Monday, 2 February 2015

DIPCOG Approval



Last week, eReco were formally approved by DIPCOG to operate in the Ministry of Defence space.

I was very careful about the wording of that sentence! This is really very serious stuff, grownup credentials to give us the clearance to operate with all government departments. Not everyone has this sort of approval, by any means. As far as I am aware, out of some 800 companies who say they do some or all of what we do in terms of IT recycling and Data Security, only 3 have DIPCOG approval.

DIPCOG is a UK Ministry of Defence forum run by a committee composed of representatives primarily from the MoD and CESG (who are The UK government’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, and advises organisations on how to protect their information and information systems against today’s threats. CESG is part of the Government Communications Headquarters, commonly known as GCHQ). DIPCOG actually stands for Defence InfoSec Product Co-Operation Group. DIPCOG approves products and services as being suitable for use specifically by the MoD. A number of other HMG central departments recognise the value of DIPCOG and the guidance it offers. DIPCOG approved products and services are sold in to the MoD via the DES ISS ICT Catalogue which is also used by other government departments for sourcing IA products and services.

I have to confess I sliced and diced that from the ADISA web site. That way if I have made a mistake 007 can shoot them! But seriously folks, this is good news, and good news for several important reasons.

Firstly for eReco it opens a whole new panoply of possible contracts. I am pretty sure we will be one of the smallest businesses with DIPCOG approval. This is the big government keeping its promises to work with small business where possible. 

Hurray for the government I say! In fact, one of the main reasons we were successful was because of our customer service ethos. We look after our customers and their data with a passion larger businesses find it hard to match.

I bleat on about price a lot, about being undercut by less scrupulous operators, and this approval is another means by which we distance ourselves from the dodgers and the divers. It will undoubtedly open doors for us, but hopefully it will also reassure SME’s that we are as professional as we say we are.

Although government-run organisations and departments are not immune to censure from the ICO by any means, in my limited experience they are in general much more aware of the risks they need to manage. And that is not to say that they are being blasé with our money either. It just means that civil servants tend to like to do things properly.

And when there is the possibility of a £500k fine in the shadows we all should want to do things properly! So remember that, when I am going through the scanner several times a day on the way to the loo!