The NSW government is preparing to set up a new identity recovery unit that will support citizens who have had their personal information and identity credentials stolen or fraudulently obtained.
The unit, called IDSupport NSW, will become the single point-of-contact for citizens who have fallen victim to identity theft or had their personal data compromised in a data breach.
IDSupport NSW, which is set to launch early next year, will work with government agencies to replace compromised identity documents and mitigate the risk of stolen credentials being used.
It will also provide additional support and counselling services to customers impacted by privacy incidents.
The importance of coordinated identity recovery was highlighted in last year’s phishing attack against Services NSW, which saw the personal information of 103,000 customers compromised.
At the height of the government’s incident response, around 100 Service NSW and the Department of Customer Service staff were seconded to a dedicated ‘hypercare team’.
Digital and Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said IDSupport NSW was a “nation-leading” solution to what is “an escalating problem around the world”.
“The unit will remove the burden from customers who need to replace identification documents, improving their experience at what we know can be a difficult time,” Dominello said.
“Customers will be able to contact one phone number and receive the right guidance, information and support, saving time and frustration during what can be a stressful time.”
Dominello said the unit would also complement a framework currently being worked up by the Department of Customer Service to ensure the response to privacy incidents are coordinated.
The framework, which will support agencies to identify and mitigate potential privacy issues that may arise from data breaches, was a recommendation of a parliamentary inquiry into cyber security.
Another recommendation that the government move Cyber Security NSW into the Department of Premier and Cabinet was rejected on the grounds that it would not make it any more independent.
IDSupport NSW plans to work with national identity and cyber support service IDCARE to address issues with broader identity misuse.
“The aim of the partnership with IDSupport NSW is to develop best practice approaches to address identity compromise arising from data breaches,” ICARE CEO David Lacey said.
“This will complement IDCARE’s tried and tested approach to helping customers within Australia and New Zealand address issues with broader identity misuse.”
Cyber Security NSW had previously launched an identity recovery service with IDCARE to assist government customers whose personal information was compromised in a cyber security incident.
DCS is currently recruiting experts to join IDSupport NSW.