3 Myths About Sarbanes-Oxley Secure Messaging

There is a lot of information floating around about Sarbanes-Oxley secure messaging. Although it's common knowledge that enterprise organizations need to meet the electronic communication provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, confusion exists about the specific practices and protocols that need to be implemented to achieve compliance.

But in reality, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is only the tip of the iceberg. More than ever before, enterprise organizations need to gain a clear understanding of Sarbanes-Oxley messaging requirements and take additional measures to ensure the security of data and information throughout the organization.


Sarbanes-Oxley Electronic Communication Requirements

Enacted in 2002, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act regulates the financial and non-financial practices of businesses in the U.S. Even though Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) doesn't explicitly refer to messaging or other types of electronic communications, it requires organizations to establish, maintain and evaluate internal controls for systems that support financial operations, including messaging.

On a practical level, SOX and SEC regulations require enterprises to maintain a record of all forms of electronic correspondence for a period of at least three years. Additionally, organizations are required to store logs of messages for the past two years in a form that can be easily retrieved.

Even though much of the burden for Sarbanes-Oxley secure messaging compliance relates to storage and recordkeeping, generally accepted frameworks for compliance underscore the importance of transmission security and other components of a robust and secure messaging environment.

Common Myths About Sarbanes-Oxley Secure Messaging

One of the most common myths about Sarbanes-Oxley is that it only applies to publicly traded companies. Despite the fact that SOX was initially enacted as a response to abuses in publicly traded firms, several provisions of the legislation also apply to private companies.

But there are several other myths about Sarbanes-Oxley secure messaging that can jeopardize your organization's ability to achieve full compliance:

  1. Myth: Consumer-grade messaging systems are good enough. The introduction of BYOD policies has created an atmosphere in which many companies routinely conduct business via consumer-grade messaging platforms. That's a mistake because consumer-grade text messaging technologies not only lack the robust encryption it takes to secure messages and files during transmission -- they also lack the ability to meet the storage requirements mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley.
  2. Myth: Secure messaging compliance is a one-time event. Sarbanes-Oxley secure messaging compliance is not a one-time requirement. It's an activity that requires ongoing attention. The recordkeeping requirements alone mean that your organization must stay current with the storage of messages and other forms of electronic correspondence.
  3. Myth: SOX compliance has to be costly and time-intensive. If you intend to use consumer-grade messaging technology, be prepared to invest significant time and effort to achieve compliance. Savvy organizations know that the best strategy for complying with Sarbanes-Oxley electronic communication requirements is to implement a proven enterprise messaging platform. Leading enterprise messaging solution providers offer secure encryption, centralized cloud storage and other features that ensure SOX compliance for your organization.

Netsfere: Sarbanes-Oxley Messaging Compliance You Can Count On

At Netsfere, we specialize in equipping enterprises with secure messaging technology that meets and exceeds Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. To learn more, contact us today and discover how we can improve the security and efficiency of instant messaging in your company.