By Juliet Umeh
Essential Security against Evolving Threats, ESET, has urged Nigerian companies both public and private to comply with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, NDPR.
The Slovak internet security company noted that compliance will impact Data Protection Governance, Information Systems & Security Configuration, as well as Documented Policies & Processes, says ESET Nigeria.
The organization made the call at a zoom conference organized to discuss how organizations can comply with the data protection regulations stated that these requirements are already in force, and its implications are complex and the potential penalties for non-compliance are severe.
MD, ESET Nigeria, and Ghana, Mr. Olufemi Ake said that encrypting data and creating an additional authentication for data accessibility in organizations are a few ways to help in meeting the new data security and compliance rules.
He said: “The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, introduced The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation, NDPR and enforced its compliance from January 2019 as the new requirement on collection and processing of personal data and requires such activities to be in accordance with lawful purpose consent by the Data Subject.
Due to this, organisations have been mandated to put compliance measures in place within the first year of the regulation. Compliance with this regulation will impact Data Protection Governance, Information Systems & Security Configuration, as well as Documented Policies & Processes,” Ake said.
He also enumerated objectives of the regulation as “To safeguard the rights of natural persons to data privacy; foster safe-conduct for transactions involving the exchange of Personal Data; to prevent manipulation of Personal Data and to ensure that Nigerian businesses remain competitive in international trade through the safe-guards afforded by a sound data protection regulation.
“NDPR applies to all storage and processing of Personal Data conducted in respect of Nigerian citizens and residents and it covers transactions intended for the processing of personal data and to the actual processing of personal data and person(s) residing in Nigeria or residing outside Nigeria but of Nigeria nationality.
“Unlike the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR), NDPR is not enforced on persons and organizations outside Nigeria that collect, store, or process data of Nigerians”.
“The Maximum penalty for breaches of data privacy rights on international transfers can be up to N10M or two percent of the annual gross revenue of the preceding year, whichever is higher and based on the number of Data Subjects dealt with.
Other massive losses that non-compliance could cause are reputational damage and Prosecution of principal officers in the event of a severe data breach”, reminded organizations.
He also affirmed ESET’s readiness to assist organisations in NDPR compliance.
“To ensure 100 percent compliance, organisations should ensure the following solutions are deployed and proactively used.
“Organizations are keenly advised to get Data loss prevention, DLP solution to ensure that sensitive data is not lost, misused, or accessed by unauthorized users.
Most importantly the likes of ‘Safetica’ that classify regulated, confidential and business-critical data and identifies violations of policies defined by organizations or within a predefined policy pack, typically driven by regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or NDPR.
“Multi-factor Authentication will serve as an additional layer of protection of data from unauthorized users. This tool will help Data Controllers in securing all logins to database and networks (on-premise and cloud) by generating a one-time password that is not known to anyone but unique to a particular user and per login. An excellent example of such a solution is ESET Secure Authentication.
“Finally, organisations should also deploy data encryption technologies, develop an organisational policy for handling personal data (and other sensitive or confidential data), protect emailing systems, and ensure continuous capacity building for staff. Reports have shown that most organisations in Nigeria seek the above solutions to meet up with the compliance requirements of NDPR on Data Security.”