The last quarter of 2018 saw more Australian data breaches than ever

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Years of investment in security have failed to stem the number of data breaches affecting Australian companies, with new figures bringing to 812 the number of compromises reported since the notifiable data breaches (NDB) scheme went into effect nearly a year ago.

The latest quarterly figures from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) revealed that 262 data breaches – over 87 per month, on average – were reported to the data-governance watchdog in the final calendar quarter of 2018.

The breaches involved the compromise of at least 1.63m records, up from more than 1.19m records in the first full-quarter report last July.

Contact information was breached in 223 incidents, with financial details compromised in 123 breaches – well up from the 102 breaches of financial information noted in the July report.

Identity information was compromised in 94 cases, while personally identifiable information (PII) related to some 17,746 individuals was leaked in 15 breaches attributed to unauthorised disclosure, unintended release or publication.