“Guaranteed returns,” “illegal,” and other data loss prevention trigger words

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In an age where information flows freely across emails and messaging platforms, ensuring the security and integrity of sensitive data is absolutely critical. For registered investment advisors (RIAs), maintaining a robust compliance framework is not only a legal requirement but also a commitment to building trust with clients. Microsoft’s data loss prevention (DLP) tools offer a powerful solution to help RIAs enhance data security.

Strengthening RIA defense with customized keyword filtering

Through customized keyword filtering, Microsoft’s DLP tools empower RIA and financial advisory firms to establish a tailored defense mechanism. By setting up a list of keywords that are prohibited from being sent or shared outside the organization, RIAs can reduce the risk of data loss and compliance breaches.

  • Automatically encrypt emails that contain account numbers, Social Security numbers, and the like. This can help to protect sensitive data from being intercepted by unauthorized individuals.
  • The chief compliance officer (CCO) can be notified when emails with specific keywords are sent out. Most of the time, the CCO simply reviews the email and allows it to be sent. However, in some cases, the CCO may need to take further action, such as blocking the email or investigating the matter.

Imagine this scenario: RIA firm Smith Investment Services decides to fortify its communication protocols using these advanced DLP tools.

Defining the keyword arsenal

Smith Investment Services starts by collaborating with RIA WorkSpace to compile a comprehensive list of keywords that could potentially signal risky or noncompliant content. Beyond the default keywords provided by RIA WorkSpace, Smith Investment Services adds specific phrases like “guaranteed returns,” “insider information,” and “illegal activities” to their list. These keywords are the digital sentinels that will scan every communication for potential risks.

Exploring different scenarios: From flagging to blocking

When a blacklisted keyword is detected in a message or document, Smith Investment Services has the flexibility to respond in various ways. Depending on the data’s sensitivity, the firm can choose to either block communications that contain the keyword entirely or flag it for manual review. This allows them to maintain an agile but secure defense against data breaches.

  1. Blocking unauthorized content
    One morning, Jane, an advisor at Smith Investment Services, drafts an email to a client discussing a potential investment opportunity. She accidentally uses the term “guaranteed returns” in the email body. Thanks to customized keyword filtering, the DLP tools recognize the risky phrase and promptly block the email from being sent. This immediate action prevents a potential compliance breach and safeguards the firm’s reputation.
  1. Flagging for review
    On another occasion, Tom, a compliance officer at Smith Investment Services, receives an email from a colleague containing the phrase “confidential merger details.” However, this phrase is not part of the predefined keywords list. In this case, the DLP tools flag the email for review rather than blocking it outright. Tom reviews the email and ensures that it’s a legitimate communication before taking any further steps.
  1. Mitigating risks in instant messaging (IM)
    The application of customized keyword filtering isn’t limited to emails alone. Smith Investment Services uses Microsoft Teams for internal communication. Lisa, a junior analyst, shares a message in a Teams IM discussing a potential investment opportunity with a client. Unfortunately, the message contains the term “insider information.” Thanks to the customized keyword filtering in Teams, the message is flagged for review by the compliance team, preventing any inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information.

Reaping the benefits of automated keyword filtering

By leveraging Microsoft’s DLP tools, Smith Investment Services can both comply with regulations and strengthen trust with its clients. With customized keyword filtering, the firm can ensure that any suspicious content is immediately blocked or flagged and reviewed before it can cause any damage. This automated approach reduces the risk of compliance violations and data loss, ultimately safeguarding Smith Investment Services’ reputation and business success.

Your existing Microsoft subscription might have all the answers you need for data loss prevention. Listen to this podcast to learn what features are available and how they can help you protect your data.
Data Loss Prevention for RIAs and Financial Advisors: Podcast

Embracing a secure digital future with data loss prevention tools

As firms embrace digital transformation in their operations, it becomes increasingly important to have a secure and compliant data platform. Microsoft’s DLP tools enable RIAs and financial advisors to customize their keyword filtering for maximum security and peace of mind. With tailored protection in place, RIAs can focus on delivering the best services to their clients and building a secure digital future for their businesses.

If you’re ready to fortify your data security and maintain a robust compliance framework, RIA WorkSpace is here to help. Our experts can guide you through implementing Microsoft’s DLP tools and setting up your custom keyword filters. Don’t leave your data security to chance. Reach out to RIA WorkSpace today.