NZ follows Aus with cyber strategy release

New Zealand has followed Australia in releasing a Cyber Security Strategy, which includes the development of a National Cyber Security centre.

New Zealand has followed Australia in releasing a Cyber Security Strategy, which includes the development of a National Cyber Security centre.

The New Zealand government noted that at least 75 per cent of New Zealanders have access to the internet at home, and that cyber attacks are becoming more advanced and are looking to steal the intellectual property of business and individuals.

"New Zealand is not immune from cyber attacks," the government said in its strategy, adding that a successful cyber attack could disrupt critical services and affect the national economy.

Every year, around 133,000 New Zealanders are victims of ID fraud, according to the strategy, and New Zealanders are losing up to NZ$500 million in scams annually.

The government needs to protect its own systems and help critical national infrastructure providers to do the same, it said.

It now wants to raise cybersecurity awareness of its citizens and small businesses, and wants to improve the level of cybersecurity across government. Relationships are going to be important to improve cybersecurity for infrastructure and businesses, according to the strategy.

To achieve these goals, the strategy said that the government would centralise cybersecurity information so that citizens can access it easily, and conduct an "awareness-raising" program. The government also flagged working with internet service providers to develop methods of dealing with botnets and infected computers.

The Internet Industry Association has created an industry code known as the iCode, which most Australian ISPs have signed, to deal with this issue.

The NZ government noted that it already has units to tackle particular cybersecurity issues such as scams, spam, ID theft and electronic crime. However, the creation of a National Cyber Security Centre would improve the protection of government systems, according to the strategy.

The centre will also revise the government's national cyber incident response plan to make sure that New Zealand is ready for a cyber incident, and will decide whether there is a need for a New Zealand CERT (computer emergency response team).

Australia has two CERTs: AusCERT and the newly created government CERT.

The NZ government also intends to work with industry, universities and training institutions to make sure that enough security personnel are being trained to meet demand. It will review the nation's legal framework to make sure that it is up to the task of thwarting cybercrime.

It flagged a drive to include the international community in its security strategy and said that it would look at New Zealand's alignment with the Council of Europe Convention of Cybercrime. Australia is working towards acceding to the convention.


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