SA’s largest data breach & how you can protect your data

  • Mind the gap

It turns out SA’s largest recorded data breach was traced to a Web server registered to a real estate company based in Pretoria, Jigsaw Holdings. They are a holding company for several real estate franchises including Realty1, ERA and Aida. Apparently, this website had exceptionally lax security and contained a database of 75 million records, including the records of 60 million SA citizens.
It seems that hacking wasn’t required to get access to these records as the information was easily accessible on an open Web server. The same credentials were used everywhere and allowed full administrator access across all the databases on the server. All personal data was contained in a single database in clear text. It indicates an overall lack of even the most basic security awareness.
Jigsaw Holdings missed the mark on so many levels, information governance and security was never considered.

How to prevent a data breach in your business

What are the basic things you should know in your business?

  1. Know what information you have.
  2. Know where you keep it.
  3. Know who has access to it.

Once you have answers to these questions, you can start planning the best way to protect your data.

Here are some really useful free resources you can start using today

  1. Start identifying risks and implementing the small changes you can make immediately. Download our top data security tips for small businesses for free. It will give you an action plan that you can implement immediately!
  2. If you have had a data breach, don’t panic. We’ve assembled a to-do list that you can use to make sure you handle the situation like a pro. Here’s what you need to do. 
  3. If you haven’t had a breach – be proactive. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll get you started on a risk assessment. We will give you a free hour-long consultation.
  4. If you’d like more useful, usable info about protecting personal information, the Protection of Personal Information Act, sign-up for our monthly newsletter. Of course it comes with a no-spam guarantee!


About the Author:

Ilze Luttig Hattingh
Ilze is what can only be described as a common sense attorney (the Force is strong with her). She specialises in regulatory compliance, risk management and commercial contract law. She joined us in the beginning of 2016 when she got a bit tired of being an in-house legal advisor. Now she is an out-house legal advisor (she gets stuff sorted out). She finds simple, innovative and business-oriented solutions to compliance management problems. Ilze doesn’t write books, she reads them. Ilze likes the wind in her face when she is riding her bike or travelling the world. She’d love to learn how to make bread, Limoncello and a beautiful Bordeaux blend, and how to paint with oils. She also caught Elizabeth’s Lego bug (come to our offices and you will see). She dislikes people who use jargon like ‘big rocks’, ‘on-boarding’ and ‘this speaks to’. Paul often ‘puts things to her’ just for the reaction. She HATES tomatoes. Want to find out more about Ilze? Take a look at her LinkedIn profile, better yet contact her on or (021) 481 1827.