Data breaches in Australia more common that what is disclosed: Clearswift

Data breaches in Australia more common that what is disclosed: Clearswift

Security vendor views every company regardless of size as a potential target for attack.

Data breaches in Australia remain more common that what is disclosed despite recent privacy law reform, according to Clearswift.

Market strategy head, Kevin Bailey, said data breaches are prevalent in every country around the world, and Australia is not exempt from the trend.

“There’s the old adage, if you have not been attacked yet then someone has not yet figured out the value of the information you have,” he said.

“When they do, you could find yourself under the spotlight.”

In most cases, Bailey said data breaches are only notified under the Privacy Act of Data Breach Notification.

Beyond the hack of a system, data leaks can occur when people through naivety exchange information to different departments or outside the company.

“A growing number of organisations are now becoming aware of that insider threat,” Bailey said.

However, there are still cases where organisations do not know they have been hacked until the information that has been removed becomes public, such as on being published on a name list.

“While some may say it is not critical information such as credit cards, it is personally identifiable information that can be later used in a malicious way,” Bailey said.

Everyone’s a target

The recent JP Morgan, Australian Federal Police, and iCloud celebrity photo leaks seem to indicate data, no matter how big or small, can be of use to someone.

An individual may say they do not care about the information of other people, though Bailey said they often value their own.

“Some research has shown personally identifiable information data of an individual is worth $1.50, but a hack into an organisation costs approximately $3.5 million per incident,” he said.

If customer data is compromised, the pitfall is that a customer may never do business with the affected company ever again.

“It comes down to recognising data is key to you, and regardless of the size of the organisation, your reputation will take a hit when it is breached,” Bailey said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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