What can RegTech companies learn from the coronavirus outbreak?

While the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of damage on the financial sector, there are also lessons to pick up from it.

The spread of the coronavirus and the damage it leaves in its wake are growing by the day. Over 10,000 people around the world have died because of the disease. Governments around are taking increasingly bigger steps to halt the spread of the virus by shutting borders, closing down infrastructure, sending kids home from school and encouraging people to work from home.

Both governments and businesses are also encouraged to strengthening their cybersecurity to protect their people as cyber criminals are seizing upon the opportunity to launch phishing and ransomware attacks.

Theta Lake, the RegTech company is one of the companies that have taken steps to protect their staff. “[We] have been providing ongoing guidance to employees and implemented remote working arrangements,” Marc GIlman, general counsel and vice president of compliance at Theta Lake, tells RegTech Analyst. “We are a nimble company that can respond to disruptions like this quickly. We’re able to rely on the security, redundancy, and response practices that are tested as part and parcel of our SOC 2, Type 2 audit.”

While the global crisis is severe, Gilman believes RegTech companies should learn from the crisis. “RegTechs should have robust business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place and must be able to notify employees of changes to work schedules and operational arrangements,” he says.

“Being able to operate your business – both the technology and processes – without interruption is key. Strategically, RegTechs should perform annual SOC 2, Type 2 audits to demonstrate that they maintain and test crisis protocols in a routinised manner. The SOC 2, Type 2 audit also provides a tangible indication that a RegTech maintains best practices when it comes to information security.”

Many companies, including several challenger banks, have opted to allow their employees to work from home. When they do, there are things they should keep in mind, Gilman advises.

“We’ve seen financial services move almost entirely to a remote working model in light of the coronavirus, supported by the use of collaboration applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, and Cisco Webex,” he says.

“Financial services firms need to take full advantage of the video, audio, and text capabilities of those platforms and absolutely must have supporting technologies that facilitate compliance with regulatory mandates for the capture, retention, and supervision of digital communications. Banks can mitigate risks by leveraging purpose-built RegTechs like Theta Lake to allow them to comply with regulatory requirements while maximizing the benefits of new collaboration tools.”

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