Federal government to unveil new security measures following massive Optus data breach

The Home Affairs Minister is soon expected to announce several new security measures following the massive Optus data breach that saw hackers steal the personal details of up to 9.8 million Australians.

On Saturday, Clare O’Neil and several of her federal ministerial colleagues met with the Australian Signals Directorate and the Cyber Security Centre to discuss the fallout from the devastating cyber-hack.

Under the changes to be announced in coming days, banks and other institutions would be informed much faster when a data breach occurs at a company like Optus, so personal data can’t be used to access accounts.

The ABC has been told the first step to occur will be directing Optus to hand over customer data to the banks so financial institutions can upgrade security and monitor customers who’ve had their personal details stolen.

Privacy protections currently prevent banks being immediately told about a cyber breach that’s relevant to their customers.

On Saturday, Ms O’Neil tweeted a response to the breach, saying changes to the way Australian companies protect customer data were needed.

Across Australia’s telecommunications sector, frustration is growing at the level of federal regulation imposed on the industry, including metadata retention laws, which many blame for contributing to privacy breaches.

“It annoys me that people think Optus and others want this data – it’s necessary for metadata laws – we don’t,” one long-serving telecommunications insider told the ABC.

“People pretend data is gold — it isn’t; it’s uranium – super useful if used correctly and incredibly dangerous to just have laying about.”

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Optus contacts customers in wake of data breech

Suggestions of further security measures being prepared by the Albanese government have also been received with skepticism.

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