October 19, 2021


Born to play

Service NSW rolls out MFA to 95 percent of externally-facing systems – Strategy – Security

Service NSW has launched multi-aspect authentication across practically all of its externally-facing IT system in...

Service NSW has launched multi-aspect authentication across practically all of its externally-facing IT system in the wake of previous year’s phishing attack that uncovered 736GB of facts.

Soon after bringing MFA to email soon immediately after the March 2020 facts breach, CEO Damon Rees said the agency experienced now enabled the feature on all but five p.c of externally-facing programs.

It follows funding to the tune of $five million in previous year’s point out budget for cyber security upgrades at the one-cease store for NSW authorities products and services.

“That [MFA] rollout has now lined 95 p.c of our externally-facing programs,” Rees instructed a budget estimates hearing on Wednesday.

He added that “other technological controls” for email experienced also been hardened this sort of as “limiting the 3rd-occasion apps that could be employed to access email from cell devices”.

Lack of MFA was labelled a critical contributing aspect to the breach that claimed the personal details of about 103,000 consumers, according to a post-mortem.

The assessment also located Service NSW experienced place off implemementing MFA on email, inspite of being warned of the risk it posed two several years just before the attack.

Rees said the MFA rollout across external programs was one of three priorities aimed at  strengthening the agency’s security posture as section of a cluster-wide ‘program trust’ uplift.

“Our principal three priorities to date have been the MFA rollout, vulnerability management and remediation and uplifting alerting and checking about cyber security incidents,” he said.

The uplift of alerting and checking features “integrating with the new security operations centre that Accenture will produce for the Department [of Purchaser Service]”.

As described by iTnews before this 12 months, Accenture is one of many new external providers of IT products and services appointed immediately after the authorities replaced its very long-standing shared products and services arrangement with Unisys.  

Accenture will give security operations products and services, such as Critical Eight management and security incident checking, in excess of the subsequent three several years less than a $9.9 million deal.

Rees also said that the agency is continuing to take away e-mail that are more mature than sixty times from purchaser-facing accounts, which experienced minimized the dimension of mailboxes by 92 p.c.

Service NSW is equally “in the approach of removing the dependency on email for the transfer of details across all of our business processes”, but did not elaborate on that effort and hard work.

Earlier this 12 months, he said Service NSW experienced started piloting a series of secure facts transfer apps to swap the use of email for sharing personal details.

There is also a significant plan underway to bolster Service NSW’s cyber security posture less than the Department of Purchaser Services’ ‘program trust’.

Even now unable to arrive at 40,000 impacted consumers

When attempts to avert an additional phishing attack from occurring have progressed, Service NSW has nevertheless been unable to notify 40 p.c of consumers who experienced personal details stolen.

“Of the 103,000 people today that we identified experienced some stage of facts in those [compromised] mailboxes, we had been eventually productively capable to deliver letters to sixty three,500 of them,” Rees said.

In March, about 54,000 people today had been nevertheless nonetheless to be notified, such as 36,000 that had been hardly ever contacted because Service NSW was unable to resource a present-day residential mailing deal with.

A additional eighteen,500 experienced not signed for the notification letter sent via registered mail in the 1st spherical of notifications.

Rees said the agency experienced tried to recontact the remaining eighteen,500 people today in a remaining spherical of notifications working with non-registered mail, but by the end, 39,500 people today had been nevertheless nonetheless to be notified.

“If you place all [the notifications] jointly, sixty three,500 consumers had been eventually productively notified out of the 103,000, he said.