Story image

NZ Govt attempts to outpace cybercriminals with new strategy

11 Dec 2015

The Government has launched a refreshed national Cyber Security Strategy to ensure New Zealanders remain safe, resilient and prosperous online, according to a statement.

The strategy was launched by Communications Minister Amy Adams with an Action Plan and a National Plan to Address Cybercrime.

“The Government is building infrastructure and investing $2 billion into our Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiative programmes because we want New Zealanders to engage in the digital economy,” says Adams.

“While New Zealand has benefited enormously from the innovations offered by technology, it has also led to new vulnerabilities.

“The threat to New Zealanders and the economy from cyber intrusions is real and growing, and there are serious implications for our economic wellbeing and national security.

“The pace of change and emergence of new and complex threats mean constant vigilance is required. By refreshing the action plan each year we will keep pace with any emerging threats,” she says.

While New Zealand has yet to experience a significant cyber attack, estimated economic losses last year alone reached $257 million.

According to research, 56% of New Zealand businesses experience an information technology security attack at least once a year and only 65% of businesses are confident that their IT security systems are effective.

When it comes to individuals, Connect Smart 2014 research found 83% of New Zealanders have experienced a cyber breach.

“Unlike traditional threats, we need to understand that New Zealand’s geographical position offers no protection against cyber threats.

“New Zealand is experiencing cyber incidents, including growing cybercrime, in the same way as countries around the world,” says Adams.

“The Government and private sector need to work together on cyber security. The private and public sectors must find ways to share information and expertise to address cyber security risks and this strategy relies on a close and active public-private partnership to ensure New Zealanders remain safe online,” she says.

A key action in the new strategy is the development of a national CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) to reduce harm from cyber security incidents and improve New Zealand’s ability to deal with attacks, Adams says.

The CERT will act as a single entry point for organisations or individuals needing assistance, and provide information to businesses, including small and medium enterprises, government and individuals so they can protect themselves from cyber threats.

“New Zealand’s key international partners each have a national CERT of some form, and creation of our national CERT brings us into alignment,” Adams says.

She says the CERT is intended as a partnership between the public and private sectors, and will work with companies and government agencies depending on the nature of the issue.

The Cyber Security Strategy contains four areas of work:

  • Cyber resilience is about the on-going protection of New Zealand’s most important information infrastructures
  • Cyber capability involves building the skills of New Zealanders, businesses and government agencies to protect themselves online, spearheaded by the Connect Smart public-private partnership
  • Addressing cybercrime will focus on building police capability to deal with cybercrime
  • International cooperation will allow New Zealand to maintain a voice internationally on the promotion of a free, open and secure cyberspace, and involves international engagement on cyber security issues.

Adams also announced New Zealand will host its first ever Cyber Security Summit in the first half of 2016 in Auckland.

Huawei to unveil P30 smartphone series in March
Huawei smartphone lovers have just over a month to wait before they meet the P20’s successor – the Huawei P30.
Need the perfect flatmate? AI can help
A Kiwi entrepreneur has developed a flatmate-finding service called Mogeo, which is an algorithm that matches people to the perfect flatmates.
Commerce Commission cautions consumers following High Court’s Viagogo decision
Viagogo is based in Switzerland and has declined to accept service of the Court proceedings in New Zealand.
Phone ringing? This biohack wants you to bite down and ChewIt
So your phone’s ringing, but instead of swiping right or pushing a Bluetooth button you bite down on a tiny piece of tech that sits in your mouth.
NCEA exams finally go online in 2019
“Students are enthusiastic supporters of digital assessment; they tell us it reflects the way they are learning and living, with technology at their fingertips."
Fujifilm to release X-T30 mirrorless camera next month
FUJIFILM continues to innovate its mirrorless cameras, and the X-T30 is the latest one to market.
Samsung previews the new Galaxy Tab S5e
Samsung’s latest iteration of its popular Galaxy tablet, the Tab S5e, seems to showcase that it is actually possible to be larger and lighter.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand.