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NZ businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to cyber threats

15 May 2019
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Barely six per cent of business and companies in New Zealand have adequate cyber protection which means they are not prepared for cyber-attacks, FintechNZ general manager James Brown says.

He says the impact of these attacks on the insurance sector would be greater than natural disasters.

Brown made the comment today following reports that Facebook's WhatsApp users could be vulnerable to having malicious spyware installed on phones without their knowledge.

The NCSC, a part of the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau, recorded 347 cybersecurity incidents in the reporting year from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

Of those, 134 incidents contained indicators that had been linked to known state-sponsored cyber actors. This was up nearly 10 per cent from the previous year.

 “We need to increase protection against attacks, especially bearing in mind that more than 90 per cent of New Zealand companies are small businesses.

“New Zealand is not exempt from major cyber-attacks which could impinge on the economy and livelihood as a nation. We need to understand the multi-dimensional nature of cyber threats and key issues that government and private sector face."

“Cyber risks are a borderless challenge and we can always improve on national preparedness in our cyber-attack strategy. We want to ensure the cybersecurity of our national infrastructures, our businesses and people."

“Cyber-crime is rising and is increasingly being identified as a top threat to New Zealand, as criminals, rogue nations and others in the darknet seek to strike and disrupt at any moment,” Brown says.

NZ tech businesses have developed an outstanding global reputation for innovation, however, the ever-expanding scope of emerging technology stands as both the industry’s greatest strength and weakness.

“The tech sector epitomises Kiwi ingenuity and entrepreneurial flair. With exports amounting to nearly $7 billion and total revenue predicted exceeding $10 billion in 2017, the industry is an integral part of the New Zealand economy,” he says.