August 18, 2010

California-based Facetime Communications announced Monday the release of Socialite, a new security management and compliance solution specifically built for banks using social networks.

Simply, says Facetime Communications chief strategy officer Sarah Carter, "Socialite is going to allow financial services organizations to use social networking in a compliant and security enabled fashion."

Carter says the solution came into being largely because of a growing demand among bank and financial compliance and IT professionals to have a platform built to meet their specific needs on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It was built to meet regulation requirements set forth by the Financial Industry Regulatory Advisory and the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority.

"Over the last 12 months we’ve seen a growing requirement to provide those features and functionality," she says.

Socialite can be deployed as software as a service, on-premise or a hybrid of both, Carter says. Various departments within an organization can determine settings policies, which are then moderated by someone designated as a central controller. The solution allows companies to set policies, pre-approve posts made by employees who have access to a business' social media accounts and determine what specific actions can be taken on each social network (e.g. "Like" on Facebook or retweeting on Twitter).

Carter says that, even though there have not yet been any major examples for compliance issues for financial institutions on social networks, that it is something companies should be aware of. Further, protecting a brand's reputation — whether through how it interacts with customers in social media or what it publishes — is of growing importance.

"It is exceedingly easy to destroy your brand identity in financial services in social networking," Carter says.