Last autumn we attended the Charity IT Leaders Conference, since then we have met with numerous Chief Technology Officers and Chief Security Officers of large National charities. It's been fascinating to learn the issues that are keeping these leaders awake at night, the most imminent being GDPR and up-to-date compliant IT systems.
GDPR advice for charities
The new GDPR regulations are looming closer, with lots of advice and opinions being published, it has become somewhat of a mine field. Many articles quote a definite undertone reminiscent of the ‘Millennium Bug scare’ tactics of the late 1990’s.
The reality is that GDPR is coming, and although there are many grey areas, it will certainly force all organisations, Public, Private and Third sector to ensure that their IT security policies are fit for purpose.
Check out these top tips recently published by the ico:
The top 5 GDPR tips for Charities – information taken from the ico website:
1. Tell people what you are doing with their data
People should know what you are doing with their information and who it will be shared with. This is a legal requirement (as well as established best practice) so it is important you are open and honest with people about how their data will be used.
2. Make sure your staff are trained
New employees must receive data protection training to explain how they should store and handle personal information. Refresher training should be provided at regular intervals for existing staff.
3. Use strong passwords
There is no point protecting the personal information you hold with a password if that password is easy to guess. All passwords should contain upper and lower-case letters, a number and ideally a symbol. This will help to keep your information secure from would-be thieves.
4. Encrypt all portable devices
Make sure all portable devices – such as memory sticks and laptops used to store personal information are encrypted.
5. Keep people’s information for as long as necessary
Make sure your organisation has established retention periods in place and set up a process for deleting personal information once it is no longer required.
Updating your IT and communication systems
The second most frequent discussion has been around updating IT and communication systems, to ensure both compliance and cost efficiency.
Organisations want to leverage the benefits that latest technologies can offer to reduce operating expenses. The Private sector has generally been an earlier adopter of emerging technologies, including SIP, VoIP and Cloud based services (hosted infrastructure and SaaS offerings). The Public and Third sector have historically taken a more considered approach, although, preferential pricing for certain technologies including Office 365, has provided a noticeable shift towards cloud-based services.
The statistics prove that utilising Unified Communications and SaaS office tools can lead to a higher return on investment; making this even more relevant to Charity Organisations than perhaps their counterparts in the Private Sector. As government funding is becoming harder to obtain, and European grants will inevitably diminish as BREXIT approaches, getting the most out of the resources available has never been more relevant.
We can’t put more minutes in an hour, but we can be smarter with the minutes that are there.
On average office staff gain 32 minutes a day when utilising Unified Communications (Sage Research). This is down to streamlining multiple channels, such as email, telephone and social media; however, the real winners are mobile staff. Mobile staff gain a whopping 40 minutes a day through “always being connected”, this is equivalent to an extra working week per person!
If any of these points resonate with you, and you'd like to know more about how Origin Business can help transform your organisation, please contact us and we will gladly share our expertise:
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