Visual privacy concerns increased recently within the company due to the change of the office floor plan to an open design that removed cubicles and eliminated individual offices. The purpose of the open floor plan is to create greater transparency, collaboration and productivity among all employees. While a positive change in company culture was observed, the Chief Information Security Officer noted,
“The compliance office saw big problems. A lot of data now is in the open and it became apparent that this unintended consequence made privacy risks more real.”
Within this open floor plan, the data is being accessed by money managers, business analysts and brokers who all have legitimate needs to access detailed customer account data. Administrative personnel also are entrusted with access to sensitive and confidential information.
These types of data include:
• Customer account information
• Trading transaction
• Tax records and IDs
• Contact information
• Estate planning documents
The Investment Management Company’s CISO noted the ability of employees to more easily see this type of data with the new floor plan hampered employee productivity because it made employees more conscious of what their co-workers were able to access just by walking by their work space. As a result, projects took longer to complete because computer screens had to be frequently cleared when co-workers were in close proximity.