Safeguarding trust: Third party service providers' data privacy compliance imperative


The revelation of customer data, whether intentional or accidental, carries profound consequences for businesses. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

For any modern business, the reliance on third-party services, especially Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers, has become ubiquitous. Companies opt for the convenience of consuming technology layers through APIs, web interfaces, and mobile dashboards rather than maintaining these aspects in-house.

While this offers efficiency and scalability, it introduces significant risks that demand careful consideration. In this digital era, data privacy compliance is an anchor for PaaS providers, ensuring the protection of valuable information and maintaining the trust of businesses and their customers.

Businesses embracing third-party services must grapple with cybersecurity concerns, whether managing technology internally or adopting external solutions.

The threat landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from sophisticated cyber-attacks to inadvertent data breaches. However, my focus today extends beyond the immediate risks associated with these technologies to the underlying treasure trove of data held by PaaS providers.

PaaS providers house vast amounts of sensitive data, including customer information, transaction records, and proprietary business insights. The commercial value of this data cannot be overstated, making it an attractive target for cybercriminals. While external cyber incidents are a significant concern, an internal breach of customer privacy through analysis of available first-party data and forward commercial action can be even more insidious.

The revelation of customer data, whether intentional or accidental, carries profound consequences for businesses. It jeopardises customer trust and exposes companies to regulatory penalties, legal actions, and reputational damage.

Recognising this, PaaS providers must prioritise data privacy compliance, adopting a robust compliance posture that permeates the entire business structure. This journey begins at the board level, where leaders must champion a culture of data privacy and security. The commitment to compliance should be ingrained in the organisational ethos, shaping how employees perceive and handle sensitive information.

Only when the commitment to data privacy is ingrained in the corporate culture can it effectively translate into concrete actions at the operational level. From tools and technologies to processes, policies, and procedures, every facet of the business must align with the overarching goal of safeguarding data. PaaS providers, as custodians of valuable business insights, should be proactive in implementing and maintaining stringent data privacy measures.

Data privacy compliance is not just a "checkbox" legal requirement. It is a strategic imperative for PaaS providers.

Njihia is the head of business and partnerships at Safiri Express. [email protected]

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.