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Case Study

Dewis Centre for Independent Living

Dewis Centre for Independent Living (Dewis CIL) is a charity which supports disabled people to manage their own care by receiving a Direct Payment from their Local Authority and using the money to employ their own care staff.

Dewis CIL and Excellence IT met at Lead Wales in 2014. Dewis CIL was working with another IT support company but still faced some challenges with IT. Excellence IT helped out for a short while, and in early 2015, Dewis CIL switched providers to working with only Excellence IT and have worked together since.

Excellence IT provide Dewis CIL with IT support and Software Services.

Dewis CIL now uses SharePoint to manage their client’s payroll management services, replacing expensive software previously used. This was a real game changer for Dewis CIL, saving the charity a considerable amount of money on licensing.

Working with the team at Excellence IT, we recognised that we were not maximising our not for profit status when it came to Microsoft Licensing. So Excellence IT identified the areas we were able to benefit further and implement the correct licensing plans to maximise our savings. Value add items like this were just some of the reasons Dewis CIL switched IT support providers in 2015, and continue to work with Excellence IT.

In addition to IT Support and Software Services, Dewis CIL are Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certified. 

We asked Lynne Herbert, CEO of Dewis CIL, about Cyber Essentials below.

Why did Dewis CIL decide to get Cyber Essentials certified with Excellence IT?

“Dewis CIL hold a great deal of client information, which is personal and can also demonstrate someone’s vulnerability. It was important for us as an organisation to ensure that all personal information is kept safe and secure.

We contract with Local Authorities, and we wanted to ensure that our funders understood how serious we are about keeping their clients personal information safe and secure. Having the Cyber Essentials certification adds that element of kudos for us.”

During the process of Cyber Essentials certification...

“There were some issues with old PC’s, out-of-date software, bad practices and so forth. Through consultation with Excellence IT, we were able to overcome some of the barriers and implement new practices.

Bronwen took the stress out of the whole process. Running updates and removing old software is so time-consuming and something that I wouldn’t have the time to do. She was amazing!

Is Cyber Essentials enough of a security measure for a business?

“On its own, no. Cyber security is something that needs to be continually worked upon. It isn’t something that means okay, we have the certificate so the business and our clients data must be safe now. 

We met the criteria at the time we certified with Cyber Essentials, but we have to continue to monitor the way we do things and keep upskilling our staff with cyber security training to ensure we don’t facilitate a breach in the future, however inadvertently.”

Understanding the risks...

“Unless you are in the IT business, you don’t fully appreciate the risks facing your IT network. Going through the Cyber Essentials process increased our awareness of these risks and helped put improvements in place.

We have implemented two-factor authentication using either the authenticator app or using a separate dongle. We have implemented online monthly cyber security training to ensure all staff are aware of IT risks, improved some of the bad practices, and made staff aware of the potential risks of cybercrime.”

How did Dewis CIL find the managed process?

“In all honesty, if I had to work through this on my own it would not have been completed. No one within Dewis CIL has the IT expertise to understand some of these grey areas so we needed Excellence IT to explain the implications and how to correct some of these things to ensure we complied with Cyber Essentials.

DewisCIL Thumbnail
Lynne Herbert
Dewis CIL, Wales

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