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New Zealand businesses need to prepare for cyber attacks


More New Zealand businesses need to wake up to ensure they don’t suffer cyber-attacks, FintechNZ general manager James Brown says.

Kiwi cyber security incidents jumped 65 percent last year, with an associated $16.9 million in direct financial losses, which are just the tip of the iceberg, Brown says.

“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.

“New Zealand has a high concentration of smart phone adoption which could make businesses and organisations more vulnerable.”

While businesses’ attitudes to cyber security are shifting, three in five small businesses believe they should be doing more to keep secure online, government agency CERT NZ says.

Their research survey just released shows most small businesses with an online presence understand the importance of protecting their websites.

Over half of those surveyed said their organisation is concerned about cyber security, and 46 percent are trying to learn more about keeping their online business safe.

But some small businesses are not taking action to secure themselves. Only 38 percent believe their business adequately invests in cyber security, and just 34 percent believe their business has put a lot of thought and planning into being cyber secure. Under half have processes in place to prevent a cyber-attack.

Wellington based cyber-security company InPhySec helps many businesses secure their sensitive information. 

There are a number of basic steps that can be taken to protect information, InPhySec principal consultant Jonathon Berry says. 

“Cyber-security isn’t necessarily an expensive proposition. Outsourcing to a managed security service gives a high level of protection at a reasonable cost. 

“Prevention is certainly far more cost-effective and much less stressful than having to respond to a breach or compromise.”

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.

Wellington’s RedShield continues to be world leading in this cyber defensive space, protecting web-apps around the globe.

Andy Prow, RedShield’s founder, says Kiwi companies are starting to take cyber security and the protection of their customers seriously.

“But we still see a vast gap in budgets. Our Australian, US and UK customers have vastly higher cyber-security budgets, and it’s not just due to their size, but due to the critical importance and priority they put on it. For New Zealand to catch up we need to start prioritising budgets accordingly.”

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

“We need to increase protection against attacks, especially bearing in mind that more than 90 percent 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 nature of cyber threats and key issues that government and private sector face.

For further information contact James Brown on 021 982 247 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

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