The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme – How it Effects your Business in 2024

May 15, 2024

Introduced in 2018, the Australian Government released the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme to ensure organisations covered by the Australian Privacy Act 1988 informed any individuals at risk of harm via a data breach.

It is still incredibly important for businesses to make sure that not only are they aware of this scheme, but also the way in which it works and applies to organisations.

What is the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme?

The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme - How it Effects your Business in 2024 - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme applies to all businesses under the Australian Privacy Act 1988 and outlines a responsibility to notify individuals affected by a data breach.

As well as notifying the affected parties of the data breach, it is also required that the business involved must include recommended steps that should be taken to respond to the breach itself, to best protect their data and information.

Also, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) must be notified of a data breach. Failure to do so can lead to fines of up to $1.8 million.

What is a Data Breach?

The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme - How it Effects your Business in 2024 - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Whilst it is important to know what the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme itself is, it is equally as important to know what a data breach is. It is important to have an understanding of what a data breach is, as a business will need the knowledge to correctly identify and report on any potential breaches of information and data.

A data breach is an incident where unauthorised individuals gain access to sensitive, confidential, or protected information. Data breaches can result from various causes, including cyberattacks, hacking, malware, phishing, or even accidental exposure due to human error.

The consequences of a data breach can be severe, leading to financial loss, identity theft, reputational damage, and legal penalties for the affected business. The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme is in place as a means of notifying affected businesses or individuals that are collateral damage from a data breach.

What does the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme Mean for your Business?

The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme - How it Effects your Business in 2024 - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

As a business storing or utilising sensitive information, it is your responsibility to ensure that certain measures have been implemented to protect and secure personal or private information.

Failure to apply a data breach response plan or show that the appropriate steps have been taken in the event of a data breach could result in heavy fines, or an inquest by the Australian Information Commission.

According to the Office of Australian Information Commission (OAIC), a data breach response plan is “a framework that sets out the roles and responsibilities involved in managing a data breach. It also describes the steps an entity will take if a data breach occurs”.

The Office of the Australian Information Commission (OAIC) expects businesses to take proactive steps in relation to data breaches. The information required for staff within a business includes, but is not limited to:

  • A clear explanation of what constitutes a data breach.
  • A strategy for containing, assessing, and managing data breaches.
  • The roles and responsibilities of staff.
  • Documentation.
  • Review of how the data breach occurred, and the success/failures of the response provided.

There are also steps that businesses can take in preparation for attempts from malicious individuals and hackers to breach an organisation’s data. The following steps are expected by The Office of Australian Information Commission:

  • Review existing processes, policies and procedures regarding the identification, management, notification, and rectification of data breaches.
  • Review existing privacy and information security processes and documented procedures to meet current information security obligations.
  • Reviewing existing privacy, security, and cybersecurity provisions in contracts with key stakeholders including outsourced service providers and business partners.

Providing staff with specific training and communication regarding the obligations and requirements of the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme.

How Adept IT Solutions can Assist your Business with the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme

The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme - How it Effects your Business in 2024 - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

If your business requires assistance creating a data breach response plan to align with the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme, contact Adept IT Solutions today.

Adept IT Solutions, a proven leader in Managed IT Services, IT Compliance and Auditing, and cybersecurity, can ensure your business is compliant with the illustration and documentation of a data breach response plan.

If you would like to learn more about our extensive list of IT services, or chat further about the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme, please contact us at 1300 423 378 (ADEPT) or email us at info@adept-it.com.au.

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