Government issues cyber-warning to businesses

With cyber-attacks growing every day, businesses cannot afford to ignore the risks

Government issues cyber-warning to businesses
The impacts of cyber-crime are being felt by many businesses, with more than $730,000 worth of direct financial losses caused by cyber-attacks, according to the recent quarterly report from the Computer Emergency Response Team New Zealand.

In a recent report, PwC ranked cyber-attacks as the fourth-biggest risk facing the NZ insurance industry. As a response to this growing threat, the government in 2016 invested $22.2 million to set up CERT NZ, an organisation that supports businesses and individuals affected by cybercrime. The organisation has just released its first quarterly report.

In a report from MinterEllisonRuddWatts, CERT NZ said there were a total of 364 recorded incidents in the three months ended in June, 70 of which were referred to the NZ Police, while it is also “widely accepted that the majority of cyber-attacks go unreported.”

According to the report, 33.6% of the incidents reported were related to phishing, a practice of sending fraudulent e-mails, which is one of the easiest routes for hackers.

“This means if your staff aren’t vigilant and don’t know what a phishing email might look like, your business and its operating systems are at real risk,” MinterEllisonRuddWatts said.

"Cybercrime is on the increase and our recent research shows that many New Zealand businesses could prepare better to address this threat,” MinterEllisonRuddWatts partner and co-author of Safetrac’s online course Richard Wells said.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts enumerated a quick guide on how to educate employees to prevent corporate systems from being breached:
  • Update passwords frequently
  • Do regular back-ups
  • Remind staff not to ignore system updates
  • Instruct staff to be cautious of suspicious links
  • Support staff with regular training
  • Share stories of cyber-attacks

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RBNZ warns finance firms over growing cyber risks