employees Leave The Company

About Bill Tolson

Bill is the Vice President of Global Compliance for Archive360. Bill brings more than 29 years of experience with multinational corporations and technology start-ups, including 19-plus years in the archiving, information governance, and eDiscovery markets. Bill is a frequent speaker at legal and information governance industry events and has authored numerous eBooks, articles and blogs.