NDB Q2 report: 59% involved malicious attacks

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 31 July, 2018

NDB Q2 report: 59% involved malicious attacks

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) received 242 data breach notifications during the first full quarter in operation of the new Notifiable Data Breach scheme.

Between the beginning of April and the end of June, the Office received 142 notifications of malicious or criminal attacks, according to the scheme’s second quarterly report.

The remaining 100 notifications involved data leaks arising from human error (88 notifications) or system faults (12 notifications).

In comparison, there were 63 notifications received during the period between the scheme taking effect on 22 February and the end of March.

Acting Information Commissioner and Acting Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk attributed the growing number of notifications to increased awareness by entities of their obligation under the scheme to report breaches to the OAIC as well as affected individuals.

“Notifications this quarter show that one of the key aims of the scheme — ensuring individuals are made aware when the security of their personal data is compromised — is being met,” she said.

“Data breach notification to individuals by the entities experiencing the data breach can equip individuals with the information they need to take steps to reduce their risk of experiencing harm, which can reduce the overall impact of a breach. Notification to the OAIC also increases transparency and accountability.”

The report found that among the 59% of data breach notifications that were attributable to malicious attacks, the majority of breaches reported were the result of compromised credentials. The most common human error was sending emails or letters containing personal information to the wrong recipient.

More than three in five (61%) data breaches involved the personal information of 100 or fewer individuals, the report found. The private health sector was responsible for the highest number of data breach notifications during the quarter (49), followed by the finance sector (36).

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/monsitj

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