As much as budgets and revenue have been the spindle around which every business rotates, there’s a golden thread that has kept the corporate world turning since the beginning of time – information. Every business has a well of information – its own and customer data – that makes up one of the fundamentals of its operations.
How we manage and secure this information has however changed over the ages, and in the modern business world where technology is a necessity to remain competitive, the way in which we handle critical data has evolved alongside it. With the increasing laws that regulate the rights of consumers, the consequences of not complying can have dire consequences – both financially and reputationally. In government’s attempts to further help safeguard sensitive information, we’ll soon see the full implementation of the Protection of Personal Information Act – or POPI Act. While we’ve been aware of POPI’s arrival for some time now, it’s imperative that the corporate sector – especially IT managers know exactly what they need to do to comply. In this blog, we uncover the implications of the POPI Act and IT manager’s responsibility to best ensure businesses are compliant.
What does the POPI compliance actually entail?
The POPI act is an incredibly complex and multilayered set of regulations that ensure that all the information a person hands over to another party is handled with care and not used for malicious purposes. The punishment for not adhering to the Act isn’t simply a slap on the wrist, but could, in the worst-case scenario, result in imprisonment of between 10 to 12 years.
Here are some of the core elements of POPI compliance:
Collecting and storage of data needed for a specific business function;
Restricted access to stored personal data;
The personal information on hand should be of the best quality;
The subject should be able to see their data upon request.
Complying with all of the above-mentioned regulations requires that all information is not only as accurate as possible, but more importantly is kept secure.
The pressure is on IT managers to ensure POPI compliance
The management of data is a time-consuming and costly task, especially for small businesses with restricted budgets. While for many large corporations that handle an abundance of personal data, such as banks and financial institutions, storing and managing data onsite is the most viable solution. They can afford the physical hardware and the resources and manpower to maintain the information networks, therefore making it much easier to keep up with new regulations.
However, the picture looks completely different for smaller businesses with limited budgets and resources to manage their data. The POPI Act will see many businesses, that don’t have proper measures in place to secure data, slapped with heavy fines, and possibly an even more severe punishment. For those in charge of managing data, this drastically increases the pressure to explore any and all avenues to ensure POPI compliance.
Ensure you’re covered with the best security software and cloud backup
As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. POPI compliance doesn’t have to cripple IT managers with fear, but rather prompt them to take additional measure to better manage and secure business data. Ensuring that the information you manage is impenetrable, along with the highest level of IT security compliance, you can have peace of mind that all your bases in terms of the POPI Act are covered. A powerful firewall is your first defence against any outside threat to business information. It is also crucial that all data is securely backed up by a reputable cloud solutions provider.
Choose a service provider that is familiar with the data requirements associated with POPI compliance and offers you a wide range of solutions to ensure your business information is safeguarded. At Ignite our cloud backup solution allows you to choose what data you want to backup and for how long. You can also easily recover any data that’s lost, or accidentally deleted. All data stored in our cloud is encrypted for additional security, so you can rest assured that your information isn’t vulnerable to outside threats. For more on How to be a great IT manager, download our eBook.