IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Kiwis not concerned about cyber attacks while remote working during COVID - report

By Shannon Williams
Tue 18 Aug 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

New Zealanders are not concerned about cyber attacks while working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, despite being well aware of the risks. 

New research from Unisys in the 2020 Unisys Security Index showed that during the pandemic, only 22% of Kiwis were concerned about the risk of a security breach while working remotely, and 26% were concerned about the risk of being scammed.

This left both staff and their employers vulnerable to cyberattacks including scams, phishing and ransomware, Unisys says, and backs up concerns expressed by the New Zealand Police.

"Reporting suggests cybercriminals adapted quickly to exploit an increased pool of victims, capitalising on peoples COVID-19-related anxieties and taking advantage of the vulnerabilities brought about by teleworking. It is almost certain that cybercriminals will be quick to adapt during a global recession, targeting their victims by exploiting concerns regarding financial pressures and/or unemployment," the Police said.

In comparison, the research found that 55% of New Zealanders were concerned about the country's economic stability, 41% about their own financial security and 34% about their job security during the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, New Zealanders concern for the underlying cybersecurity issues that facilitate fraud and cybercrime has decreased: 40% of New Zealanders are concerned about computer virus and hacking down from 48% in 2019, and 35% are concerned about online transactions down from 39% a year ago.

 Police also noted a heightened risk of fraudulent activity in the post-COVID-19 environment:

"Economic hardship will almost certainly prompt organisations to reprioritise their resource and capability. If information technology and cybersecurity roles are negatively affected by such processes, it is possible businesses will be at a greater risk of becoming victims to cybercrime and cyberenabled crime," it said.

According to Unisys, the research suggests Kiwis were not taking responsibility for protecting their data when working from home.

New Zealanders concern about hacking and viruses has declined in the last year from 48% of the population seriously concerned about this in 2019, down to 40% in 2020.

 "New Zealanders appear to be distracted by their higher concern of national infrastructure and family well-being during the pandemic," says Wellington-based Andrew Whelan, vice president, commercial and financial services sector lead, Unisys Asia Pacific.

"This is a critical issue for organisations that underwent a rapid transformation to move to work from home models as it appears employees likely assume that their employer is taking care of securing data and systems," he explains.

"Yet for many for organisations, the initial priority was to simply get people working remotely and their security measures have not yet caught up with the wider attack base this created. 

"People remain one of the top points of vulnerability especially as attackers use high interest in COVID-19 to trick people into clicking on links or giving information which can launch ransomware and other malicious software. Employers need their people to remain vigilant."

Unisys says the ongoing risk is heightened by advice from Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the New Zealand Director-general of Health, that community transmission is a case of not if, but when, and that New Zealand should brace for a second wave that will push people and businesses to return to working from home. 

 Last year, more than 1.3 million Kiwis were affected by cybercrime and the top three incident categories were phishing, scams and unauthorised access reports, with a total value of NZ$16.7 million, according to CERT. Police expect online fraud to increase by 30 to 100 percent. CERT has yet to release data for the first two quarters of 2020, but a spokesperson confirmed that a new report, covering the first six months of the year, will be released shortly. 

CERT notes that scammers and attackers are using the public interest in COVID-19 to create opportunistic online scams and attacks and identifies a range of threats including email scams (such as the WHO scam), phishing emails claiming to have updated COVID-19 information, Webcam extortion emails (ransomware), fake coronavirus maps, and text message scams.

Using a conservative downtime cost of US$10,000 a day, it is estimated that ransomware attacks have cost New Zealand organisations US$25.9m this year. New Zealand has seen an increase in scam emails related to the pandemic as confusion around rapidly changing office and home office setups opens a rich vein of confusion for exploitation.

"Organisations using cloud-based services had the greatest flexibility to move to work from home models quickly as location is irrelevant but for others it was a big change technologically and culturally. People are the weakest link in security," says Whelan. 

"Shadow IT grows with every unauthorised app downloaded, even if well intentioned for remote collaboration - it might not be covered by the security rigour deployed across the rest of the organisation. 

"Employers should ensure their people a) have secure direct access to applications, b) are trained to identify and avoid malicious scams and phishing attacks designed to exploit the fears and distractions created by the pandemic, and c) can quickly isolate devices or parts of the network to minimise the extent of a breach because breaches are inevitable."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
DevOps
Deloitte expands cloud observability practice with Dynatrace
Deloitte is expanding its cloud observability practice, including DevOps principles, AI/ML, cloud complexity management and software engineering.
Story image
Contact Centre
Leveraging technology in contact centres to reduce attrition rates
Many organisations worldwide have accelerated DX to better respond to changing market drivers and business environments after the disruption of the pandemic.
Story image
Symbio
Symbio consolidates TNZI business to support APAC expansion
Symbio has recently announced the consolidation of its international business (TNZI) under the Symbio brand to support its Asia Pacific expansion strategy.
Story image
APAC
Top data and tech challenges for APAC banks - report
InterSystems’ new report finds that 87% of A/NZ banks experience frustrations and concerns in using their data to drive decision-making.
Story image
MEC
MEC spending for private cellular networks to reach $5.8b
A new ABI Research report finds the revenue for Multi Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular networks will reach USD$5.8 billion by 2030.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft NZ announces initiative for local SaaS businesses
Microsoft has announced a new initiative, bringing together all of its tools to help local SaaS businesses build, sell and grow their companies at scale.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Rackspace
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Harnessing digital innovations to maximise loyalty programmes and improve CX
When it comes to the retail sector, merchants have never had access to so many different client touchpoints and data to understand their customers better.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Chorus
Chorus and Nokia launches first trial of 25G PON broadband
Chorus and Nokia have announced the successful demonstration of 25 gigabit per second fibre (Gbps) broadband technology at the Chorus Fibre Lab in Auckland. 
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Sustainability
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Story image
Cybercrime
The ups and downs and runarounds of catching cybercriminals in NZ
We're becoming more and more aware of cybercrimes but how many criminals actually get caught? The New Zealand police explain why the answer is complicated.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Story image
TUANZ
TUANZ to address rural connectivity at 2022 symposium
TUANZ is hosting the Rural Connectivity Symposium for the first time in person since 2019, providing a forum to discuss the state of rural connectivity.
Story image
Informatica
Informatica, Oracle enter strategic global cloud partnership
Oracle named Informatica as a preferred partner for enterprise cloud data integration and data governance for data warehouse and lakehouse solutions on OCI. 
Story image
Digital Marketing
Getty Images delves into the world of NFTs with Candy Digital
Getty Images and Candy Digital, the next-generation digital collectible company, have announced a new multi-year partnership agreement.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
SaaS
The paradox of change, and how to get around it
The business decision to technologically transform should not come from an IT department but from the business itself.
Story image
NVIDIA
NVIDIA announces a spate of new innovations at Computex 2022
NVIDIA has announced its latest innovations in data center, robotics, content creation, and gaming in a virtual keynote address on the opening day of Computex 2022 in Taipei.
Story image
Alteryx
Alteryx releases updates, empowers data insights for enterprise
Alteryx has released new advancements designed to aid enterprises with cloud analytics, democratise insights and ensure data governance.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
DaaS
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Story image
Transport
Third-party automotive apps bear significant privacy risks
Mobile applications for connected cars provide various features to make life easier for motorists, but they can also be a source of risk.
Story image
Sustainability
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.