GlobalSign Blog

19 Jul 2019

New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy 2019

The Internet offers many things to everyone; entertainment, education, work, and many more. It is vital in nations’ and corporations’ transition into the digital world. However, unknown to most people, they can get in tremendous trouble when surfing the Internet without caution. This is evident through the million threats and cybercrimes that hit larger countries around the world, because of these, New Zealand published its Cyber Security Strategy 2019. The strategy covers the country’s plans and priorities to create safe cyberspace for New Zealanders.

Technology is a part of most households, and people’s lives—90% of New Zealand’s population is hooked on using the Internet—this gives hackers more opportunity to steal relevant data and scam more people. Now that every single device—appliance, gadget, and even cars—can be connected to the Internet, annually updating the cybersecurity policy is a good measure to make sure everyone’s safe from all the traps lurking on the Internet.

Kris Faafoi, the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media, stated the importance of stressing the focus on cybersecurity, which is critical across society and the economy.  Faafoi said, “We have to work together to keep individuals, businesses, community organizations, and the private sector thriving online.” Although the released document vaguely discussed how they would strengthen their cybersecurity—it only mentioned practices that were the basics of safe Internet usage—it did say that their response would have to adapt to the evolving cyberattacks.

Who is CERT NZ?

The government of New Zealand established the CERT NZ in April 2017 as a part of their 2016 government budget that aims to establish their overall cybersecurity strategy. They work together with the different government agencies of New Zealand to combat cyber threats and tech-enabled crimes. They release quarterly cyber incident reports to inform the public of what areas of cybersecurity they need to improve.

The Recent Cyber Threat Incidents in NZ

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) released the 2018 Report Summary where it quantified a 205% increase in cyber incident reports from individuals, small businesses, and large organizations. The incidents recorded were 1550 phishing and credential harvesting reports, 1136 scam and fraud reports, and 303 unauthorized access reports.

The security strategy is considered ambiguous, and the NZ government is allotting $8 million for its revised cybersecurity strategy, and it’s an addition to the $ 9.3 million funding of CERT NZ.

The Priorities of the Strategy

The newly released Cyber Security Strategy 2019 aims to benefit the New Zealanders, strengthening their online presence and security to enjoy the Internet. Here are the five things directly cited from New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy 2019:

  • Cyber security aware and active citizens
  • Strong and capable cybersecurity workforce and ecosystem
  • Internationally active
  • Resilient and responsive New Zealand
  • Proactively tackle cybercrime

The Areas of Focus

The new cybersecurity policy is expected to help important stakeholders to develop their technology against cyber threats and will focus on these areas:

  • Seeking Cabinet agreement to accede to the Budapest Convention
  • Preventing cybercrime particularly for vulnerable groups
  • Increasing support to people affected by cybercrime
  • Encouraging reporting of cybercrime and improving sharing of information about cybercrimes
  • Improving information-sharing between law enforcement and the financial sector to reduce victimization
  • Making the law fit-for-purpose to enable agencies to better manage and respond to cybercrime
  • Investing more to contribute to international efforts to deter organized cybercrime at the source, before it affects our communities
  • Raising our ability to respond to objectionable material and terrorist activity online
  • Investing more in skilled people and resources to combat cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime.

New Zealand is one of the countries to make an action to protect their citizens, along with the European Union, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, and many other countries.

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