NSW prepares for cybersecurity overhaul

Thursday, 01 April, 2021

NSW prepares for cybersecurity overhaul

A New South Wales (NSW) parliamentary inquiry has recommended a range of improvements to enhance cybersecurity and cyber awareness throughout the state in the wake of a high-profile data breach.

The Chair of the committee, the Hon Tara Moriarty MLC, said, “The serious cyber attack on Service NSW last year resulted in the personal information of over 100,000 people being stolen. The committee has made a range of findings that this shocking incident was enabled by practices and systems within Service NSW that did not accord with best practice cybersecurity measures.

“Compounding this incident, Service NSW was aware of the risks that led to the attack some 12 months earlier but had not acted sufficiently to address them. Further, following the attack, the agency took too long to notify those impacted and did not provide them with sufficient information, support and direct assistance throughout the process,” the Chair continued.

“The cyber attack on Service NSW is proof that the government needs to be doing more in the cybersecurity space to protect citizens and their personal information. Proactive, robust and resilient cybersecurity measures are critical now more than ever. Failing to get cybersecurity right not only puts citizens at risk, but it undermines trust in government and negatively impacts the state’s economy and business community.

“The committee has therefore made a range of recommendations to the NSW Government for it to holistically address these cybersecurity shortcomings. This includes strengthening the NSW Government Cyber Security policy, enhancing the role and mandate of Cyber Security NSW and enhancing cybersecurity education for public officials and cybersecurity professionals.

“In addition, the committee has also made recommendations regarding mandatory notification of data breaches, sovereign cybersecurity capability as well as clearer requirements for cybersecurity standards in government agencies,” the Chair concluded.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/tashatuvango

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