1. POPIA Compliance: 8 conditions a responsible party should be aware of
  2. POPIA Compliance: Implementation Solutions
  3. POPIA Compliance: the power of technology (this article)

In this article we provide a brief view of how technology can be very powerfully used in supporting the Legal Advisory services of a POPIA or GDPR Compliance Programme within a Data Privacy Technology based Management system.

As well as the use of technology detection and prevention tools to mitigate risk exposures, data breach and cyber-attacks.

Legal compliance vs the Technical scope of complying with POPIA

One could roughly say that the legal process aspects of addressing POPIA / GDPR compliance is approximately one third in meeting the requirements, where the technical controls relating to information security and protection or preventative measures makes up the other two thirds of compliance requirements.

Effective use of Technology is critical for a successful Data Privacy Management System in more complex processes required by larger organisations.

Where to start

Often organisations struggle when it comes to figuring out where to start addressing POPIA and GDPR requirements.

We have found that many clients benefit from taking a maturity assessment, which makes use of technology to evaluate the client's AS IS state of compliance to aspects of the Legislation and Regulation and helps to focus priorities.

This Maturity Evaluation is further supported by conducting an independent Data Vulnerability Scan on the client's external facing environment. Use of Cyber Score carding technologies or Pen Tests and Vulnerability assessments can provide excellent insights to the behaviours and controls currently in place within the client and the state of effectiveness.

Using technologies as thus far highlighted can significantly support an effective evaluation of the Data Breach / Information Security Risk Exposure, which can then be leveraged on during a POPIA and GDPR project implementation, to determine the scope and correctness of Policy and Procedures and controls needed to manage the Data Security and Privacy Risk identified.

Data Privacy Compliance Plan

A combined approach in a Data Privacy Projects of both Human Advisory and consultation + use of smart technologies, significantly assist to focus the Data Privacy Compliance Plan, and allow you as the client to clearly prioritise your project for Data Privacy Compliance.

Supporting an effective Data Privacy Management System implementation

The larger the company and the more distributed and or often uncatalogued, the IT Landscape is, of a client, the bigger the challenge to effectively locate and document PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and sensitive information.

Use of Technology, in the form of Data Discovery Sensors, to go and locate PII and Sensitive information, can be extremely effective and helpful to then complete Data Privacy Impact Assessments, Risk Assessments, Information Cataloguing and Classification exercises.

Learning Awareness

Use of Technology, such as e-learning platforms, or awareness micro learning videos, are critical to support information Privacy and Security ongoing awareness and training. Training that is done only in workshops or briefing sessions has proven to be ineffectively retained as usable information by the average employee, and become information overload. Using an effective Data Privacy Compliance Training and Awareness Platform, that makes use of Micro-Learning, has been found to be the most effective approach in ensuring that the training is easily absorbed and effectively retained by employees and supporting stakeholders.

Using a Data Privacy Technology Management Platform

There is a significant volume of data to be collected, analysed, evaluated and maintained and monitored to efficiently manage data privacy ongoing within any organisation, small or large. Trying to do this manually can lead to unseen emerging risks and possible cyber threats and data breaches that could have been avoided with an effective Management System, where controls are monitored and compliance is consistently and continuously reviewed and managed.

The use of Business Intelligence tools, dashboarding and data insights, can support effective ongoing internal Audits, Management of risks and Compliance Assurance of the entire Data Privacy Programme status, thus leading to an assured state of confidence for all stakeholders of the organisation.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.