Data protection is a daunting but vital part of running a business. It is becoming increasingly important for companies to stay up to date in their data protection compliance. Fortunately, there are tools on the market to make the process more manageable, writes Alvin Toh, Chief Marketing Officer, Straits Interactive.

High-profile cybercrimes and data breaches were headlines around the world throughout 2022.

As businesses incur significant financial and reputational costs and business disruptions resulting from these incidents, the urgency to safeguard sensitive data, in compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) and other relevant laws, has never been bigger.

Amidst the demands of stricter regulations and due diligence, Data Protection Officers (DPOs) find it quite difficult to report organizational accountability in a timely and productive manner as they deal with many different aspects of compliance.

To implement and sustain a robust Data Protection Management Program (DPMP) efficiently and effectively, field-tested DPOs are turning to dedicated data protection software tools to help with operational compliance through actionable analytics and comprehensive reporting .

Here are 5 reasons to consider implementing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for data protection:


1. Achieving operational compliance is a multifaceted and ongoing exercise

Data protection management is an ongoing activity that requires regular monitoring and improvement. It is more accurately described as a journey rather than a destination as the landscape is ever changing.

“The key to running an effective and robust DPMP is to support an organization’s initial data protection efforts,” explains data privacy consultant Karthik Laxman (CIPM). “That means constant monitoring and auditing and communication with internal and external stakeholders.

“A complete data protection management solution simplifies monitoring and auditing,” continues Laxman, “by providing a complete picture of an organization’s data protection controls on a single platform. Updated to meet the latest regulatory requirements, such a platform can provide anytime, anywhere access to more stakeholders, so they are knowledgeable and competent to comply with the requirements of relevant data privacy laws.

2. Data privacy implementation involves multiple departments

The bigger your company, the more value data protection software can bring to you. It also involves people working together. Data privacy educator and consultant Edwin Concepcion calls this an enterprise-wide effort. “We’ve seen that data protection software is valuable because data protection has never been a one-person or one-department job,” he says. “It’s a company-wide effort that requires several departments to align.”


Data protection management software allows DPOs to set up their own governance structure, employee roles and responsibilities, and accountability for policies and processes when it comes to privacy management.

3. Spreadsheets work, but they’re problematic

“I’m just going to use spreadsheets,” some might say. While spreadsheets can get the job done, they can also be the most unproductive, disorganized, and stressful way to get the job done.

“Spreadsheets are a problem,” Laxman says, “because when you have multiple departments, with their own inventory and risk, how do you get a consolidated view to efficiently track and monitor them? locations will require multiple spreadsheets – it’s very cumbersome. It’s not that you can’t use spreadsheets. You can, but it’s time consuming and complex, whereas when you use a tool, it gives you your reports and dashboards at the click of a button. button.

4. Running all processes manually is very stressful

If you want to implement a robust data protection management program, one of the first steps is to establish baseline risk. This involves mapping your organization’s data flow and data inventory – these are certainly not easy tasks.

“Dedicated data protection software,” explains Edwin Concepcion, “can provide a model of common risks related to personal data inventory. We also provide a list of common types of personal data. This assists you in analyzing your personal data. You will then be able to establish your company’s risk basis more efficiently.

5. Data protection software helps you demonstrate accountability and helps manage requests from regulators

“When a regulator knocks on your door,” says Laxman, “the tendency is to rush to generate evidence of operational compliance with data protection laws. With the ability to generate these reports very quickly, you show that you are in control. If you can provide reports such as Personal Data Inventory, Business Process Report, and Processing Activity Log, you are able to demonstrate accountability to the regulator.

While data protection compliance work can be a very daunting concept, there are a variety of tools and software that can streamline and speed up the process. This way, you can become operationally compliant, minimizing disruption and staying productive, faster and without headaches.

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