These are stressful times for any South African business owner. First we had to deal with Covid-19 lockdowns and remote working, and now we have to navigate the murky waters of POPIA compliance.
1 July 2021 was a landmark date for the country, with the implementation of the Protection of Personal Information Act (mostly referred to as POPIA or the POPI Act in the media) after a one-year ‘grace period’ for businesses to comply.
The lowdown on the POPI Act
So what exactly does POPIA mean for businesses trading in South Africa? Simply put, it means that specific conditions are now in place to restrict how personal information is handled and shared. While the act doesn’t prevent businesses and individuals from processing clients’ (or prospective clients) personal information, or to get their consent to obtain it, it does require strict compliance with the new regulations. Failure to comply may result in a fine, or even a prison sentence, not to mention what could be irreparable damage to the way your business is perceived by your clients and the public.
This all sounds a bit daunting, especially when so many businesses are just trying to survive in the Covid-19 era. But keeping informed about POPIA legislation will help you and your business navigate the act, and finding the right IT company to ensure your data is safe, will make this task so much easier.
Securing your sensitive data
When it comes to security, Castlerock Managed IT Services Company provides ICT services to help clients ensure that you have the right tools in place for adequate security. Now that POPIA is set in motion, this is vital for all South African businesses, no matter your size.
As specialists in managed IT security (among other services, from managed infrastructure to business web hosting), Castlerock can ensure that your data is safe, with end-to-end protection as well as implementing mechanisms that ensure you know at all times who is accessing your information.
We achieve this by employing the following safety measures:
- Hard drive encryption
This is a sure-fire way of protecting sensitive information on all your team’s hardware, including staff laptops and iPads, etc. Passwords are not as effective as you may think when it comes to protecting data. So disk encryption services are vital, because if one of your staff members loses their laptop and it gets into the wrong hands, your clients’ (or your own) sensitive data could be exposed, and you could be held liable through POPIA if this data is unlawfully used or misused.
- Password management
By using a password manager program, this provides further security for your data by formulating the most secure and strong encrypted passwords possible, and providing access to all your online information via one master password.
- Two-factor authentication
Additional safety measures like biometric fingerprint authentication in conjunction with a password can also be implemented. This is an effective way of ensuring no cyberhacker, no matter how sly and savvy they may be, can get past this hurdle, even in the unlikely event that all else fails.
In addition, Castlerock also implements other safety measures, such as firewall, antivirus and endpoint protection, as well as advanced threat protection, to ensure all your online data is safe. These services will give you and your team peace of mind, knowing that you can concentrate on the daily task of running your business, without having to worry about security issues. As a result, POPIA compliance will be a walk in the park.
Contact us today, and we’ll ensure your business’ security net is as strong and effective as it should be.