GI Solutions became a 3M Privacy Filter customer to protect its valuable client data from potentially unauthorised viewing by staff and visitors, both in the office and on the road. Jas Kalsi, Helpdesk Manager at GI Solutions tells us more.
Can You Tell Me A Little Bit About Your Organisation And Your Role Within It?
“GI Solutions is a direct mailing and marketing firm, mainly printing utility and services bills for big household names such as British Gas, Sky and Tesco. From its Leicester HQ, the company prints millions of bills in-house, supplying the whole of the UK. It also provides other specialist services such as database analysis that helps clients improve customer targeting. As Helpdesk Manager within IT services, I am the first port of call for any IT requests.”
GI Solutions Clearly Prioritises Security – Why Is That?
“Customers trust us with their most valuable data. We hold very large databases in-house of customer information such as addresses, DOBs and account information. We are stringent on security and are ISO27001 accredited, as well as rigorous adherence to the Data Protection Act 1998. We encrypt any data that has been entrusted with us, including devices and servers and any laptops in use are all encrypted. Other measures include: CCTV; door entry systems with anti-passback (so we know who is where); any unwanted printed data is securely disposed of by a third party; and digital data (such as old hard drives) is shredded, all with the relevant certificates.”
Why Is Physical Data Privacy Important?
“We’ve never had any issues with physical privacy, but we prefer to adopt a ‘better safe than sorry’ policy. As visitors and staff use the adjacent walkway when passing the call centre, we wanted to ensure that screens could not be overlooked. From an IT point of view, we are always concerned when laptops go off site, aside from the obvious virus risk – all laptops are scanned before they can access the network – there is the physical data breach angle.
So when our managing director, Andy Wood – who is also in charge of Data Protection – heard about Privacy Filters, they seemed the ideal solution for us. They literally mean that it is very difficult for people to overlook the content on someone’s screen. This type of screen protection is also good to show auditors and clients to prove how keen we are on protecting data, both in the building and for mobile working.”
Is Mobile Working Prevalent In Your Organisation?
“Yes, out of a total of 250 employees, around 70 are using laptops, mainly in sales and IT roles. Every laptop is now fitted with a Privacy Filter to give us peace of mind that all our data is protected. In addition, any new laptop is ‘filtered’ before it goes out into field.”
What About The Importance Of ISO27001 Compliance?
“ISO27001 accreditation is a big tick in the box for our business, which we first looked at in 2005 and achieved compliance just two years later. It’s changed the way we manage our data and reinforces good practice, such as folder structure, individual access rights and separating departmental drives on the servers. We are audited once – or sometimes twice – a year, which is an in-depth, week-long process using external auditors. While some companies dread them, these audits reinforce how we are working within the regulations.”
How would you rate working with 3M?
“We’ve had a really good experience with the 3M Account Manager Peter Hartley and, subsequently, through an approved 3M reseller. The purchase and implementation has gone smoothly. We’ve not needed to use their technical support service, as the filters are so easy to fit.We ordered the filters in May 2014 and turnaround was quick: delivery was within just a few days and all units were deployed swiftly afterwards.”
What about user feedback?
“Feedback from colleagues has been very positive. They really like using Privacy Filters, which do not affect their way of working at all. One feature they especially like is the ability to slide the filter off if they choose – without damaging it – which is ideal for training, or for screen sharing with colleagues. And then simply re-fit afterwards.”
Any other benefits?
“The main benefit is protecting our data and client data securely, anywhere. It’s good practice that not only reduces the risk of any data leakages, but gives peace of mind both for the IT team and company directors alike. 3M Privacy Filters do exactly what they are supposed to.”