Legal lessons from Ashley Maddison cyber security breach

Most people will have seen comments made this week by Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim after a joint review of Avid Life Media with Canadian Privacy authorities. This is a very interesting development on the usually salacious @ashleymadison story, but what does it mean for Australian government and business organisations?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) says companies who pay insufficient attention to securing digital data they hold about their customers and business partners could well be exposing themselves to litigation under the Privacy Act. According to the Report, whether or not an organisation is guilty of contravening the Privacy Act in the event of a cyber security breach depends on whether the organisation had, at the time of the breach, “taken such steps as were reasonable in the circumstances to protect the personal information it held.” But what are “reasonable steps”?

Legislation is complex and lawyers are clever people, so nobody can give a definitive answer. But at Infotrust we’d recommend you apply the five steps to holistic cyber security readiness:

Prepare   |   Protect   |   Detect   |   Respond   |   Recover

Missed the story? @ITNews on the OAIC Report: #cybersecurity risk = #litigation risk @OAICgov says poor #infosec exposes @ashleymadison under Privacy Act.


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