Fear of falling foul of Australia’s data breach laws has seen 63 companies report a breach in just the first 6 weeks of mandatory reporting.

In comparison, a total of 114 complaints were received in the last financial year.

The introduction of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, which came into effect on 22 February 2018, has seen a sharp rise in the number of companies reporting cyber breaches.

More than half of the breaches were a result of human error.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), which publishes quarterly information about notifications received under the scheme, found private information was being breached due to “inadvertent disclosures”, such as sending an email containing personal information to the wrong recipient.

Malicious or criminal attack was the next highest source of breaches.

The greatest breaches involved contact information, such as a person’s name, email, home address or phone number.

This was followed by financial details, health information, and identity information which includes information used to confirm a person’s identity, such as a passport or driver licence.

The majority of complainants were health service providers, followed by legal, accounting and management services.

Almost a third of the breaches reported were instances of more than 100 individuals’ details being breached.