Fall in reported malicious attacks sees data breach notifications drop

Fall in reported malicious attacks sees data breach notifications drop

Reports of breaches caused by human error on the rise

Credit: Dreamstime

Australia has seen a marginal fall in the number of reported data breaches for the last six months, clocking in at 518.

Reported to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) under the country's mandatory data breach notification regime for the six months ending June 2020, the numbers mark a three per cent drop from the previous period.

More than 60 per cent of these came from malicious or criminal attacks, which reached 317. Although a fall of 7 per cent, the number is illustrative of the recent headlines concerning external cyber threats.

Most recently these included DXC, which fell victim to a ransomware attack and the recent news that a "sophisticated state-based actor" has been attempting to hack a wide range of Australian organisations for months, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Meanwhile, just over a third of these came from human error, reaching 176, a seven per cent rise against the last period.

Reported under the Government’s Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, the final segment of system failure represented just five per cent of breaches, totalling 25.

According to the OAIC, the health sector is again the highest reporting sector, notifying 22 per cent of all breaches, continuing its trend of regularly topping the OAIC’s list.

Meanwhile, finance was the second highest reporting sector, accounting for 14 per cent of all breaches. Most data breaches affected less than 100 individuals, in line with previous reporting periods, the OAIC said.

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