Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 12:00

Big leak needed for data breach law 'to be taken seriously'

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Australia's data breach law takes effect on Thursday, making it mandatory for certain classes of organisations to report data breaches to the Information Commissioner and many have put out the welcome mat for the legislation.

But Tim Bentley, vice-president, APJ, at security company Proofpoint, says that there will be no real action on the ground until a big, local data breach occurs.

“The impact of security incidents, and particularly data breaches, are wide-reaching across Australia's business landscape," Bentley said.

"According to accounting firm PwC, there has been a 109% increase in detected security incidents in Australian companies, compared to a 38% global average.

"More specifically, according to a new report by Breach Level Index, Australia has the most information-security breaches in the Asia-Pacific region."

There have a variety of viewpoints expressed by people who are considered experts; some say the law will make a difference, others say it will do nothing, and a third category say the primary concern is information security.

Bentley said despite the alarming findings about breaches, "there is concern that the new data breach disclosure laws will not amass real action on the ground in the business community until a big, local breach in post-data disclosure Australia occurs".

"That said, this new mandatory data breach notification is a strong step forward: when passed, the legislation will mean that Australia has some of the strictest disclosure rules in the world."

He said data breaches were not just an IT security issue, but a fundamental data governance issue as well.

"Organisations must combine information security with data governance programs that identify, classify and protect critical and sensitive data assets.

"Technologies like encryption and data loss prevention provide automated controls that protect the processing and storage of sensitive information.

"By implementing multi-layered defence strategies leveraging technology controls, businesses can reduce the likelihood of data exposure.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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