Human error a major reason for hacks and breaches blog image

Human error a major reason for hacks and breaches

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Even though scams, hacks, and breaches have become more innovative and tougher to deal with, human error continues to be one of the primary reasons why hackers can access business databases.

According to a recent breach report coming from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), 37% of data breaches came from human error, over 20% of the cases were caused by personal information being sent to the wrong email address, and 6% were due to system negligence.

The 22 February 2018 Amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 have required businesses to report all eligible data breaches to the OAIC. According to the OAIC, an eligible data breach arises when the below three criteria are met:

  1. There is unauthorised access to or unauthorised disclosure of personal information, or a loss of personal information, that an entity holds.
  2. It is likely to result in serious harm to one or more individuals.
  3. The entity has not been able to prevent the likely risk of serious harm with remedial action.

Businesses affected by the rules are those with an annual turnover of $3 million or more, businesses related to other businesses covered by the Privacy Act, or organisations, no matter what size, who manage health records, who are credit providers, or keeps Tax File Number details.

Companies are mandated to take all reasonable actions to avoid any breach from happening. They must also implement systems and methods to determine a breach, and send out an alert in case a breach is “likely to result in serious harm”.

Train your team

The breach report from the OAIC shows that training your team to follow procedures step by step is critical to not only keeping an eye out for scams, but procedural integrity also instils reliable standards are being used for the everyday management of personal information. Always remember that hackers are able to get to your data by simply having one of your staff click on a link.

Implement these simple procedures

Last year, scams, hacks, and breaches have stolen $30 million from Australian businesses. Here are some basic procedures that you can utilise:

  • Implement solid procedures when it comes to managing client affairs.
  • Have a two-step authorization process for payments.
  • Regularly change your passwords and enable two-step verification for all applicable software.
  • Call the customer if their bank information changes to double check.
  • Educate your staff on cybersecurity.

Here are the latest scams for 2019. Click on the headline to learn more:

Should you experience a troubling call from the ATO, contact your Chan & Naylor Client Manager so we can confirm the information for you.


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Aside from keeping you safe from scams, have a look at our other accounting and advisory services that we do to help you achieve greater financial success.

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The Chan & Naylor Group has national offices in North Sydney, South West Sydney, Sydney, Pymble and Parramatta in New South Wales, Melbourne, Moonee Ponds and Hawthorn in Victoria, Brisbane and Capalaba in Queensland, and East Perth in Western Australia. Contact us today.

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