Protect your personal information from prying eyes

Data Privacy Day is a timely reminder to make digital responsibility a daily priority.

How many “We’re updating our Privacy Policy” emails did you receive at the beginning of the year? Five? Ten? For many people, the dawn of 2020 was marked by a deluge of inbox messages from some of the biggest technology companies in the world. Why? Because California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CPA) came into effect on 1 January 2020 – and Silicon Valley giants had to comply with the new law in America’s Golden State.

California’s CPA is not the only piece of legislation that deals with data privacy. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and South Africa’s own Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) were both designed to ensure that organisations (private, public, governmental and non-governmental) manage sensitive data responsibly.As internet access increases and communities become more connected, there’s a growing need to educate web users about online privacy. Data Privacy Day is a global initiative to create more public awareness about the value of private data: it’s intrinsically valuable to you as an individual, but it’s also commercially valuable to companies and – unfortunately – cybercriminals.

Web-enabled mobile phones, laptops, wearable gadgets, and other smart devices are capable of gathering and sharing substantial information about who you are and what you do… Your name. Your phone number. Email address. Home address. Location history. Search history. Purchase history. If you don’t set boundaries regarding the treatment of your personal data, then there’s a risk it could be used in unwelcome ways.

Data Privacy Day is co-ordinated by the National Cyber Security Alliance, and is observed annually on the 28th of January. This year, BUI is supporting the campaign as a Data Privacy Day Champion organisation to encourage bigger conversations about the importance of being #PrivacyAware. Follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter for handy resources and helpful tips. And take action today with these three simple steps to improve your data privacy…

#1 | 2FA and MFA all day | Control your account access

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods whenever possible – especially for critical digital accounts like your online banking profile. Usernames and passwords are no longer enough to safeguard your personal information. One-time PINs, biometric scans, facial recognition, and even voice identification can put extra layers of security between your precious data and the cyber villains who want it.

#2 | Delete the obsolete | Uninstall apps you don’t use

Review the applications you have installed on your devices – and be ruthless. If you don’t use an app, then uninstall it and delete the associated folders. This will free up storage space, but more importantly, it will get rid of old, outdated, and unmaintained software that could be vulnerable to malware and other threats. Conversely, when you download a new app, read the Ts & Cs from top to bottom and check the permissions and privacy settings so that you can make an informed choice about the use of your private data.

#3 | Lock when you leave | Shield your screens from snoops

Lock your phone, tablet, and computer screens to protect your data from prying eyes. If you step away to grab a coffee, chat with a friend, or attend a meeting, then you need to prevent unauthorised access to your still-in-use devices. Lock screens are particularly important for smartphones, which are frequently misplaced, forgotten, lost, or stolen. A screen-specific password, PIN, or swipe pattern is one more barrier to help keep your data from being compromised.

Have you heard? Our Cyber Security Operations Center is now open! Take a look inside to see how our security specialists protect and defend critical data 365 days a year…

BUI is an official Microsoft Partner in South Africa, and an award-winning leader in identity and security solutions.

Three Simple Ways To Improve Your Data Privacy

Our commitment to ensuring business continuity – even in the face of disruption – has been recognised by the British Standards Institution.

We’re proud to announce that we have earned ISO 22301 certification after a rigorous independent evaluation by the British Standards Institution last month. The ISO 22301 badge is recognised internationally and sets the standard for Business Continuity Management Systems.

“This certification highlights the strength of our company’s business continuity strategy,” says Gayle Roseveare, our Chief Operating Officer (COO) here at BUI. “It proves to our staff, partners and customers that we’re prepared for any eventuality – and that we’re able to serve and support the people who rely on us, no matter what. Our ISO 22301 badge represents our commitment to effective risk management, organisational resilience, and reliability – even in the face of disruption,” notes Roseveare.

What is ISO 22301?

Developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO 22301 lays out a framework to help companies like ours create, implement, and maintain a comprehensive business continuity management system (BCMS). The main aim is to ensure that companies are protected against unforeseen business challenges and equipped to respond and recover when such events do occur.

“BUI is a global company with offices in East Africa, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States,” says Roseveare. “On any given day, our teams are provisioning cloud infrastructure, monitoring and securing digital environments, and delivering a wide range of IT services to customers. We operate around the world and around the clock – and we have to be able to do so continuously. Whether there are power outages in South Africa or internet connectivity issues in Europe, we need to ensure we can deliver uninterrupted services to our customers. Our ISO 22301 certificate validates our planning for disruptive incidents and disasters.”

Why is ISO 22301 certification important?

“In an unpredictable business climate, it pays to be prepared,” explains Dhiren Boodhia, our Group Governance and Compliance Manager. “And that goes double for service providers like us. To earn our ISO 22301 certificate, we had to demonstrate that we have a thorough BCMS in place; that the staff in our various offices understand the BCMS and the processes required to sustain it; and that we are focused on maintaining business continuity and sustainability regardless of market uncertainties and challenges. I think the ISO 22301 badge is an important differentiator – especially when customers are looking for a steadfast technology ally that is as dedicated to legal and regulatory compliance as it is to protecting the business resources of the organisations it works with,” he says.

For customers who choose to partner with BUI, there are five key benefits, adds Boodhia.

  1. Consistency. ISO 22301 emphasises the importance of consistency when it comes to best practices and business processes. “We’ve been assessed on our capabilities around risk assessment and impact analysis as well as our strategies for mitigating disruptions. Our teams excelled in every area – and that means our customers can expect the highest standards of service and care from everyone at BUI,” says Boodhia.
  2. Data protection. With the cyber threat landscape evolving so quickly, data privacy and data security are critical considerations for customers. “ISO 22301 includes extensive conditions for data protection and data recovery,” notes Boodhia. “Our ISO 22301 badge, together with the ISO 27001 certification we achieved for our commitment to information security management, should give our customers even greater confidence: we handle all data respectfully and safely.
  3. Faster recovery. “ISO 22301 requires us to have a holistic strategy in place to deal with disruptions and disasters. It also mandates a detailed recovery plan to ensure that downtime is minimised – for our company and for the business organisations we serve,” says Boodhia. “BUI customers can be assured that, in the event of an issue, our teams will follow a step-by-step framework to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”
  4. Greater compliance. By achieving ISO 22301 certification, BUI has met the global benchmark for business continuity management, adds Boodhia. “Many of our customers operate in highly regulated industries, like financial services and healthcare, and they must adhere to their own standards in terms of the services they provide to their clients. BUI is committed to maintaining essential functions during adverse circumstances – and that’s a big plus for customers who have strict compliance obligations.”
  5. Peace of mind. ISO 22301 calls for certified organisations to update and improve their business continuity processes to ensure that their strategies remain current, relevant, and effective. “We’re obligated to adapt and enhance our BCMS plan as our company grows,” explains Boodhia. “It’s good news for our customers because it means we’re always prepared. Whatever happens, the BUI services and solutions that so many businesses utilise every day will be available.”

Our commitment to your success

ISO 22301 may be our newest certification, but it’s also a testament to our unwavering focus on our customers, notes our COO. “To be a dependable, reliable technology partner, you need to anticipate the challenges you’re going to face and then take the necessary steps to ensure that you can address those challenges as soon as they arise. We’re being proactive today so that we’re ready for tomorrow – and always on hand to help our customers be productive, secure, and resilient,” Roseveare concludes.

Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place?

Our experts can help you craft a comprehensive backup strategy aligned with your business structure, your IT resources, your budget, and your goals.

Contact our team to arrange a discussion today.

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