Half of Australian businesses report an increase in privacy breaches

data, privacy breaches, cyber incidents

New research by email security and cyber resilience company Mimecast has revealed that about half of all Australian businesses have seen an increase in internal threats or data leaks in the last 12 months.

Coinciding with the kick-off of National Privacy Awareness Week, which runs from 2-8 May, Mimecast also revealed that 47 per cent of Australian companies are concerned about the risk that employees who are naive about the threat of such breaches to their businesses.

The risk is compounded by the current remote work setup as employees are working in remote locations, with security personnel only able to monitor them on a minimal basis, if at all.

Garrett O’Hara, Field Chief Technologist, Mimecast said that given this year’s theme for National Privacy Awareness Week is “Privacy: The Foundation of Trust”, the report shows that trust is a crucial factor in ensuring security and a lack of such poses a greater risk than ever.

“In research we conducted in 2021, we found that over one in five Australians had experienced a privacy incident at work and we expect this pattern to continue through 2022,” O’Hara said.

“While there is a lot more work to be done, we’re seeing Australian companies start to understand they need to be constantly training and educating staff on how to keep their privacy – and the privacy of their employee’s data and that of their customers – safe.”

Mimecast’s survey noted that only 23 per cent of Aussie employers provide ongoing cyber awareness training for employees, but it is becoming more of a focus with 85 per cent of businesses offering training at least once a quarter.

O’Hara stressed that all businesses need to make sure the foundations of their cybersecurity are sound, including regular, engaging training alongside the right technology as cyber threats like data breaches are increasing and becoming more complex,

“Businesses need to heed the wake-up call – Australian workers are distracted, remote-working sitting ducks, which leads eight out of 10 organisations to believe their company is at risk due to inadvertent data leaks by careless or negligent employees,” O’Hara warned.