Executive Summary: In order to uphold visual privacy and combat visual hacking threats, a global beverage company employs a risk-based approach to the deployment and use of privacy filters.
Organization Overview: The world’s largest beverage company with 2013 sales in excess of $48 billion. Serving 200 countries, this company offers more than 500 brands and employs a workforce of approximately 150,900.
Business Case:As a U.S.-based company with global reach, the protection of visual privacy is a top concern for executives. According to the Chief Privacy Officer, “We are concerned about data leakage and having some sensitive information exposed in the media. We are extremely conscious about the importance of brand and reputation.”
The company deals with varying types of sensitive information that requires visual privacy, including:
• Financial and accounting data
• Product research (including formulas)
• Mergers and acquisitions data
• Legal agreements (including business partnerships)
• Marketing data
• Employee records
Additional visual privacy concerns within the organization stem from a large portion of the workforce traveling or doing business outside of the office, the global regulations that require the company to safeguard employee information, and a changing workplace culture in which more contractors and third parties have access to sensitive corporate information.
Furthermore, a more relaxed attitude toward safeguarding company data and privacy has increased the need for heightening privacy and security measures. According to the Chief Privacy Officer, “I think the sharing and collaborating of sensitive documents has, in some ways, diminished employees’ awareness of the need to keep privacy in mind when working on documents — especially in the open. It’s more about getting the work done efficiently.”
The Solution: In the early 2000s, the beverage company began implementing the use of privacy filters for employees who chose to use the privacy products, which include 3M™ Privacy Filters. Those businesses and divisions that handle the most sensitive information have the greatest permeation of privacy filter use. These areas include those in which the company’s IP is most vulnerable and at risk: product research, mergers and acquisitions, the technology department and the privacy department. In addition, employees who travel and access this confidential information outside of office walls are more likely to safeguard data with a privacy filter.
To make it easy for employees to receive a privacy filter, the business has created an online form for employees to order a privacy filter for their devices.
In addition to the physical solution of privacy filters, the company administers ongoing privacy and security training programs to ensure that employees are abreast of privacy policies and best practices.
The Benefits: The deployment of privacy filters throughout the workforce on a risk-based case has benefitted the company by upholding visual privacy and reducing the risk of visual hacking:
According to the Chief Privacy Officer:
“I do believe the privacy filter minimizes the risk of a potential data breach due to the ability to steal sensitive information on a computer. It is very easy for someone to view data on a laptop when in close proximity. It does not necessarily have to be a bad guy. It is human nature to have your eyes drawn to a computer screen to see what information someone is displaying.
When I joined [the company] 12 years ago, a small percentage of employees had awareness about the importance of using a privacy filter when traveling. I believe this awareness is increasing. To make the privacy filter work and be effective it is really about identifying employees who have access to sensitive information as a routine part of their work. We need to create awareness that sensitive information displayed on a computer screen could end up being disclosed in the media, Internet or blog post.”
By using privacy filters to uphold visual privacy, the company is not only protecting its sensitive company information but also ensuring that employees can get their work done at any time, anywhere.
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