26 September 2023

OAIC finds data breaches going up

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The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has recorded a 26 per cent jump in data breaches during the second half of 2022.

Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said her Office’s latest Notifiable data breaches report found that several large-scale data breaches had impacted millions of Australians’ personal information between June and December 2022, contributing to the increase.

Commissioner Falk said cyber security incidents could have significant impacts on individuals and organisations needed to be alert to the risks.

“We saw a significant increase in data breaches that impacted a larger number of Australians in the second half of 2022,” Commissioner Falk said.

“Cyber security incidents continue to have a significant impact on the community and were the cause of the majority of large-scale breaches,” she said.

“Thirty-three of the 40 breaches that affected over 5,000 Australians were the result of cyber security incidents.”

The Commissioner said organisations should take appropriate and proactive steps to protect against, and respond to, a range of cyber threats.

She said this started with collecting the minimum amount of personal information required and deleting it when it was no longer needed.

“Organisations need to be vigilant as large-scale compromises of personal information may lead to further attacks,” Commissioner Falk said.

“As personal information becomes increasingly available to malicious actors through breaches, the likelihood of other attacks, such as targeted social engineering, impersonation fraud and scams, can increase,” she said.

“Organisations need to be on the front foot and have robust controls, such as fraud detection processes, in place to minimise the risk of further harm to individuals.”

The OAIC’s 38-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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