NZ facing growing number of cyber incidents

Graeme Muller

 

Kiwis will continue to face record digital threats and cyber incidents every month, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

New Zealand is not exempt from global digital threats and is currently facing malicious and illegal hacking incidents from cybercriminals, cyber-terrorists and organised crime, Muller says.

He was commenting today on the latest quarterly national Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) threat report which shows a record number of 736 cyber incidents reported, of which 112 were referred to police and nine to Netsafe.

Muller says cyber security criminals have the capacity to develop and launch complex cyberattacks and to identify weaknesses in cyber-components.

“According to new trends we are seeing an increase in cyber-attacks. This means early detection of cyber threats and cyber weaknesses is essential. Those responsible for defence need to establish effective and efficient means for assessing threats and for developing appropriate protection as quickly as possible.

“The increasing number of cyber-incidents as outlined by CERT NZ make it clear that New Zealand is, like other nations, facing a substantial challenge in cyber security. That’s one of the reasons we are holding a major New Zealand cyber security summit in Wellington on October 18.

“In the dynamic world of cyber security, threats and severe breaches are both tightly guarded and imminent.

“British Airways recently reported 380,000 transactions made on their website and mobile app from August 21 to September 5 were compromised.

“The attack came 15 months after the carrier suffered a massive computer system failure at London’s Heathrow airport, which stranded 75,000 customers over a holiday weekend.”

“Kiwis need to keep talking about cyber security as criminals are using technologies to find new ways to undertake crime, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

“Criminals are using advanced technology but so are the good guys, he says. Biometrics, the use of thumbprints or retinal scans, are increasing.”

“It is fantastic to see that organisations are reporting security breaches to the CERT as this sharing of information is one of the best ways to reduce vulnerabilities as a country. But their figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

“The CERT will also become the go-to-place for people and organisations looking for information about potential attacks and how to protect themselves.

“The connection of devices to the internet creating an Internet of Things creates opportunities for cyber criminals to access these devices if not properly secured.

“Here in New Zealand the National Cyber Policy Office, a branch of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, is working with the IoT Alliance to develop our local approach to this threat.”

The annual cyber security summit in Wellington next month will involve senior business, government and tech leaders to ensure New Zealand remains a safer place to do business by being one of the most cyber vigilant nations in the world.

The summit will examine the changing cyber landscape and its impact on businesses and organisations which are coming under a growing number of threats from cyber-attacks.

 

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