Stories Woonplus Schiedam Social housing

Woonplus Schiedam | Protecting tenant data and ensuring compliance

8 min read

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Woonplus Schiedam is a housing association dedicated to providing affordable and suitable homes in Schiedam. Delivering quality services to tenants goes beyond housing, as explained by Systems Administrator at Woonplus Schiedam, Dennis. It is the organization’s responsibility to protect tenant data and, with approximately 120 employees on the team, the organization required a secure email solution to ensure compliance and security with every email exchanged.

Dennis explains how Woonplus Schiedam came to choose Zivver:

“We needed to be able to encrypt emails, send large files, and engage with tenants and agencies securely. As a social housing company, we handle huge quantities of sensitive data - tenant’s personal information, medical information, legal data etc. We needed a solution to enable the team to share data securely, but it also needed to be easy to use. This is why Zivver stood out to us - it is so user-friendly.”

“It was also a priority to encourage people to consider the kinds of data they are handling, how they are sending it, and to whom. We want to build security awareness. Zivver is the perfect solution for this. Employees get a little notification when sensitive data is present in their email and can take action to encrypt it, very easily. The notifications mean people are thinking about these things.”

“Zivver enables us to share large drawings and files with architects, councils, and other external agencies - up to 5TB, in fact. Our Communications department regularly sends media files, including large videos and photos to printers, for example, so the large file transfer capabilities are proving to be very useful. I expect over time we will use this functionality very frequently.”

“While we do have a tenant portal, this is only used for existing tenants. However, we handle the most sensitive data prior to an individual becoming a tenant and this is done via email. Individuals will provide identification, personal information, and even healthcare data and they can do this securely with Zivver, without creating accounts. We regularly engage with local authorities and mediators, for example, for individuals who have emigrated or are refugees. So, much of the data we handle is personally identifiable and now it can be exchanged securely.”

“The retention periods on attachments have been a pleasant surprise for us; this wasn’t functionality I had thought about prior to implementation. When I realized how they could be used, however, I thought, wow! It is particularly beneficial from a compliance perspective. For example, one issue we needed to manage was cleaning up mail boxes. Storing huge amounts of sensitive data as attachments is not secure and is prohibited on a data protection front. With Zivver, we can set expiration controls to automatically restrict access to files after a set period of time. For example, if an individual does not become a tenant, we can ensure their data is no longer stored. This is very important - it’s all about compliance.”

“We’re currently implementing organization-wide retention rules. We have to ensure compliance with every data protection rule in the book and Zivver helps us to achieve this.”

“We use the O365 plug-in. Office 365 falls short on compliance when it comes to emails. It’s also not as user-friendly for employees. When things are difficult for employees, they won’t necessarily use the tool and that’s far too risky.”

“We hold mobile numbers for all prospective and current tenants, so the multi factor authentication controls within Zivver are very useful. We can authenticate recipient identities via a code sent by text, protecting sensitive emails.”

“We also use Zivver’s out-of-the-box Business Rules, so when handling financial information, employees are conscious of when emails need to be sent securely. The team at Zivver have also helped us to build specific business rules tailored to our needs, including for legal and medical information. This means that Zivver now notifies users to the presence of this specific data in an email so they can encrypt it.”

“We’ve learned that, while security training is important, training alone is not enough. Employees need tools to enable them to communicate safely with clients day to day. Almost all communication is through email. That’s really the reason we chose Zivver, to enable employees to email securely. And Zivver is so easy to use it’s almost ridiculous!”

“Within two months, we have sent approximately 700 emails with Zivver, which is a huge number for such a short period of time. The data logs are very helpful for reporting to management teams. They are very interested in this information; it enables us to prove that the project is paying off. Simply put, Zivver is perfect for Woonplus Schiedam. We have acquired some software solutions in the past and realized after just a few months that no one is using them. This can be very expensive, but with Zivver, we can already see the benefits and uptake is high.”

“From a technical perspective, Zivver is very easy to implement. I had one small issue during the rollout and Zivver’s support team immediately helped me and it was fixed within ten minutes. Aftercare and support is great, and the implementation documentation provided was perfect.”

“Personally, I believe that the best feedback from employees is no feedback at all - this means the solution is working as it should, without any issues. We’re sending hundreds of emails securely every week. I’d highly recommend Zivver to other organizations looking for a user-friendly email security solution.”

First published - 6/9/23
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