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22 February, 2018 saw the Australian Government enact the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme, requiring any organisation affected by a serious data breach to notify all individuals whose information may have been compromised. Non-compliance may result in heavy fines and penalties being imposed on both businesses and individual directors.
This article covers the full impact this legislation can have on your business, and how you can ensure you are protected.
Note: Some information in this article has been generously provided by Whitbread partner, and leading Australian IT specialists, Surety[IT].
If your turnover is more than $3 million per year and you are governed by the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth.), or if you are a smaller business handling sensitive or personal information, then this legislation can impact your business. The bill came into effect on February 22, 2018.
For more information on how to determine whether this applies to your business or organisation please refer to the OIAC (Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) website here: https://www.oaic.gov.au/engage-with-us/consultations/notifiable-data-breaches/draft-entities-covered-by-the-ndb-scheme
This relatively new law means that businesses who discover they have been breached, or who have lost data, will need to report the incident to the OAIC Privacy Commissioner as well as notifying affected customers as soon as they become aware of the breach.
The notification must include a description of the data breach, what kind of information it was, and recommendations on how customers should respond to the security incident.
Any business that fails to report a data breach can face fines of up to $360,000 for individuals and $1.8 million for businesses. Given the potential fines and penalties involved, this is a legislation every organisation, large or small must take seriously.
The law considers a breach to have occurred when:
Data is accessed by an unauthorised entity, and / or disclosure or loss of customer information held by a business generates a real risk of serious harm to individuals involved.
‘Serious harm’ can mean physical, psychological, emotional, economic and financial harm, in addition to reputational damage.
Data breaches are not limited to malicious actions, such as theft or hacking but can also come from internal errors or process failures that cause accidental loss or disclosure of information.
The legislation applies to anything from personal details, medical records, financial information, credit reporting information, tax file number information etc. held on any device including mobiles, USB keys, hard drives, company networks or paper records. The legislation has a very broad scope.
It is critical that your business has carefully planned strategies, as well as policies and procedures to:
Some areas to address as a starting point -
To keep updated on the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme, head to the OAIC's website.
While IT strategies can help prevent data breaches, in this day and age, there is no foolproof method to guarantee total security of your data. What you CAN do, is take out a Cyber Liability Insurance policy. A Cyber Insurance policy can protect against the financial consequences of a data breach in a number of ways:
Leading Australian IT specialists, Surety[IT] can help you implement targeted, quality risk management practices that significantly minimise your financial and operational exposures. For information on how Surety[IT] can help defend your company against a cyber attack, visit their website. Please click here to access the original version of this insight article on the Surety[IT] website.
This insight article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 Licence Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website.
Experienced insurance advisers from both Whitbread's Strata and Commercial departments, have joined forces to highlight the key areas of insurance where Strata Management business owners should pay attention.