Government to upgrade cyber security as attacks increase

Gia Garrick,
Publish Date
Friday, 13 April 2018, 5:42a.m.
Cyber attacks are increasing and becoming more sophisticated. (Photo \ Getty Images)
Cyber attacks are increasing and becoming more sophisticated. (Photo \ Getty Images)

Communications Minister Clare Curran wants to expand New Zealand's international cyber-security efforts and is considering publicly naming-and-shaming state-sponsored attacks as a deterrent in a review of the government's strategy.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's National Cyber Policy Office will lead the review of the 2015 strategy as a rising volume of increasingly sophisticated cyber threats have coincided with greater connectivity.

The review is looking to update our cybersecurity strategy so public agencies and private companies, businesses small and large, are protected from the growing number of online attacks on data and information.

Minister Claire Curran says last year we lost $3.5 million nationally from around 2,000 cyber incidents.

"The point is that these things are increasing and becoming more sophisticated and we need a better strategy to deal with it."

She says the last time we looked at this was back in 2015.

"That might not seem like a long time ago, but things are moving very fast in this area. The threats are growing in number and becoming increasingly sophisticated."

Curran says they'll be looking at the systems used by the public and private sector, through the work the GCSB does, as well as the frontline task forces that help Kiwi businesses protect themselves.

The Government Communications Security Bureau's National Cyber Security Centre recorded a 17 percent increase in cyber threats to 396 in the year ended June 30, 2017, and estimated its Cortex malware disruption defence saved the country almost $40 million from online attacks.

Of those attacks, 122 were linked to state-sponsored groups.

Curran intends to report back to by July 31.

The review comes a week after Little, the minister responsible for the GCSB and Security Intelligence Service, told a security conference the government is currently considering how to best expand the Cortex services.

It currently only provides its service to 66 nationally significant public and private sector organisations.


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