Stories South Kesteven District Council Local Authority

South Kesteven District Council | Empowering digital security education for employees

3 min read

South Kesteveb

South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) delivers services for approximately 145,000 residents in Lincolnshire, with 550 employees working across the organization. In the process of reviewing their cyber security strategy, the IT team were seeking opportunities to empower employees to protect sensitive data, without introducing complex processes or interfering with existing workflows.

We spoke to Gary Andrew, IT Services Manager, and Jamie Moses, IT Support Lead, to understand what prompted SKDC to choose Zivver, and how they are utilizing the solution to achieve better digital communications security.

“A neighboring council is using Zivver and a contact there recommended the solution. We spoke to a sales representative who showcased how Zivver can empower our employees to improve data protection.” Gary explained. “We are currently making some improvements on our network and are looking for ways to improve cyber security generally. Information protection and data incidents are a concern, whether it’s a crime or accidental, so Zivver fits into our wider plan.”

“As such, we’re pushing Zivver to employees as part of our cyber security strategy, focussing on the benefits of how the solution effortlessly helps users to avoid causing data leaks. Initially, we’re launching Zivver’s out-of-the-box business rules but we’ve been working with various teams to understand their requirements - i.e. what types of sensitive data do they send day to day. With this information, we’ll build rules within Zivver that are specific to our needs.”

“Onboarding and implementation went smoothly. Our Project Lead has provided support materials and is running training to educate users. While Zivver is integrated seamlessly with Outlook, meaning users won’t necessarily even notice it’s there, we do want to ensure they understand what Zivver is so they can really make the most of it.”

Jamie explained that for all employees, Zivver promises to simplify workflows and make doing the right thing easier: “Now we’ve finished the pilot phase, we’re rolling Zivver out to wider teams. I’ve been using it and it’s really helpful.” Says Jamie. “Notifications to the presence of sensitive data, for example, are great for employees. That gentle nudge to make them question: should I send this, is this the correct recipient? It’s making them think before pressing send, and this is part and parcel of digital security education.”

“Like every organization, there are those classic mistakes which happen to everyone. For example, someone sends a spreadsheet to a colleague who then forwards it to 60 people by mistake. Suddenly that spreadsheet is everywhere, when it should only have been seen by the initial recipient. Or, another common incident is accidental autofill; sending an email to a Gary and forgetting that only yesterday you emailed a different Gary. Outlook autofill completes the recipient field and the sender hasn’t thought to confirm that the appropriate Gary is receiving their file.”

“It’s accidents like this that made us choose Zivver. Data protection and compliance are real concerns for us. If an email is sent to the wrong person, Zivver enables the sender to recall it, without limits. We also have visibility of whether the email was opened by the recipient. Even when we have evidence that a data incident has been avoided, we still report to the ICO and provide evidence of how the incident was controlled. Zivver provides this information with automated audit logs.”

“We have previously relied on the standard Outlook security provisions - the classic notifications regarding missing attachments and encryption controls within the client which relied on people activating them in order to be applied.”

“We also relied on third party file transfer solutions. However, due to file size limitations, both the sender and receiver had issues with this. With Zivver, we can send files up to 5TB from Outlook, securely. For our Communications team, for example, this will be helpful when they send large video files to suppliers. Now they can do so without switching to a different platform.”

“Our employees are engaging with a variety of agencies and stakeholders everyday, such as housing agencies, tenants, benefits agencies, NHS organizations, and other councils. Even when emailing other government bodies, we need to secure sensitive data. We recently received a query from the electoral roll. They send huge quantities of sensitive information relating to residents to their poll clerks, for example, and this data needs to be encrypted.”

“When we email residents via their personal email address regarding council tax or benefits, we need to protect sensitive data, then, too. The recipient experience is also important to us. Non-Zivver users, such as residents, don’t have to create accounts to access secure emails sent via Zivver.”

“Zivver’s Proof of Delivery functionality is very beneficial. On occasion, it is useful to be able to evidence that an email has been received and opened. For example, if a dispute with a resident ends up in court, we have a complete audit trail evidencing when emails were sent, received and opened.”

“We’re pleased with our experiences with Zivver so far and are looking forward to rolling it out for all employees to utilize.”

First published - Wednesday 5th April
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