Keep your Data Safe and your Teddy Bear!
30th July 2018
When we are young, we never worried about our home being safe… You know it is, right? Our parents lock up before they go to bed, they ensure that the windows are secure, curtains are closed at night, so no one can see you sat there with your favourite Teddy Bear in your dinosaur pyjamas drinking hot chocolate. Checks are done to make sure that there are no monsters under the bed…! As we grow up and viewing potential homes for ourselves, we want to live with the same level of safety and security… Do we even think that a door would not have a lock, or how safe that lock is? No, we take it all for granted that the locks work, if it doesn’t, then we simply install a new one. We close our curtains so that we can still wear wacky pyjamas and drink hot chocolate on a cold winters night, probably with the same favourite Teddy Bear, this is all contained in the privacy of our own home. We do all this automatically, without even thinking. Because this is what we have been so used to. This is just basic security. It keeps us all feeling safe and private. So, in this world of identity fraud and data breaches, we must become used to adopting methods to keep the data we hold safe and secure. We have systems and applications available to help us to store, access and transmit our electronic data and we need to consider how to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). With a focus on data privacy we need to think about the documents we leave around, the spoken conversations we have whilst in the queue waiting for that well deserved latte, or on the train travelling to that all important meeting. Working on the train without a privacy screen, means people around you can view what is on your screen. These are potential data/security breaches. So how can we make our ourselves or clients, feel that their data is as safe as that favourite Teddy Bear? Some ways to mitigate these risks is that you can buy a privacy screen for your laptop, wait until you get to the office to have that conversation about the client meeting. In my experience there are some key points to consider to ensure you make that data safe.  It is best to start by listing where all your data is, identify which applications store your data and you need to consider if you are the data controller or the processor?  As a business you need to ensure your privacy policy explains your data activities with clarity and that it is up to date and regularly reviewed. If you hold personal identifiable information you will need to register with the Information Commissioners Office.  All these activities will help you know the value and how to protect the information you hold, especially if people want to exercise their rights in how you hold and manage that information under GDPR. However, none of this will make any difference, unless we take personal responsibility to ensure data is kept safe and secure, like our favourite Teddy Bear...!

About the author

Melanie is a security specialist at CQR with previous management experience within legal sector who is passionate about helping organisations protect their information. Melanie works with global enterprise and SME clients on implementing, managing, and auditing risk and security services to ISO and other globally recognised standards.

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Wednesday 11th September 2019
Oxford Brookes University,
Headington Campus