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Latest Case

Advising on market-changing divestments September 25, 2018

Maddocks  acted for the founder of Australia’s largest private pilot training school, Soar Aviation, on the group’s 50 percent sale to Australian private equity investor The Growth Fund. Soar Aviation was started in 2012 by … Continued

Latest News

Strong signals: Maddocks advises on television broadcast services outsourcing October 10, 2018

Wednesday 10 October 2018 Maddocks has advised NPC Media on its deal to provide playout services for Southern Cross Austereo’s 105 television broadcast signals through NPC Media’s new playout centre. NPC Media is a joint … Continued

Latest Article

When being natural can be misleading: recent consideration of organic product claims October 15, 2018

Recent decisions by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Federal Court of Appeal have demonstrated that it can be a fine line between branding and product claims: with a wrong step amounting to … Continued

No escape from cyber security duties for Commonwealth officials and directors

In a recent blog post and more comprehensive article, we discussed directors’ duties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as they extend into the field of cyber security. Similar (and, as discussed below, in some cases even broader) duties are imposed on Commonwealth entity officials, and Commonwealth company directors.

Commonwealth entity officials are required under the Commonwealth’s Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth) (PGPA) to perform their powers and functions and discharge their duties with care and diligence. These duties are analogous to directors’ duties under the Corporations Act.

In the case of Commonwealth company directors, they must also comply with their Corporations Act directors’ duties, and with additional duties and obligations under the PGPA, including keeping the responsible Minister informed of significant issues affecting the relevant Commonwealth company. In our view, this duty to inform extends to informing the responsible Minister of any significant cyber breach or cyber security related issues.

We have identified six key cyber security standards that Commonwealth entity officials and Commonwealth company directors should be aware of as follows:

  1. The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top Four Migration Strategies to Protect Your ICT System
  2. The Australian Government Cyber Security Operations Centre’s Questions Senor Management Need to be Asking About Cyber Security
  3. ASIC’s Cyber Resilience: Health Check (ASIC Report 429)
  4. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s Guide to Security Personal Information – ‘Reasonable Steps’ to Protect Personal Information
  5. The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (DSS): Requirements and Security Assessment Procedures and
  6. ISO/IEC Standards.

The six cyber security standards referred to above are by no means exhaustive and we have discussed these standards in more detail in our related article here.

In a recent blog post and more comprehensive article, we discussed directors’ duties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as they extend into the field of cyber security. Similar (and, as discussed below, in some cases even broader) duties are imposed on Commonwealth entity officials, and Commonwealth company directors.

Commonwealth entity officials are required under the Commonwealth’s Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth) (PGPA) to perform their powers and functions and discharge their duties with care and diligence. These duties are analogous to directors’ duties under the Corporations Act.

In the case of Commonwealth company directors, they must also comply with their Corporations Act directors’ duties, and with additional duties and obligations under the PGPA, including keeping the responsible Minister informed of significant issues affecting the relevant Commonwealth company. In our view, this duty to inform extends to informing the responsible Minister of any significant cyber breach or cyber security related issues.

We have identified six key cyber security standards that Commonwealth entity officials and Commonwealth company directors should be aware of as follows:

  1. The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top Four Migration Strategies to Protect Your ICT System
  2. The Australian Government Cyber Security Operations Centre’s Questions Senor Management Need to be Asking About Cyber Security
  3. ASIC’s Cyber Resilience: Health Check (ASIC Report 429)
  4. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s Guide to Security Personal Information – ‘Reasonable Steps’ to Protect Personal Information
  5. The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (DSS): Requirements and Security Assessment Procedures and
  6. ISO/IEC Standards.

The six cyber security standards referred to above are by no means exhaustive and we have discussed these standards in more detail in our related article here.