London, UK – 24 October, 2013 – Auriga Consulting Ltd (Auriga), the expert data, ICT and security consultancy, today announced Viridian Housing has used its DataACL services to ensure the continued protection of tenant data and generate evidence that this duty of care had been performed. The dual phase project includes a security gap analysis, data management and data landscaping programme, enabling the housing association to perform systematic data capture and classification. The processes put in place will enable Viridian Housing to accommodate housing sector reforms and also meet future challenges such as sector-specific regulation governing data handling and data protection.
The social housing sector is currently undergoing regulatory changes which are having a major impact on data management. New legislation such as the direct payment of housing benefit to tenants and the bedroom tax are changing how and where data is held, accessed and transmitted. Housing associations already observe a duty of care and take the protection of personal data very seriously but the upheaval caused by regulatory reform is creating greater complexity, with data often needing to be made accessible to multiple parties. The sector is also bracing itself for tighter regulation, with many anticipating new legislation. While housing associations need to adhere to the Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Housing Act 2004 there is currently no information security standard or framework specific to the sector.
Viridian Housing, a housing association providing social housing to over 30,000 residents in 16,000 homes spanning London, the south east, the Midlands and West Sussex, sought to review and enhance its data processes to ensure the continued protection of tenant data, generate evidence to this effect, and futureproof the organisation against further regulatory reform. Viridian selected Auriga based upon its experience in dealing with complex data management and compliance projects on behalf of large public sector organisations.
Auriga instigated a dual-phase project entailing a security gap analysis, data management and a data landscaping programme for data classification. Over the course of a year, the project successfully captured and instigated new data management processes and established a programme of works to deliver an appropriate and proportionate security and information assurance programme. BPM elements such as gap analysis were used to benchmark current provisions and custom security processes and controls, encourage staff buy-in to security policy and apply technical measures such as secure access and authentication. Data analysis was used to ascertain exactly what information was accessed, by whom, and for what purpose, and data-landscaping allowed information to be catalogued, given a value and assigned to senior management staff.
Phil Copperwheat, Head of Systems at Viridian Housing says “Securing our customer’s data and delivering on our legal responsibilities is key for the organisation, especially given the pace of change in the sector. The outcomes being delivered by the Information Security and Assurance programmes are providing a step change in how Viridian manages and secures our customer’s data. Auriga was instrumental in supporting Viridian on this journey and bringing the latest best practice cross-industry recommendations to the table in a pragmatic way. They also importantly bring with them their experience of working within other regulated sectors and their insight into the future government direction for security of information.”
“We were able to design a data security solution to meet the specific needs of Viridian and the sector and that’s where our approach comes into its own. Using a blend of data analytics and Business Process Modelling (BPM) with ICT security we can offer business insights into which data is of most value and protect and improve data handling processes. Viridian Housing is now ahead of the curve and able to better protect tenant data now and into the future as a direct result of the DataACL service,” said Louise T. Dunne, Managing Director, Auriga.