Navigating through the new era of data protection

Cyber security news sites have for a while been talking about a new era of data protection that sees robust security measures tackling modern threats and challenges.

It all started with the emergence of mobile technology – smartphones and tablets – along with innovations in Wi-Fi and mobile networks together causing an explosion of data creation and consumption.

Latest stats show there are 4.57 billion Internet users around the world, which means a dramatically widened playing field for malicious opportunists, who’ve proved that it’s hard to catch a cyber criminal.

Because hackers leave no trace, they’re very rarely caught or prosecuted. Consider how many businesses have experienced data breaches in the past year and how many more have been hit by ransomware attacks. In most cases nobody knows who was behind them. So, the best protection against cyber attacks is your first line of defense, i.e. the virtual walls you put up around your data and your systems.

Data backup vs data protection

Data backup would’ve helped the targeted businesses to relocate and restore their data, but it wouldn’t necessarily have saved them. While backup used to be sufficient protection on its own in the past, it’s now no longer enough. If it isn’t synced with antivirus and anti-malware protection, hackers find gaps to gain access to business critical data.

Cyber crime has become highly sophisticated and businesses need to match that sophistication with state-of-the-art data protection. This comes in the form of advanced data protection that includes automated backup, disaster recovery and ransomware protection all in one.

It’s showing to be far less effective to have data backup and malware protection as separate solutions that leave gaps for malware to sneak in through, than having one comprehensive solution.

Data protection and the law

But there’s more to data protection than a comprehensive solution. Data privacy regulations have come into force around the world to give people control of their data and prevent data breaches from happening. Businesses have to comply with the data laws of the country that applies to them, and this means either modifying existing systems or starting from scratch to accommodate the principles of the law.

Data privacy regulations have been a blessing for data protection in general because, in complying with the law, businesses are having to build data security into their systems, so that the data they hold, use, collect or share is as safe as possible.

While the fines for non-compliance are punishing, and enough of an incentive to have data protection in place, protecting your business-critical data and the personal data you hold is actually what will keep your business, and its reputation, going strong into the future.

So, here at IronTree we’ve welcomed the new Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) – South Africa’s equivalent of the EU’s GDPR – which will empower South Africans to control how our personal data is collected, used and shared.

Through the guidance we received from compliance service POPIA365, we’ve improved our data protection tenfold through data mapping, implementation of advanced data management, employee training and contract management. We’ve also set up processes to facilitate breach management and subject access requests.

This, together with our own data protection solution, means our critical business data and the personal data we hold on our customers, partners and supplies is safe as it can be.

Data protection solutions

Data backup providers have had to turn their attention to data protection as a comprehensive solution that is easily implemented via the cloud.

Any questions about data protection? Ask us about options to suit your business.

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  • I have read and understand IronTree Internet Services (Pty) Ltd's privacy notice.

  • I have read and understand IronTree Internet Services (Pty) Ltd's privacy notice.

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