In Sparta around 470BC, general Pausanias sent one of his slaves, to deliver a letter to the Persian king. Sensing the shady nature of events, the slave – Argilios, read the letter, only to discover that Pausanias was offering help to the Persians if they invaded Greece. Furthermore, the letter said that the Persians must kill the messenger to ensure that their agreement remains secret.
Clearly resentful, Argilios decided to do one better and leaked the letter to the Spartan authorities. Persia was deemed as a sworn enemy to Greece, so Pausanias’s treacherous actions were condemned to the degree that he was bricked up in the Temple of Athena as a form of penance.
Sometimes, the insecure nature of messaging has unexpected benefits, but in most situations, this is not the case. And as the number of messaging channels increases so does the risks.
Instant messaging services like WhatsApp and WeChat are go-to choices for professionals around the world to connect with their peers and share business-specific information. Whether corporations officially restrict usage or not, individuals find that sharing day-to-day updates over these platforms is more convenient than lengthy emails, and so continue to use them.
So…What’s up with WhatsApp and why shouldn’t WeChat?
Individual professionals might be pardoned for not truly appreciating the risks of using WhatsApp or WeChat for work, but businesses are beginning to realise they cannot disregard the perils.
Most banks and financial institutions do not include these platforms in their authorised communications channels for good reasons. In an attempt to avoid any liability, WhatsApp themselves prohibit business use. It is against WhatsApp’s terms of service to use it for professional purposes.
Yet because these messaging platforms are more convenient than traditional channels employees continue to use them for business purposes often getting themselves and their employers into hot water.
Let’s take BP as an example.
Reuters reported last week that BP has terminated four trading and operations staff responsible for Chinese crude oil sales as a direct result of an internal investigation into trades with Singapore’s Hontop Energy. A Singapore Oil trader currently embroiled in a fraud scandal where Hontop Energy traders allegedly faked commercial agreements with BP traders.
The improper use of the WeChat messaging platform as a tool for commercial discussions with counterparties was cited as a factor behind the terminations. However, BP stated that they would not comment on staff matters, along with its WeChat usage policy.
This comes after several high-profile cases raised by US and European regulatory authorities for the misuse of the WhatsApp messaging service in the finance sector.
We get it. Everyone loves to Chat.
And why shouldn’t we?
It’s easy to see how corporations are stuck between the “rock” of compliance and the “hard place” of retaining competitive advantage.
Chat is fast, free, and mobile. It allows you to connect with a big network – anytime, anywhere. To stay ahead of everybody else with quicker decision making and faster proceeding, organisations are always looking for one thing 24/7: quick information. To meet this demand, the information is often shared via various platforms – most of which are unreliable and at-risk.
So, what do we need?
A trusted and secured communication channel that is convenient and accessible at anytime from anywhere on any device with total security. An alternative to “open” messaging platforms that brings all the benefits to businesses but mitigates the risks.
Luckily, there are a few solutions ready in the market – one of which is available via TradeCloud.
At TradeCloud, our goal was to build a communications platform specifically for the commodities industry. It was designed to be simple, smart, secure, compliant, and trusted. Having a chat system that could satisfy these five criteria was always a must. With this clear vision in mind, TradeCloud Chat came to be with all the benefits of a freeware – but in a secured, professional set
Take a quick peek at our fully secured and compliant TradeCloud Chat:
The TradeCloud Chat is just one feature amongst many we have created for a more secure and compliant environment for the commodities industry of the future.
At the end of the day, the goals are simple: great to use, secure and compliant. And those who are ready to invest in these will always have an advantage. And those who aren’t – well just say, the Persians are coming.
Author: Simon Collins | Co-Founder and CEO | TradeCloud
TradeCloud is a communications platform designed specifically for the physical commodities industry. It provides a secure and compliant environment, open to all market participants. TradeCloud helps its members find the commodities they need at competitive prices. It also provides a network of post trade services such as logistics, finance, and documents, all connected on the TradeCloud Commodities Web, centred around blockchain technology.
For more information, please visit www.tradecloud.sg