Data Fix or Hefty Fines | Data security

12 Sep

Fix your security or face hefty fines like Dis-Chem: The importance of securing client data

In today’s world, customer service goes beyond the traditional requirements of in-store experience and after sales service. Protecting your clients’ data is equally important – and failure to do so could land you in hot water with the authorities.

Data breaches and hacking attempts have been in the news again lately as Dis-Chem was ordered to improve its data security or face a R10 million fine. More disturbingly, the Department of Defence was found to have been hacked for over a year with more than a terabyte of data being stolen.

As prominent organisations find themselves under attack by hackers once again, let’s take a look at the steps that every business can take to ensure the safety of their customers’ data.

Dis-Chem could be on the hook for a hefty fine of R10 million

The Protection of Personal Information Act is one of South Africa’s newest laws protecting customer privacy, and the Information Regulator has already shown its willingness to punish companies that fail to comply.

Recently, the retail pharmacy chain Dis-Chem found itself in hot water when the information regulator issued it with an enforcement order regarding a data leak last year that saw more than 3 million customers’ personal information released on the internet.

  • Customers’ full names and phone numbers were some of the information leaked after a brute force attack allowed hackers to gain access to the company’s computer systems last year.
  • The Information Regulator has ordered Dis-Chem to strengthen its passwords and implement a full cyber security response plan, failing which a fine of R10 million may be levied in accordance with the law.

Who’s defending the Department of Defence online?

The week of cybercrime revelations continued as the media reported that the Ministry of Defence had been hacked continuously for over a year, with 1.5 TB of information including personal and company emails and documents having been stolen.

The organisation responsible for the hack, which calls itself Snatch, has spoken openly to journalists about its ability to infiltrate the servers of the very government department tasked with keeping the country safe.

To date, the department of defence seems unable to reach an agreement for the return of the stolen data, with some officials seemingly refusing to accept that the incident took place.

Learn from high profile mistakes – keep your client data secure

With the number of cyberattacks skyrocketing, the potential for lost customer information is huge. To make matters worse, the prospect of being fined up to several million rand by the Information Regulator should be a wake up call to any business that handles customer information.

Keeping private data safe is no longer just a PR problem to consider as a business owner. It now has legal ramifications that could land your company in serious financial distress.

Protecting your company and client data has never been more important.  That’s why we offer a full range of encrypted cloud storage solutions that help keep your data secure and out of the wrong hands.

It’s simple to secure your company data today. Take a moment to view our range of secure cloud storage packages for businesses to get started.

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