Importance Of Protecting Data In Finance & Banking With Jack Halewood
Jack, what’s your background?
“I have a degree in law and – after a stint working in Uruguay – I returned to the UK where I began working in the export department for 3M. This involved travelling all over the British Isles and advising teams on US and EU legislation, regulation and compliance requirements, so the role gave me excellent exposure to some of the challenges that people face in these increasingly important areas of business. This has been useful in my current role within our privacy filters business: it is attention to detail that can make all the difference when complying with regulation or legislation and privacy filters are a good example of how this can be achieved.
I work closely with our distributors and resellers and increasingly with their customers, which is great because I not only get the chance to tell them about our privacy filters, I also hear from them first-hand the issues and problems they are facing. We have a range of privacy filters for monitors, laptops, iPads and iPhones, plus we can provide a bespoke service if needed.”
How Do Privacy Screens Help With Regulation And Compliance?
“Organisations of all kinds are under increasing pressure to comply with legislation and compliance issues, particularly around data privacy and security. Companies are spending lots of money on security software – which of course is important – but that doesn’t prevent people from looking at screens and viewing confidential information. Data breaches resulting from what we call ‘shoulder surfing’ are governed by the same legislation around other aspects of information security.
The fines for data breaches can be huge and the well-publicised ones can knock a couple of points off the share value of an organisation. For a large bank, that equates to millions of pounds or more.”
Are UK Companies Aware Of The Risks They Are Taking?
“Awareness varies but even when it exists, physical security is often not prioritised. This is exposing organisations to unnecessary levels of risk, particularly in markets where there is a high volume of sensitive data, such as banks and other financial services companies.”
How Real Is This Risk?
“How often have you sat next to someone with a laptop, tablet or smartphone and realised you can see what’s on the screen? While incidents are hard to prove and we cannot measure the size of the problem, visual security risks most definitely exist. Anecdotally, I’ve heard of information posted on social media as a result of someone’s screen being viewed on a train, plus another example where another passenger suggested a spelling correction to a senior executive reviewing a document. I suspect that these examples are just the tip of the iceberg.”
Is The Problem Growing?
“With the reduction in closed offices, the move towards more open-plan and more mobile working, the chances of someone’s screen being overlooked is inevitably going to increase. Smartphones, tablets and laptops are now extensions to our office environments and need to be given the appropriate level of security.”
What Needs To Change?
“Buying processes vary and where we typically see privacy filters entering the picture is when the hardware for an individual or team is being upgraded or replaced. For instance, in an online company catalogue, the IT director may have recommended a privacy filter is added to any new monitor order. That’s a start, but I would argue that privacy screens should be viewed as an integral part of any security strategy and become a mandatory requirement.”
Ultimately, it comes down to what value does an organisation place on privacy, security, compliance and regulation? Compared to the amount of money often spent on software-based security systems, investing in privacy filters is a relatively low-cost, instant and friction-free way to improve an often overlooked but very important aspect of security.”