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Govt must put funding into educating New Zealanders about cyber-risk - NZTech

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

NZTech says that it is time for the government to put funding into educating New Zealanders about how to avoid being a victim of cybercrime, just as government does for road safety.

About 87 percent of Kiwis concede security of their personal information online is important but 40 percent say safeguarding their information is inconvenient, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

As New Zealand businesses operate within an increasingly digital environment, businesses, governments and groups are coming under a growing number of threats from cyber-attacks.

Virtually a third of New Zealanders don’t regularly check the privacy settings on their social media accounts. Roughly the same number of people do not use two-factor authentication when logging into an online account.

Organisations are needing to bring cyber-security to the forefront of their digital strategy to ensure they are operating at their peak and to protect both customers and staff, Muller says.

NZTech is staging the biggest cyber risk summit in Wellington next week, February 24, which is critical to being prepared for any hack attack.

Summit delegates will hear experts and peers at the coal face of cyber security about the realities of cyber in the modern business environment.

"New Zealand organisations and businesses are facing increasing and rampant cybercrime threats and the situation is getting worse," Muller says.

"Almost a million New Zealanders are falling victim to cybercrime every year. Not long ago the Reserve Bank of New Zealand suffered a data breach and Australians are on high alert following a series of cyber-attack threats.

"Ransomware has become the biggest threat, used by criminals to lock up people’s systems and data and then demand a ransom in return for their release.

In the United States, agencies including the FBI have warned their healthcare system is facing an increased and imminent threat of cybercrime.

"Cybercriminals are unleashing a series of extortion attempts in the new frontier of crime aimed at locking up hospital information systems.

"Kiwi businesses and organisations must act immediately to block future cyber hacks which is now costing New Zealand vast sums every year and the covid pandemic has increased New Zealand’s reliance on digital devices and the internet."

The world of cyber security and attacks are rife and CERT NZ, the government entity that tracks cyber breaches, says Kiwis are not protecting their digital systems, he says.

"Our New Zealand cyber security summit in Wellington next Wednesday includes key speaker Australian ambassador for cyber affairs and critical tech, Dr Tobias Feakin."

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