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Waikato DHB cyber-attack not surprising

FintechNZ says the cyber-attack on the Waikato District Health Board is not surprising considering only six percent of Kiwi companies have adequate protection.

On average, companies take about 197 days to identify and 69 days to contain a breach according to IBM, FintechNZ general manager James Brown says.

New Zealand has a high concentration of smart phone adoption which could make businesses and organisations more vulnerable, he says.

“We have world first cyber products with Delta Insurance and Beneficial Insurance to help and protect personal cyber-attacks.

“Wellington’s Red Shield continues to be world leading in this cyber defensive space. The Kiwi company was the world’s first web app protection service to protect big business against vulnerabilities and cyber-attacks.

“Last week’s attack on the Waikato DHB is thought to have come through an email attachment, crashing the health board’s electronic systems, delaying some elective surgeries and making patient’s notes inaccessible.

It affected all five regional hospitals in Hamilton, Thames, Tokoroa, Te Kūiti and Taumarunui.

“The covid pandemic has changed not only cyber security globally. We know attackers will continue to refine their techniques and strengthen their skills to evade security to reach their ultimate objective.”

Brown says the global covid pandemic has provided cyber criminals with a fertile ground to execute scams and reap the riches.

Last year saw more intrusions than ever before, larger ransomware demands and little opportunity for organisations to improve their security posture while keeping pace with the chaos brought on by the global pandemic.

CERT NZ, the government agency which supports organisations and people affected by cyber security incidents, last year received 7809 reports of cyber security incidents affecting New Zealanders, a significant leap from the 4740 reports made in 2019.

Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management, says New Zealand is seeing how vulnerable Kiwi critical infrastructure can be to cyber attacks, given how much leverage attackers can have due to widespread societal impacts.

Jono Soo, head of cyber specialty for Marsh in New Zealand, says Kiwi cyber security incidents in the last year have jumped 65 percent, with an associated $16.9 million in direct financial losses which are just the tip of the iceberg.

“For many companies and organisations, recent national and global events have highlighted a stark new reality of how cyber-attacks can impact day-to-day life, such as receiving basic healthcare or access to petrol.

“Organisations need to be actively prioritising their cyber security processes and thoroughly review how they would respond to a major cyber incident if it were to affect them,” Soo says.

For further information contact James Brown on 021 982247 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

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