Maintaining regulatory compliance enables a company to demonstrate its operational competence and ability to meet the specific standards of its industry to its key stakeholders. In practice, the volume and complexity of mandatory regulatory requirements can make managing and auditing compliance a difficult and time-consuming process. This is more onerous in industries where issues like data protection, customer privacy and cybersecurity are essential to legally compliant operations and business continuity.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) holds companies accountable for protecting customer information. The FCA Handbook (SYSC 13.7) insists that financial services companies must have processes, systems and controls to manage their information risk by restricting access to important information and making information available to verifiable authorised individuals when needed. Non-compliance can result in heavy regulatory penalties and fines, reputational damage, and compensation claims from customers whose information has been stolen.
Companies are increasingly seeing the value of Compliance Portals to help them protect their confidential information. Compliance portals use Data Room technology to provide a secure space where confidential information can be created, stored, shared and exchanged. Data Room infrastructure can be used for multiple business processes, including Sales and HR.
Here we consider some of the key benefits of using a Compliance Portal.
How a Compliance Portal helps regulatory compliance
Keeping Information Secure: Advanced Data Room security mechanisms are designed to protect confidential information and prevent Data Breach. These include data encryption at rest and during transmission; two-factor authentication; audit trails showing logins to the Compliance Portal, uploads, downloads and deletions; and preventing actions such as copying, downloading, printing, saving, modifying and forwarding documents without permission. In addition, compliance with international standards such as ISO27001 guarantees protection from hackers, viruses and third-party malevolence.
Access control: Granular permissions protocols prevent unauthorised access to the Compliance Portal and restrict what each user can view on a folder, sub-folder and individual documents basis.
Activity monitoring: Monitoring and recording tools enable the company to see who has accessed the Portal, which documents they looked at and for how long. This reinforces security by identifying abnormal user behaviour and provides evidence of users having engaged with important information, such as regulatory risk warnings and legislative and policy changes.
Version control and Audit Trail: An audit trail and version history of content is automatically captured. Alerts inform users when a new document has been uploaded. Audit trails of user activity within the Portal are also retained.
Secure sharing of information: A Compliance Portal provides a secure space for sharing and exchanging information with customers and other stakeholders such as employees, business partners and investors. Authorised users can access the Portal at any time and from anywhere. A Compliance Portal removes the risk around sharing confidential information via unsafe generic file sharing services, emails or texts.
Document management: Documents can be added to the Portal by drag-and-drop or bulk upload. Documents are automatically indexed and can be organised to a company’s requirements. Data Room technology facilitates easy navigation and searching for information with alerts to users when a document has been added or replaced.
Keeping confidential information secure is a cornerstone of good corporate governance, which is an integral part of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework. The way companies manage their ESG responsibilities is increasingly influencing how investors, customers, regulators, employees and other key stakeholders judge a company’s quality of management and exposure to business risk.
If you would like to see how Perivan’s Data Room, Engage, can provide a Compliance Portal to help you manage your regulatory compliance and corporate governance processes, please get in touch with the Perivan team to arrange a demo and answer your questions.