The Australian Banking Association has released its annual report into identity theft, with more than 100 organisations in the banking sector being investigated.
The banks are now required to report breaches of their customers’ personal data in a way that is easily accessible to all.
“Our research shows that breaches of customers’ data in 2017 were up 17 per cent on the same period in 2016,” said ACC chairperson Michael Williamson.
“We also see a rise in the number of breaches of bank customers’ financial information, with the number increasing by almost 3 per cent compared to 2016.”
The data breaches we are seeing across the banking industry are not just the consequence of an individual breach, but a systemic issue in which a small number of individuals and small financial institutions are taking advantage of our customers.
“It is critical that all Australians who use our banking systems understand the risks that they face and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.”
A total of 1,973 organisations were investigated for identity theft in 2017, a significant increase on 2016, when 1,749 organisations were the subject of an investigation.
Of the 1,539 organisations that were investigated, 96 per cent were found to have a breach of a bank’s personal information.
“The banks and other financial institutions that we work with have made great strides to protect and secure our customers’ information,” Williamson said.
“As the number and severity of data breaches continues to rise, the ACC is calling for all Australians to ensure their personal data is secure and safe.”
The ACC is asking organisations to: “Identify the information at risk from your data breach.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is also investigating data breaches at its two branches. “
If you have been the victim of an identity theft you can: Contact your bank to verify your account details, or obtain a copy of your records; Provide the ACC to access any records you have stored in a cloud-based system, such as a cloud service or mobile phone app; and Contact your local ACC to verify the accuracy of your personal data.”
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is also investigating data breaches at its two branches.
The centre has previously flagged a rise of cyber crime and has set up a hotline to help people report breaches.
“NCSC will investigate all breaches of your bank’s or other financial institution’s data and provide the following information to the ACC: Any breach that occurred, and what was discovered, including any damage caused; The names and contact details of the individuals responsible for any breach; and any other relevant information,” the NCSC said.
The ACC said it will be publishing the data breaches report in the next few weeks.