Mimecast, an enterprise email management company offering SaaS-based email security, continuity, policy control and archiving, together with specialist cyberlaw firm, van Gaalen Attorneys, today co-presented on the risks and obligations of electronic documentation at the 2010 Cyberlaw conference.
Kendal Watt, Solutions Specialist at Mimecast SA says, "This year's conference topic was ‘e-Justice in the context of e-Government.' The relevance of this topic was emphatically highlighted by this week's news of a security breach at MWeb. Hackers accessed information via the Internet Solutions self-service management system and published 2000 customer usernames and passwords to the Web. This is a big breach of security and privacy of the users and it is not clear how this will damage the company or what sanctions may be brought against its directors. IT security is every c-level executives problem."
With more than 35 Acts of law in South Africa alone requiring organisations to retain records for certain periods of time or make certain information available to courts, it's critical for businesses to understand what is needed and have the right processes and technology in place.
"A primary concern for directors, is that the board of a company is the ultimate protector of all electronically stored information," says Van Gaalen. "While the IT administrator may have a role to play, the final responsibility sits with the board. Saying ‘I didn't know' or ‘I don't do IT' is not going to protect you from ending up in court, your share price or your reputation."
"An email breach is a real risk for companies," says Watt. "South African businesses must look to secure their email environments. Developing an understanding and awareness of all the issues is the first step to securing and protecting electronic documentation. By understanding email risks, such as data leaks and social engineering, and regulatory obligations, the business leaders and board of directors can implement the best technology and policies to ensure compliance."