Royal London deploys staff snooping system

Royal London, the mutual life and pension company, has installed new security software to snoop on the computer activity of its 2,900 staff across the UK.

Royal London, the mutual life and pension company, has installed new security software to snoop on the computer activity of its 2,900 staff across the UK.

Designed by supplier 3ami, the software is being used to enforce “sensible rules relating to the personal use of e-mail and the internet”.

Royal London is using 3ami’s Monitoring and Audit System (MAS). Royal London group IT security manager Nick Harwood said, “Although the system will let us, we do not sit and secretly watch what people are doing day-to-day, but we do consider it our responsibility to be able to check, if we need to, how our IT is being used.”

He said, “MAS is a non-intrusive system that complements existing security and enables us, in the case of a well-grounded allegation, to see what the reality was.”

The system allows London to monitor actions undertaken by each PC and store these actions in a database which can be interrogated either on a daily basis or over a longer period of time.

MAS is also being used as a deterrent against the theft of data files – including their e-mailing to a third party, by copying or printing them or putting them on a CD, floppy or memory stick.

The system is also used to deter staff from sending or handling pornography, illegal images and racist and sexist material.

Harwood said, “We already have other security solutions in place to prevent some types of misconduct - access to certain types of website, for example - but there are sometimes ways around those. MAS won’t stop it, but it means we can find out later.”

Royal London said it consulted staff before deploying the system.

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