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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Overcoming the Business, Regulatory and Legal Risks Introduced By Social Media and Cloud-Based Collaboration Platforms

January 16, 2018 No Comments

The use of social media and cloud-based collaboration platforms has proliferated many, if not most, business environments. While the benefits are well documented, there are also significant business, legal and regulatory risks introduced.  But these risks can be mitigated. I had the opportunity to sit down recently with Bill Tolson, Vice President of Marketing for Archive360 ( to discuss this important topic.

  • Q: Can you discuss the most common risks introduced by the use of social media and other cloud-collaboration platforms in the workplace?

A: The first risk companies should be aware of is the practice of stealth social media and collaboration accounts. For many years, employees have been able to install or access cloud applications which give them the ability to utilize these applications without company knowledge and oversight. This in turn raises the risk of IP leakage, introduction of malware, regulatory complications, and eDiscovery/litigation liability.

To combat this possibility, some companies have blocked application installation and turned on port blocking so specific websites can’t be accessed. However, the best practice is to block the capability to install/access unapproved applications while providing employees access to approved social media and collaboration applications. Even with approved applications, companies must create use policies, audit capability, and archiving in case a legal hold must be applied quickly.

  • Q. What is the feedback you are hearing about this subject from business and IT professionals — do they have significant concerns? Do they have, or are they imminently putting, policies in place to address these concerns?

A: Companies have become more aware of the liabilities associated with these types of capabilities and have begun to crack down on stealth accounts while putting in place official use policies and clear enforcement and punishment procedures.

Prevailing research indicates that currently, about 35% of companies have a detailed and thorough social media use policy in place (Osterman Research white paper: Best Practices for Archiving and Securing Social Media and Collaboration Platforms). As for archiving enterprise social media, the Osterman Research report said that currently only 43% of companies utilizing enterprise grade social media actual archive their content – putting them at risk during litigation.

  • Q: More specifically, how are these organizations addressing the monitoring, collection, storage and archiving of social media, text messages and other types of content and communications floating around outside of the corporate firewalls? Or, aren’t they?  What business, legal and regulations compliance issues does this introduce?

A: In reality, companies are not capable of capturing social media outside of their firewall with the individual’s permission. For the company enterprise and owned assets (including cell phones/SMS), software does exist to capture/monitor/archive various types of communications. This is why the practice of BYOD (bring your own device) is so risky – the company may not have access to the device. The main problems BYOD introduces is again leakage of IP and PII, security issues, regulatory concerns, and eDiscovery issues.

  • Q: So what’s a solution? Could you talk to me about how Archive360 helps enterprise organizations to address these challenges?

A: Archive360 designs and sells data migration software and intelligent cloud archiving solutions which enable companies to move and manage the disparate data streams into a combined, highly secure, and low cost cloud archive that can manage, apply retention/disposition policies, and provide legal case management capability. The key to addressing the challenges of corporate social media is to have approved versions, block non-approved applications, and train employees on its acceptable use.

  • Q: Anything else you wish to share with our readers?

A: I would welcome business and data management professionals that wish to learn more about this topic to visit Archive360’s Use Cases page: Here, they can learn about how to mitigate the risks introduced by social media and cloud-based file sharing, as well as about other use cases such as: Departed Employees, Compliance Records Management, Journal & Email Archive Elimination, Cloud Storage & Management, and Data Discovery & Migration. Should they wish to drill down a bit more, this page: details how Archive360 solutions help specific industries, such as Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Legal, Energy, and the Public Sector.

Bill Tolson 150x150 IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Overcoming the Business, Regulatory and Legal Risks Introduced By Social Media and Cloud Based Collaboration Platforms

Bill Tolson has more than 25 years of marketing experience with multinational corporations and technology start-ups, including 15-plus years in the archiving, information governance, and eDiscovery markets. Prior to joining Archive360, Bill held executive and senior-level marketing positions at Actiance, Recommind, Hewlett Packard, Iron Mountain, Mimosa Systems, and StorageTek. At Archive360, Bill is responsible for directing all brand strategy, product marketing, corporate marketing, public relations, sales enablement and strategic partner marketing. Bill is a frequent speaker at legal and information governance industry events and has authored numerous articles and blogs. Bill is also the author of two eBooks: “The Know IT All’s Guide to eDiscovery” and “The Bartenders Guide to eDiscovery”, the author of the book “Cloud Archiving for Dummies” and co-author of the book “Email Archiving for Dummies”. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from California State University Dominguez Hills and is married with two children.


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