‹ Customer testimonials

Data protection expertise for the entire organisation – a bootcamp offers a deep dive into data protection in everyday work

Netum’s experts implemented a two-day data protection bootcamp for the City of Kemijärvi. Face-to-face workshops in an authentic operating environment enabled open discussion and the best possible value.

Data protection is a multifaceted concept. It is extremely important for organisations and affects everyone and everything. Many people find it difficult to understand the aspects that need to be taken into account in their work to ensure a sufficient level of data protection.

The administration of the City of Kemijärvi has invested in information security and data protection in many ways over the years. Mika Halme, the city’s Information Management Specialist and Data Protection Officer, admits that data protection is a challenging topic.

“Despite continuous work, something new always comes up. The environment is in a constant state of change, new regulations are introduced, and better and more thorough instructions are required.”

The small city’s own resources are not adequate for all the necessary data protection work, so help is sought from partners. The City of Kemijärvi’s IT services are provided by LapIT Oy.

“When it comes to information security, we rely on our partner Netum, who is one of the leading experts in the industry,” says Risto Hoppula, Security Manager at LapIT. LapIT and Netum decided to propose a combined impact assessment and an effective and interactive on-site data protection bootcamp for the City of Kemijärvi.

“We specifically wanted a concrete evaluation, the opinion of an external expert and tailored data protection training targeted at the daily work of the staff and the actual working environment, so LapIT and Netum’s proposal was great,” says Halme.

Risto Hoppula, Security Manager at LapIT

The bootcamp allows for questions without judgement

Netum’s data protection bootcamp was developed by Senior Data Protection Consultant Mirella Miettinen together with her team. She also worked as an expert and trainer in Kemijärvi’s data protection matters. The two-day bootcamp was held in early 2024 and was attended by employees from the city’s administration and various units. The training kicked off with an overview of the basic concepts of data protection. 

“People may be unfamiliar with some data protection concepts or have misinformation, so it is easier to discuss the concepts if we first establish a common understanding and terminology,” says Miettinen.

Miettinen is pleased that the participants were not afraid to initiate discussion and ask questions. In addition to Miettinen, the bootcamp was also attended by another Netum expert to ensure that all important observations were written down immediately and also recorded in the final report, which was submitted to the customer after the bootcamp. 

Mika Halme, the City of Kemijärvi’s Data Protection Officer, believes that the staff will generally be more receptive to tips, advice and insights from an external expert than from their own manager or a written guide.

“Being blunt with an outsider may be easier for some. In general, it is important that the data protection bootcamp report is composed of a wide range of experiences, challenges and needs so that matters cannot be connected to any one individual,” Miettinen says.

Netum’s Senior Data Protection Consultant Mirella Miettinen

Observation before the workshop – or vice versa

According to Mirella Miettinen, starting the process with a data protection consultation at the City of Kemijärvi was very beneficial. It provided support for the customer with data protection activities and the preparation of instructions, after which the matters were put into practice in the entire organisation with the help of a bootcamp. 

“In terms of data protection and information security, the operating environment has a lot to do with how matters are processed. It was useful to see how the instructions were being adopted on site and what kinds of challenges the different offices of the city faced in terms of data protection. Once we had an understanding of the state of data protection, we were able to provide more detailed workshops compared to typical data protection training.”

On the other hand, Miettinen believes that a data protection bootcamp would also work as the first step in an organisation’s data protection development.

“On-site workshops allow us to get to know the staff and establish a good understanding of the organisation’s operations, after which it is easier to start planning data protection development measures,” she says.

“Of course, the needs of the organisation always act as the starting point.”

Face-to-face training proved to be especially beneficial

Netum has extensive experience in public service, including the organisations of different cities. In this sense, the experts are familiar with the different aspects of data protection in cities and municipalities, as well as the related challenges and solutions. However, Miettinen emphasises that every organisation has its own characteristics, and familiarising oneself with the specific operating environment always has its advantages.

“On-site data protection workshops can be more effective than remote training on Teams, for instance. Establishing trust is also easier in person,” she says.

“Management’s support and commitment are also important, and in Kemijärvi, the management also participated in the training. This allows people to feel that they are all in the same boat when it comes to data protection.” 

Mika Halme also participated in the training and the implementation of the bootcamp. He says that the bootcamp was met with positive feedback from the participants. The on-site implementation of the data protection training received particular praise.

“Although I expected the bootcamp to be useful, I was surprised by how great the concept was. It was good to see how enthusiastic people were and how they had already thought about data protection issues and made excellent observations in their daily work,” says Halme.

“I would recommend a similar data protection bootcamp to others. It was enlightening and useful. All in all, we are satisfied with Netum’s service, expertise and flexibility.”

Mika Halme, Information Management Specialist and Data Protection Officer, the City of Kemijärvi