Data Protection: Interview with Caoimhe McManus, Senior Data Protection Manager

Data Protection: Interview with Caoimhe McManus, Senior Data Protection Manager

Tomorrow sees the launch of our 2020 Information Security and Data Protection training, so we caught up with our Post Office Senior Data Protection Manager, Caoimhe McManus. She tells us why it’s important for our customers, postmasters, branch teams and everyone at Post Office.

What is Data Protection?
Data Protection put in its simplest form is about "doing the right thing". When customers entrust us with their valuable information then it is our duty to make sure that the integrity of their information is never compromised.

Why is it important to me and everyone at Post Office?
Post Office is a data rich environment and personal data drives the majority of our products and services. Our customers, postmaster and branch teams have to have confidence that we "get it right" when we are entrusted with their valuable information. People trust the Post Office brand, our role is to maintain that trust by making sure the safety and integrity of their information at all times.

What trends are we seeing?
Trend analysis shows that these attacks are becoming more sophisticated and persistent every day. Our role is to maintain our high levels of scrutiny and vigilance to maintain the security perimeters that we build around our data, it’s a constant battle and one that requires all of our vigilance to protect our information.

Why is it important in my branch?
We have created this training in a way that gives you the necessary tools to do your jobs, but also the confidence to trust that those of us in the back office are designing and implementing process and procedures that always protect our customers' information. This frees up their time to do what they do best, take care of our customers.

Why does it have to be done every year?
I refer back to my opening comment the reason we do this every year is because it’s all about "doing the right thing". We are a data rich organisation and it’s that data that drives all our products and services. The world of Data Protection is constantly evolving and the malicious attackers get smarter in their campaigns against us, this is our way of helping to fight back. It also allows us to highlight trends that we are seeing across our network.

What happens if I don’t do the training?
This training is mandatory and for me the key thing that happens if we don’t do it is that potentially we get it wrong. This isn’t acceptable for us, for you or our customers, it’s our job to get it right, and this training helps us all achieve that objective.

On a more practical level, failure to complete the training could see your Smart ID being temporarily suspended and meaning you can’t log onto Horizon to serve your customers. Don’t worry, before that happens you’ll be reminded when the training deadline is getting closer. This training is completed by all postmasters, branch teams and colleagues across the Post Office.

When do I need to complete this training?
The Information Security and Data Protection training course is now available on Horizon and must be completed by Tuesday 18 August 2020. 

How does doing the training help our customers?
The training indirectly helps our customers, they don’t see the benefit, and they can’t touch the output. However, this training (and all our mandatory training) helps you to deliver services to our customers in a compliant manner.

In addition the checks and balances that we devise in the back office and implement in the front office help to maintain trust in our brand which ultimately drives customer loyalty.

This is what we strive for, building up confidence from our customers that when they entrust their personal information to us they do so safe in the knowledge that we are working tirelessly to make sure that the integrity of their data is never compromised. It really is that simple!