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Peak records management group calls current data security environment a ‘ticking time bomb’

The head of the Records and Information Management Practitioners Alliance (RIMPA) has called on Australian businesses to comply with best practices for managing customer data and for government to introduce minimum standards framework for how businesses manage private information.

user icon David Hollingworth
Mon, 03 Apr 2023
Peak records management groups calls current data security environment a “ticking time bomb”
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The demand for greater regulation comes off the back of one of Australia’s largest data breaches, with Latitude Financial revealing last week that 14 million records had been compromised by a malicious actor.

According to RIMPA chief executive Anne Cornish, the COVID-19 pandemic drove many companies to rush their digital expansion, leading to lax data security measures.

“The pandemic forced businesses to digitalise — and fast. For many, this ‘digital by default’ movement came quickly and without much preparation, leading to rash decisions, which unfortunately exposed many businesses to greater cyber risk,” she said.

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“It’s time we question how long companies are required to maintain customer data, as the longer personal data is kept, the more at risk companies are of exposing this information to cyber hackers.”

According to Cornish, the current “weak” state of regulations is putting customers at risk. In her words, it is a ticking time bomb.

“A collaborative response with stakeholders, whether that be the retailer associations, RIMPA Global, government representation or cyber security experts, forming an emergency committee or inquiry could help to determine the minimum amount of data needed and how long it should be maintained,” Cornish said.

“After all, what is the value of knowing a customer’s birthday for an online retail business if they may soon not shop online altogether in fear of their information being used inappropriately?”

“Whether you’re a large corporation or a small family business, personal records are personal, and it’s time all businesses are held to a consistent standard to prevent these information breaches from happening in the future.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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