The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way companies in the security industry conduct their everyday operations. Since everyone had to work from home, these firms were forced to work in remote environments and implement remote supervisory practices. After a discussion with small, mid-size, and large companies, FINRA released a regulatory notice to share common themes about the transition to remote work and supervision can be handled more efficiently.
In the notice, FINRA talks about the different practices that could be followed by security firms which can help with their supervisory efforts and compliance programs, including text messaging compliance. Firms shared with FINRA the challenges they face with their transition to remote work environments. It has been noted that firms that use web-based tools, electronic document management systems, and cloud-based services faced fewer transition bottlenecks. It was also noted that they regularly tested their remote connectivity prowess, capacity, work processes, and trading capabilities.
The discussion also revealed that firms had additional efforts regarding issues such as customer assistance, location monitoring, and updating their contact lists. They also provided additional staff support and increased their focus on confidentiality and cybersecurity.
Regarding supervision in the remote working environment, firms faced a lot of challenges as well but were ready to face them. General supervision, trading supervision, and supervision on communicating with customers were all tested and enhanced to be able to cope with the adjustments.