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Stronger links for data security

Data security: turning the weakest link into the strongest one

Working with Atea, Westenergy today is transforming data security into a rock-solid pledge to customers.

It’s said that people are the weakest link in any system. That’s certainly the case in the area of data security: even the toughest system can be undone through human error.

Vaasa-based Westenergy wanted this problem to be solved. They operate a highly automated incineration plant that converts waste into electricity. It is owned by five municipal waste shareholders and serves over 400,000 inhabitants in the area. Many people relied on them to deliver top-notch performance backed by rock-solid security. There is no room for error.

Recognizing this, Westenergy sought out Atea to help them update their guidelines for data security and to elevate awareness among all employees about the importance of data security in their day-to-day operations. “It was an ideal fit,” says Westenergy managing director Olli Alhoniemi. “Atea has been our IT partner for a long time, and we have been very satisfied with how they work, particularly their focus on service excellence.”

Going deep on data security

Westenergy wanted to do more than just treat data security as a reaction-based exercise: they wanted processes that would prevent issues from occurring in the first place. As Kai Alavillamo, a production manager at Westenergy explains: “needing to go deeper than before meant we required the help of highly experienced data-security experts. And as always, Atea delivered.”

New IT policies were developed for all staff, including password-selection practices and rules for surfing online were clarified in detail. All staff were given training on data security. The protection level of every workstation and system was analyzed to see whether it was consistent with security requirements as well as industry standards

Outstanding results

“We are extremely satisfied with the outcomes of this project, says Alavillamo. “Atea’s team was able to pinpoint the specific areas where improvements were warranted and the training they provided resulted in a high level of compliance with the new guidelines.”

Within the organization today, everyone treats data security as their responsibility. That’s a rewarding outcome for the Atea team that worked on the project, too. As Heidi Helwe, a data security expert on Atea’s team explains: “bringing in a professional set of eyes from outside of an organization is a crucial step to tackling data security. We see issues that just don’t get noticed otherwise.” The result is a rock-solid approach to data security that does more than protect the integrity of operations: it also serves as a pledge of excellence to their customers.

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