Allegiance Advisors, a FINRA registered broker-dealer in Jacksonville, Fla. Chooses AdvisorVault’s Direct Cloud Plug-in to archive and retain their email, data and Teams chats stored on Microsoft 365. Our Direct 17a-4 Cloud Plug-in helps them today’s data compliance demands
“We chose AdvisorVault’s 17a-4 Cloud Backup Plug-in because it was the only option allowing us to move our office to Microsoft 365 and be compliant with rule 17a-4. Also, we were able to consolidate our technology on the cloud, since our emails, data, and Team chats were automatically retained with AdvisorVault who also acted as the FINRA D3P. More importantly, we felt secure we wouldn’t have a problem with FINRA when we made this move to Microsoft’s Cloud,” said Roger Woodworth, CCO of Allegiance.
Allegiance came to us because their data compliance was a mess, with data scattered all over the place on everyone’s PCs, the cloud, and an in-house server. In addition, they were running an email system they couldn’t archive as required by rule 17a-4, in fact to retain communications for FINRA compliance, they were doing basic exports of email to PST files as their email archiving solution – a big thumbs-down if FINRA sees that.
Microsoft 365 Can Clean up your Data Compliance Mess
Although it’s a great idea for FINRA firms to move their operations to Microsoft 365 since it can clean up their technology and at the same time simplify their data compliance, they need to understand that by default Microsoft 365 is not 17a-4 compliant, despite what Microsoft claims.
What I mean when I say Microsoft 365 is not 17a-4 compliant is firstly, out-of-the-box nothing is backed up. (In fact, if an employee goes and deletes data, it’s gone, forever – you can’t call Microsoft and ask for it back – you’re basically SOL.) Also, data stored with them isn’t retained nor will Microsoft act as the FINRA designated third party, I don’t think they will even give you the two D3P letters you’re going to need for FINRA.
But even if they did meet these demands, trying to make Microsoft 365 compliant is nearly impossible, especially for a small firm without dedicated IT staff in-house who would need to figure out how to configure the dozens of options for long-term archiving with immutable storage policies to prevent employees from deleting their data stored on the cloud, anyhow these settings can be easily remove by an admin at any time – another strike if FINRA shows up. Our Cloud Backup Plug-in solves this problem.
AdvisorVault’s 365 Cloud Backup Plug-in
Our Direct Cloud Backup Plug-in was added specifically for small FINRA firms who want to move their office to Microsoft 365 yet ensure they meet rule 17a-4 surrounding data archiving and retention with the D3P service included. Features of our Cloud Backup Plug-in to ensure firms meet today’s data compliance on the cloud:
AdvisorVault is the only FINRA D3P with a Consolidated 17a-4 D3P Service, designed to give small firms everything needed to meet the demands of rule 17a-4. Our turn-key solution performs the archiving, retention, and supervision of electronic records no matter where they are stored – in-house or in the cloud: AdvisorVault – complete data compliance peace of mind, out-of-the-box.
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