The recent data breach at Service NSW, where the personal information of some of their customers was exposed to other logged-in users, is yet another example of how vulnerable organisations are to cyber threats. The breach occurred due to an update to the “My Services” dashboard on March 20. The incident was purely caused by the update and was not the result of hackers, according to Service NSW’s CEO, Greg Wells. Fortunately, the incident only presented a low risk to affected customers, and the personal information was not searchable.

However, this incident highlights the importance of information security standards such as ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 in avoiding incidents like this, as well as mitigating the impact when they do occur.

ISO 27001 is the internationally recognized standard for information security management systems (ISMS). It provides a framework for managing and protecting sensitive information, including personal data. It sets out requirements for identifying and managing risks to information security, implementing controls, and continually improving the ISMS.

ISO 27701 is an extension to ISO 27001 that provides a framework for managing privacy information in addition to information security. It focuses on protecting the privacy rights of individuals whose personal data is being processed.

Certification under these standards can help organizations to demonstrate their commitment to protecting personal information and managing risk. It involves an independent assessment of the organization’s ISMS or PIMS (privacy information management system) against the requirements of the standard.

ISO Certification can provide several benefits for organizations, including:
– Increased trust and confidence from customers, stakeholders, and partners.
– Improved management of information security and privacy risks.
– Better compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
– Reduced likelihood and impact of data breaches and other incidents.
– Enhanced reputation and competitive advantage.

It is worth noting that certification does not guarantee that incidents like the Service NSW data breach will never occur. However, it does provide a systematic approach to managing information security and privacy risks, which can help to avoid incidents or minimize their impact.

In conclusion, incidents like the recent data breach at Service NSW serve as a reminder of the importance of information security and privacy management. Certification under standards such as ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 can help organizations to protect personal information, manage risks, and enhance their reputation. While certification does not provide a foolproof solution, it is an essential step toward effective information security and privacy management.