News Pulse for February 22, 2018

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Firms ‘in dark’ on cyber laws

Corporate Australia remains ­significantly unprepared for tough new cyber reporting laws that come into place today and ­include millions of dollars worth of fines for companies that fail to report hacking attacks and breaches of personal data.

The rules, which have come about following a series of high-profile data breaches around the world in the past year, force Australian businesses to substantially ramp up the level of disclosure around attaches.

Firms face $2m data breach fines

Thousands of business owners are unprepared for a tough new cyber security regime that could see them slapped with fines in excess of $2 million if they fail to report data breaches, a new study warns.

As of today, businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3m that trade in personal information must notify individuals ­affected by data breaches likely to result in “serious harm” and inform the Australian Information Commissioner. Failure to comply will incur penalties of up to $420,000 for individuals and $2.1m for companies, triggering warnings the new rules could send some businesses bankrupt.

Mandatory data breach reporting comes in tomorrow: Here’s what your business needs to know – SmartCompany

From tomorrow, small businesses will be required to report all instances of personal data breaches to affected stakeholders and government authorities, with experts reminding business owners this is the perfect time to review their cyber security measures.

On Thursday, amendments to the  Privacy Act will come into effect, requiring businesses to disclose any breach that involves personal customer data. The legislation applies to business with an annual turnover of $3 million or more, or for smaller businesses that operate by holding personal information, such as credit reporting agencies.

Q&A: ‘It’s really hard to ask for a pay rise’

Ten million Australians working in the private sector are getting pay rises that are neck-and-neck with inflation, while the pay packets of professionals, miners and retail workers are going backwards compared to the cost of living.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday show sluggish wage growth continues to frustrate the Reserve Bank, the Turnbull government and millions of employees.

“Basic cyber hygiene isn’t sexy, it’s necessary”, businesses warned as data breach scheme starts

With less than a day until mandatory data breach reporting laws take effect, a cybersecurity vendor has warned that while basicAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au cyber hygiene isn’t “sexy”, businesses that fail to practice it risk incurring “headline-grabbing data breaches” that will instantly lose them customers.

From 22 February, organisations with personal information security obligations under the  Privacy Act 1988 will be covered by the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme, which is administered by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Australian Big Business jumps on the Trump tax bandwagon

Compare and contrast: the Business Council of Australia jumping on the Trump tax bandwagon ; the Reserve Bank of Australia and the International Monetary Fund  being wary of US corporate tax cuts as being a race to the bottom.

The most obvious difference is that the BCA, theoretically representing Big Business in Australia, is talking its own book – the immediate self-interest of its members. The RBAReserve Bank of Australia www.rba.gov.au and IMF are putting the bigger interests of a sustainable economy and society first.

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