Are RAMS boards Safe For Displaying Sensitive or Confidential Information?
RAMS boards, or Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety Boards, are versatile, durable information display systems widely adopted in construction and heavy-duty environments for their robustness, convenience, and adaptability. However, whether they are suitable for securely displaying sensitive or confidential information necessitates a nuanced examination.
Understanding the Purpose of RAMS boards
On a fundamental level, a RAMS Board serves as an information hub, optimised to communicate essential details, such as safety protocols, emergency procedures, site-specific information and regulations, effectively to workers and visitors in the vicinity. Ideal for construction sites, railway projects, buildings, and other industrial environments, they play indispensable roles in disseminating vital informational and instructional content.
Risks of Displaying Sensitive or Confidential Information on RAMS boards
Even though RAMS boards are equipped for easy document exchange, they are quite explicitly, public-display systems. As such, presenting sensitive or confidential information on them might run counter to the best practices of information security. Official, proprietary, or personal details displayed on them naturally stand at risk of unauthorised access, unintended circulation, or potential misuse.
Precautions and Measures for Information Security
Ensuring information security involves bespoke strategic considerations, aligning the nature of the information intended for display with the audience expected on-site. However, when in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to avoid displaying sensitive or confidential information on general-purpose information boards, including RAMS boards. But, allow me to emphasise that safety, health, environment, and quality (SHEQ) data vital for site operations, risk responses, and safety should always be prominently displayed on a RAMS Board.
Secure Display Containers
The 2024 version of RAMS boards includes provision for locked or secure containers for document display. It provides a measure of control over who can access specific documents, significantly bolstering the confidentiality aspect. Whilst it’s not a fool-proof solution to information security, it adds an extra layer of deterrence against unauthorised access.
Strategies for Privileged Information
- Information reserved for select employees or authorised personnel should ideally be communicated through secure channels, such as encrypted emails, closed-group communications, or secure document repositories.
- Confidential information, like technical specifications, strategic plans, or proprietary techniques, should be shared only with the necessary individuals on a need-to-know basis.
- Finally, personal data, such as that of employees, should be protected and regulated as per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other relevant legalities.
In summary, while RAMS boards are exceptional at presenting SHEQ information, and they come with lockable display areas in some versions, they are not primarily devised for securely presenting sensitive, classified, or personal information. Therefore, for such content, it is more suitable to utilise systems specifically intended for secure or confidential communication.