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Poor Information Security Can Get You in Regulatory Trouble

Is Your Business Regulated Under the Privacy Act?

Australian businesses with a turnover worth at least AUD 3 million per year must comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme under the Privacy Act. The federal government implemented the regulation on 22 February 2018, to ensure that public and private sector groups continue to invest in information security. Failure to do so can be costly for your business.

Want to Know what's NDB’s Financial Impact?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) requires timely notifications of data breaches to affected people, especially when the information security incident can compromise their safety. You could get away unscathed if the cyberattack happened once and only dealt minor damage. According to the OAIC, businesses that are involved in ‘serious or repeated interference with privacy’ can be liable for up to 2,000 penalty units. The penalty ranges from AUD 210 to AUD 420,000.

Apart from the financial impact, reporting an NDB case can negatively affect your reputation. Loss of consumer trust is perhaps more damaging than paying a penalty for having poor information security. An IT security analyst can help you with improving your cyber defences, although an IT audit addresses problems on a comprehensive scale.


You May Also Like:

• Information Security Audit and Other Ways to Protect Your Assets

• Why You Need an Information System Audit

• IT Audit: Pay Attention to Disaster Recovery


Find out what are the Common Misconceptions

Some business owners hesitate to perform a regular IT audit because of the related expenses. The additional cost leads them to believe that they either have enough protection or simply don’t need it at all. The misconceptions may stem from having a network firewall, an anti-phishing training for employees and other security initiatives.


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Responsibilities and Tasks

An IT audit team can help you:

1. Spread awareness - Your employees play an important role because they act as the first line of defence. IT auditors or security analysts can educate your workforce on the best practices for data security.

2. Deter attackers - IT experts are familiar with the current trends in cyberattacks and know how to prevent them. Look for a service provider with the most updated security protocols.

3. Secure network - A secure network relies on properly enforced policies. An efficient IT audit must have an equal focus on keeping internal and external threats under control.

4. Monitor and test vulnerabilities - IT auditors review administrative access within a secure network. They can also conduct ethical hacking to test for vulnerabilities.

5. Perform internal/external security audit - An IT security analyst or auditor can perform an internal or external information security audit focusing on anti-hacking or look at the bigger picture when assessing your digital infrastructure. 

6. Assess the risk associated with third-party vendors and partners - Service providers should know how to screen trustworthy vendors and partners. Businesses need tighter scrutiny when they plan to introduce new online tools.

 

 

7. Identify critical data - IT professionals can identify critical data to help you with your data loss plan.

8. Anticipate potential breaches - IT auditors can find loopholes that can be exploited by hackers. They know how to fix these potential weak spots.

9. Minimize risks - Prevention remains better than cure. Your auditor can help you with IT risk analysis that focuses on preemptive measures upon foreseeing potential security gaps.

10. Create an incident response plan - Despite covering all your security bases, an IT audit team can help you in creating an incident response plan (IRP) in case of a data breach. An IRP comes in handy particularly when you need to recover from an online attack.

11. Support disaster recovery initiatives – An IT audit team can support your disaster recovery initiatives. Smaller businesses have lower chances of recovering from cyberattacks.

The Final Word

Poor information security increases your risk of landing in hot water due to non-compliance with regulations. A full-scale IT audit at least once every year can prevent legal troubles.

 

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