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

New Zealand SMEs targeted in cyber attacks - study

By Shannon Williams
Tue 29 Jun 2021

Nearly a quarter of New Zealand small and medium sized business have been a victim of cyber-attacks, new research has revealed.

The MYOB Technology Snapshot found 24% of SMEs have been a victim of a cyber-attack or malicious cyber activity, as more businesses become digitised and instances of cyber-crime increase.

Of those SMEs who have been targeted by malicious cyber activity, nearly half (49%) said they had experienced a phishing attack, 44% had been targeted with malware, and a quarter (25%) had experienced a ransomware attack.

The findings also highlighted that most SMEs are taking basic precautions to protect themselves online.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of those polled said they have anti-virus protection, 60% said they have firewalls in place in their business, and more than a third (37%) have two-factor authentication. However, just 27% of SMEs have had specific staff training to protect the business and themselves from scammers or online phishing.

MYOB senior sales manager SME Krissy Sadler-Bridge says that while technology can provide SMEs with protection from cybersecurity threats or attacks, security programs aren't the only option for businesses.

"Learning how to be cyber-safe and how to identify red flags should become regular, essential training for business owners and all employees," she says. 

"Starting with the basics, such as creating unique passwords, backing up data and ensuring the business has two-factor authentication is important, but understanding what to look out for as different types of cyber-attacks evolve, is key."

Business repercussions

The experience of cybercrime is also having large repercussions for SMEs, their employees and their customers. More than two-in-five (42%) SMEs who had experienced a cyber-attack said their private files were accessed and 30% revealed that their customer or client data was made available on the dark web.  

"Being a victim of a cyberattack can be incredibly scary, particularly if private documents get accessed or personal threats are made," says Sadler-Bridge.

"Even beyond the impact to an SMEs business and customers, going through these experiences can also affect the wellbeing of employees involved," she says.

"Preparing for worst-case scenarios by having plans in place to report suspicious behaviour immediately, or a list of people to call should the business encounter an attack like the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) or even the police can help ensure a business moves swiftly and correctly to respond to any attack before it has an even bigger impact."

Mitigating risk

When MYOB asked SME owners and decision makers whether they had any preventative and reactive cybersecurity processes in place, just over half (54%) of those surveyed said they did, while more than a quarter (28%) did not and the remaining 18% didn't know.

Actively monitoring for cyber security threats also isn't happening as often as it could be. While this could perhaps be due to a reliance on their security technology, only 19% said they check and update their security measures weekly, while 18% check this monthly and one-in-10 (10%) do this every 4-6 months. Nine percent of SMEs said they check and update their cyber security protection measures every few days.

"Regularly reviewing the business' cyber security protection is essential to spotting any gaps in the software, or important updates or bug-fixes that the program may have released," says Sadler-Bridge.

"As SMEs are in control of a lot of private information, continuously monitoring and testing safety measures will help ensure they are getting the best possible coverage," she says.

"What's also concerning when it comes to business protection, however, is that more than a quarter of SMEs (27%) said they didn't know if their business was covered for cyber-attacks under their current business insurance policy," Sadler-Bridge adds.

"While there are no shortage of costs SMEs need to manage to run their business with insurance being one of these, having the right protection in place here could save them thousands of dollars in the long run, so Id strongly encourage any business owner to check in with their broker or provider about this."

Improving preparedness

To help boost knowledge and confidence levels around cyber security and preparedness, the insights showed that SME owners and decision-makers are eager for more education around cyber security to protect their business.

Nearly a third (32%) of SMEs said more education on the types of cyber security threats affecting businesses and what to look out for would be most beneficial, and 30% said they would benefit from more education on how to plan and prepare for a cyber security incident.

Sadler-Bridge says bringing in cyber-safety specialists that offer training could be extremely useful for businesses, especially since many SMEs see education as a tool that could be beneficial to their business.

"As scammers and hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, regular training on new cybercrime techniques could be key to keeping them at bay," she says.

"There are a number of specialists that operate programs where the training sees them target a business with fake scams or phishing attacks, to see if employees can identify malicious activity and understand how they would respond. Running through real-world scenarios might seem intimidating, but they can really help identify strengths and weaknesses in an organisations response."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Wireless
Cradlepoint expands its Cellular Intelligence capabilities
Cradlepoint has announced additional Cellular Intelligence capabilities with its NetCloud service.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Fonterra
Fonterra to use automated guided vehicles by Dematic
New Zealand's dairy giant Fonterra is upgrading its manufacturing facility in Edendale with new automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from Dematic.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
CRM
Zendesk announces new conversational CRM solutions
“The last few years have made it obvious that digital is the front door, convenience is paramount and relationships are anchored in conversations."
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
Infrastructure
Nutanix study reveals financial services sector lagging with multicloud adoption
Nutanix has released new research that reveals the financial services sector is lagging behind when it comes to multicloud adoption.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Wireless Nation
Wireless Nation, N4L provide 4G network to remote NZ schools
Wireless Nation and Network for Learning (N4L) have rolled out the Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) new 4G network to better connect three Chatham Islands schools.
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
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.
Story image
Vodafone
Vodafone NZ buys remaining stake in retail joint venture
Vodafone New Zealand has purchased the remaining 50% stake in the specialist joint venture (JV) with private equity company Millennium Corp.
Story image
Microsoft
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
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
Attain
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom appeals $2.25 million fine in Vodafone FibreX case
The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the High Court against a $2.25 million fine imposed on Vodafone NZ for its offending under the Fair Trading Act.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare environments and care delivery
The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionised the healthcare industry while overcoming staff shortages, social distancing requirements, and lockdowns.