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Are Kiwi employees in the dark when It comes to cyber security?

The Government says Kiwi organisations need to up their game when it comes to training their staff on cyber security.

According to new research from Colmar Brunton, only 17% of New Zealanders say they have received training or advice about cyber security at work, despite New Zealanders grappling with cyber security issues.

The research found that 20% of New Zealanders have been affected by cybercrime in the last year, and this figure rises to 72% when spam and suspicious emails are included.

The research has been released to coincide with Connect Smart Week, which launches today with the focus of equipping New Zealanders to be cyber secure at work.

Communications Minister Amy Adams. encourages organisations across the public and private sector to take the opportunity to look at their cyber security practices.

“At a global cost of around $600 billion a year, cybercrime is now bigger than the global drugs trade,” claims Adams.

“All employers and employees should understand their role in protecting the information that belongs to their workplace,” she says.

Adams says phishing emails and ransomware are increasing, and employees are key to preventing security incidents in the workplace.

“It is imperative New Zealanders are aware of cyber risks and take simple steps to protect themselves, including creating strong passwords, keeping a look out for suspicious, unsolicited emails, and thinking before they click,” she explains.

The Connect Smart research has found that 76% of New Zealanders are proactively taking steps to manage their cyber security, but this is down from 84% of New Zealanders in 2014.

Other results from the research show:

• Awareness is high. 91% of New Zealanders have stopped and thought before clicking on links and attachments in emails in the past three months

• Smart practice is slipping. Compared to last year, fewer people are now updating or installing security software (64% down from 70% in 2015), changing passwords (63% down from 68% in 2015), ensuring they are using a secure connection (57% down from 61% in 2015), and checking their social media privacy settings (56% down from 60% in 2015).

• Businesses need to step up. Few people have sought advice (20%) or received advice or training from their place of work (17%).

• Lack of knowledge remains a barrier. Taking steps to manage cyber security is held back by a lack of knowledge around what steps should be taken – 41% of those who do not regularly take steps say this is a barrier to doing so (up from 32% in 2014).

 “Ensuring New Zealanders are safe, resilient and prosperous online is at the heart of the Government’s refreshed national Cyber Security Strategy,” says Adams.

The strategy was launched in December 2015 with an Action Plan and a National Plan to Address Cybercrime.

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