05 April 2016

How to stay security savvy in a digital domain

Author :

“Digitisation is here to stay,” said Ian Narev, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Bank, in Financial Observer. “We must embrace it and get to the forefront of it.”

Compulsory digitisation is finally upon us, prompted by the National Archives’ Digital Continuity 2020 Policy. Whilst most have begun scanning their boxed paper files (which span for kilometres when sat side by side), there remain unanswered questions surrounding data security.

Though the easiest go-to policy seems to be ‘if we don’t think about it, it won’t know we’re here’, the more practical approach is to make defensive manoeuvres before the security breach, rather than desperately seeking to repair corruption and leaked information after the fact.

Security risks and incident are on the rise: detected incidents have increased globally by 38.5%, according to Digital Pulse. This number becomes a whopping 109% rise in Australia.  Last year saw two of Australia’s major retailers, Kmart and David Jones, fall victim to security breaches.

Whilst government agency breaches pale in comparison to those of the private sector, government information has been compromised several times over the last few years.

Ben Dornier, Director of Corporate and Community Services at City of Palmerston, believes there is no greater security risk in the Cloud than in internal systems. “You have Microsoft, a billion dollar corporation, or your IT Specialist Bob, who is on an $80k annual salary. Who do you think is more likely to have a motive to access your information?”

So perhaps it is not necessarily a greater risk that digitisation or the Cloud pose, but a different risk. There are no ‘digital demons’, though heavily traditional paper-based record keepers may tell you otherwise. There are three simple, practical steps you can take to ensure that your business is digitally secure:

1.       Risk assessments
Conduct cyber-security risk assessments on a regular basis. They allow you to identify gaps in your organisation’s risk areas and act to address them. This means you’re investing your time and resources into the areas that matter most.

2.       Response plans

Have data breach and response plans in place- just in case. These will set out procedures and clear lines of authority for staff in the event of a data breach.

3.       Staff training
Make sure your staff are cyber-safety conscious by ensuring that they are training across all areas of your organisation. This is also an opportunity to build a culture which fosters cyber-security. Cyber-safe practices should be the norm in your organisation; train your staff with this in mind.

The government is leading the way in data protection, recently announcing that they will entrust that duty to citizens themselves. According to Financial Review, Services and Innovation Strategic Policy Executive Director, Dawn Routledge, announced a new innovation at the recent Navigating Privacy and Security Summit.

Future generations may never pull out their ID to purchase alcohol- digital licenses are on the horizon.

"This is moving from plastic cards in your wallet to licences that are truly digital," Routledge said.
Digital licenses could be in our possession as early as this year. We will first see such licences as the Responsible Service of Alcohol available digitally around midyear, “and then moving onto more complex licences in the next couple of years, such as driver's licences."

Thus, whilst digitisation brings with it a myriad of fresh risks and security concerns, it also begins a new age of possibilities. The lines of code behind the screen are not the bars of your gaol cell, but each represents a fresh prospect. How we use them, though, is still being explored.

To learn more, make sure you’re in Sydney for Akolade’s 5th Annual Australian Fraud Summit, to be held on 24-26th May 2016. You can view the program here.

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire thought it sounded more impressive.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

1 comment :

  1. I found it really interesting even though it didn't apply to me. Love your profile though!