24-hour breach notification 'unfeasible'

News by Dan Raywood

The proposed 24-hour breach notification law will further swamp an already over-worked regulator.

The proposed 24-hour breach notification law will further swamp an already over-worked regulator.

According to Stewart Room, partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse, the language of the proposed changes says that breaches should be notified of within 24 hours "where feasible", but he asked when this was not feasible, and said the language had been changed from "advisable".

Room said: “They need to know if it is workable, possible or deliverable as every case must be feasible.

“They have created a new regime that says you should report within 24 hours, regardless of what it will achieve. The regulator is already swamped with disclosures and this will see even more.”

The changes were detailed in January by Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, who said that the "scandal" of data breaches will be removed with victims "informed as soon as possible, within 24 hours on major breaches", although she failed to declare how a major breach would be determined.

Room revealed last year that public and private sector businesses would be hit by mandatory-disclosure legislation as a result of the changes to the Data Protection Directive.

Research from LogRhythm published in April found that of 200 IT decision-makers at UK businesses, 87 per cent would be unable to identify individuals affected by a breach within 24 hours, while 13 per cent said it would take them between one week and a month to pinpoint which customer data was affected, and six per cent did not believe they would ever be able to accurately obtain this information.

Speaking to SC Magazine, Ross Brewer, vice-president and managing director for international markets at LogRhythm, said: “What the research shows is that organisations are in a woeful state of affairs when it comes to the ability to know what is happening in their environments and this is not a shock or surprise.

“I briefed 12 of the top UK organisations recently and they were not on top of this and everyone was in agreement that the two per cent of global revenue fine and 24 hour data breach notification is not being considered.

“There will not be 24 hour breach notification as it is unenforceable and unfeasible, but it will have to come into play as we are in a position where no one is able to change their infrastructure.”


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