Earlier this year, 1st July to be more precise, important elements of the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) came into effect. While local businesses still have until July next year to ensure they are compliant with the regulations of the Act, for some the complexity may be too difficult to cope with, which is why Microsoft recently announced its Compliance Manager tool.

Announced at Microsoft Ignite this month, the Compliance Manager tool will serve as a centralised dashboard where businesses will be able to map and understand their obligations, roles and responsibilities to comply with local regulations and legislation.

For those smaller organisations who may not have someone within their structure dedicated to handling compliance, this new tool may be of interest.

“The protection of data and personal information is a critical obligation for organisations with access to this information, and this obligation is made ever more important as the world moves further into the cloud,” notes Colin Erasmus, modern workplace business group lead at Microsoft.

For those companies making use of Microsoft’s cloud services, and in particular those on Microsoft 365 or Azure Active Directory, the addition of the Compliance Manager should prove helpful.

“It serves several functions, not the least of which being to provide a centralised, visual representation of an enterprise’s compliance posture, calculating a risk-based compliance score that measures progress towards data protection and adherence to regulatory standards,” adds Kelly Chalom, GDPR and data privacy compliance specialist at Cloud Essentials.

The firm played a part in the mapping of the various laws and standards including local compliance legislation such as PoPIA to Microsoft’s control framework for Compliance Manager.

As such, along with PoPIA and GDPR, the newly announced tool will also cater to applicable ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) standards, Microsoft confirms.

“Not only does it enable enterprises to visualise their compliance posture, it also allows for secure cloud storage of critical compliance documentation that is key to demonstrating the enterprise’s compliance as required by the legislation,” explains Chalom.

With adherence and compliance to PoPIA now a necessity for any business handling data and heading into 2021, the launch of this tool comes at an opportune time.

“The Compliance Manager tool takes an holistic approach to compliance, combining technology with a level of care to ensure that organisations in South Africa understand their compliance obligations,” concludes Erasmus.

To find out more about Compliance Manager, head here.

[Image – Photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash]