Feeds

EU study frowns over data breach notification rules

Cyber-security agency worries

Reducing security risks from open source software

A new EU study has identified risk prioritisation, enforcement and resources as key issues in applying data breach notification rules.

ENISA, the EU’s cyber-security agency, launched its investigation on data breach notification rules against a backdrop of steadily rising incident of personal information disclosure breaches.

The agency identified key concerns from both telecom operators and the Data Protection Authorities (DPA) in applying a recent ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) that applied breach notification rules to the electronic communication sector.

The agency hopes the research will help to develop best practice on breach notification as well as informing ministerial decisions on whether EU data breach disclosure rules first applied to telcos ISPs ought to extended to financial service firms and other sectors of the economy.

Key concerns raised by telecom operators and DPAs interviewed by ENISA include:

  • Risk Prioritisation – Interested parties want breaches categorised according to risk levels to avoid ‘notification fatigue’. Graded responses should be applied depending an the level of risk. A one size fits all approach would be counterproductive.
  • Communication Channels – Operators wanted assurances that applying by breach notification rules and reporting slips would not result in damaging their brands. The concern is that those that report problems, in compliance with the rules, will be "punished" by earning a reputation for poor security while those that do nothing will avoid tarnishing their reputation.
  • Resources -  Several regulatory authorities have other priorities beyond the handling of breach notification and there were concerns this could lead to over-stretching of resources, leading to possible problems in enforcement and other areas.
  • Reporting Delay - The report identified a split between service providers and regulators on deadlines for reporting breaches. Regulators want short deadlines whereas service providers wanted to be able to focus their resources on solving the problem, before they dealt with the regulatory fallout of any breach.
  • Content of Notifications - Another area of disagreement. Operators want to make sure the notification content avoided unduly alarming customers, who might be inclined to think the worst about any breach. Regulators, meanwhile, advocated complete transparency.

ENISA intends to use its research to develop guidelines on best practice for data breach notification, as well as analysing the possibility for extending the general obligation of data breach notification to other sectors, such as the financial sector, health care and small businesses.

The issue will be discussed at an ENISA-organised workshop in Brussels on 24 January.

The full report can be found here. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.