Shoprite Introduces Xtra Savings Rewards Programme

The Shoprite Group is launching a rewards programme for its Shopite branded stores on Monday 12 October 2020. The new Shoprite Xtra Savings card...

Latest Posts

Dlamini-Zuma Asked To Provide Reasons For Extending Lockdown – or see you in court.

DearSA attorneys Hurter Spies this week sent a letter  to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma asking her to provide reasons why she...

Paxful Highlights Security and User Education Can Boost Trust in Crypto

In acknowledging Cybersecurity Awareness Month during October this year, leading peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency marketplace, Paxful, is highlighting the importance of security awareness amongst users...

How To Win a R1,5m Entrepreneurial Package For Your FinTech Idea or Business

South Africa’s most prestigious fintech R10 million startup initiative, AlphaCode Incubate, shares how to improve chances of accessing its support and unpacks the trends...

Why An Independent Bond Originator is key to your home buying success

Navigating banking systems is almost always stressful and tediously litigious, and particularly true when it comes to applying for a home loan. Despite all...

PoPI – Friend or Foe

Is the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act just another piece of legislation trumped up by politicians or is it just good business practice that has been neglected over the years?

Gone are the days when companies can be lackadaisical in their approach to the protection of their client’s personal information. Ignoring the PoPI Act will soon result in hefty fines and even jail sentences.

Systems that were originally put in place to store and protect personal information have become a major threat to organisations and more specifically, to the businesses or individuals who entrust their personal or business information upon these organisations.

As a result, thousands of SA companies now find themselves in an uncompromising position.

Palladium Business Solutions managing director Stephen Corrigan says these risks can be split into three categories.

“Companies that acknowledge the rulings and opt to embed the risk and not take appropriate action to become PoPI Act compliant. Secondly, companies that realise their current systems will soon be obsolete and are now taking steps towards compliancy.”

“And finally, institutions that naively assume that because they simply have a reputable software in place, wrongly adopt the view that their vendor’s product is automatically robust enough to match the requirements of the Act,” he adds.

The arrival of the PoPI Act is imminent, with an anticipated commencement date of July 2016. The legislation fundamentally indicates that personal information is a ‘precious good’ and businesses found to not treat their clients information in such a way, will incur a strict, unforgiving penalty.

The POPI Act permits fines up to the value of R10-million with the possibility of a jail sentence. Pleads of ignorance and naivety of the PoPI Act will not shield businesses from punishment. The severity of penalties will be determined solely by the extent of the infringement and the degree of negligence.

“Because of the stringent penalties, it’s imperative every business is mindful of the conditions of the PoPI Act and exercises due diligence when they’re in the market for an accounting system,” he stresses.

Corrigan says the decision making process in determining which accounting software to purchase has never been so critical.

“The assumption that all accounting software providers are secure and POPI Act compliant, is a common misconception and companies need to be aware of this.”

There are multiple aspects of the POPI Act that aren’t accounted for by many available accounting systems. For instance, the Act stipulates that consumers must be notified if, or when, their data is compromised.

“This may be a simple regulation to abide by, but it’s worth contemplating the potential implications on consumer trust and potential irreversible damage to a company’s brand. It’s important to mention that there are reputable accounting and related systems that are plagued by data corruption. So what might appear to be an unlikely scenario, may in fact be an unbeknown inevitability, simply because of the chosen vendor,” he warns.

The POPI Act demands that there are adequate measures in place that allow companies to dictate and monitor employee access to client information. Not every registered employee on an accounting system needs access to the personal information of clients to carry out their duties.

Thus to be compliant, a prospective system should possess the relevant security features that enables the company to appropriately tailor employee access to certain areas of the system. Furthermore, it’s imperative that businesses have safeguards in place that ensure that client information cannot be compromised.

Therefore, it ought to be considered how potential accounting vendors store their data, with regards to their applications database, and how easily these systems can be hacked or compromised.

“A simple YouTube search will quickly demonstrate that this safeguard is not a given with some software providers, thus research needs to be taken into the underlying technology that vendors systems utilise,” says Corrigan.

Another requirement one can deduct from the PoPI Act, is that implemented software systems need to be stable and have rollback capabilities. This is to ensure data integrity and perpetual accuracy of client information.

Corrigan says because of the outdated databases some providers still utilise, this is a key requirement that cannot be guaranteed by numerous suppliers. “There are several considerations that need to be taken into account when choosing accounting software.”

“Although it may be easy to view compliance as an inconvenience, it should in fact be seen as a business opportunity. As companies experience ever intensifying competition, PoPI Act compliance ought to be seen as a unique selling proposition. Companies that are quick to take action will be in a position to use PoPI Act compliancy as a source of differentiation from competitors.”

“At the end of the day, exercising due care in the protection of third party personal information shouldn’t be regarded as another piece of laborious legislation, it’s the right thing to do,” concludes Corrigan.

Latest Posts

Dlamini-Zuma Asked To Provide Reasons For Extending Lockdown – or see you in court.

DearSA attorneys Hurter Spies this week sent a letter  to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma asking her to provide reasons why she...

Paxful Highlights Security and User Education Can Boost Trust in Crypto

In acknowledging Cybersecurity Awareness Month during October this year, leading peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency marketplace, Paxful, is highlighting the importance of security awareness amongst users...

How To Win a R1,5m Entrepreneurial Package For Your FinTech Idea or Business

South Africa’s most prestigious fintech R10 million startup initiative, AlphaCode Incubate, shares how to improve chances of accessing its support and unpacks the trends...

Why An Independent Bond Originator is key to your home buying success

Navigating banking systems is almost always stressful and tediously litigious, and particularly true when it comes to applying for a home loan. Despite all...

Don't Miss

Africa’s First Adaptive Learning Online High School Launches

Prestigious, independent school, Bridge House and award-winning EdTech company, Digemy, have joined forces to create ConnectEd - the first Independent Examinations Board (IEB) curriculum...

Mercedes-Benz Gives Its EQC Electric vehicle The 4×4² Treatment

Mercedes-Benz has given its EQC electric vehicle the 4x4² treatment. The EQC 4x4² is an electric car of extremes. Mercedes-Benz wishes to test the...

Nedbank Signs Up 100 000 Customers for its Avo Super App

Avo, launched at the height of the national lockdown, has surpassed the 100 000 customer mark in September 2020 and continues to evolve alongside its...

SA Web Users Must Report Fraud During Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Statistics South Africa says almost two-thirds of South African households now have at least one person who accesses the Internet. Add this to the fact...

Liquid Telecom Enables Africa’s Digital Economy

Liquid Telecom believes there is a massive opportunity to fast-track Africa’s digital economy. The continent’s biggest fibre company wants to enable entrepreneurs to be at...

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

%d bloggers like this: