New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced on Tuesday the launch of CERT NZ, a national cyber security unit by Communications Minister Simon Bridges. The unit’s main objective is to facilitate New Zealanders in responding to online threats and reporting cyber incidents.
The newly-launched unit will have five core functions – incident reporting, response coordination, readiness support, vulnerability identification and threat identification. It will service New Zealand citizens, businesses and large organizations alike.
“We want to build a confident, secure and engaged online New Zealand as the ever-evolving digital world increasingly impacts on almost all aspects of our lives. CERT NZ will make it easier for people at work and at home to understand, prevent and recover from cyber security incidents,” Bridges said. “It is important that we strike a balance between innovation, security and privacy protection to ensure that all New Zealanders are secure, safe and confident online, in this increasingly digital world,” he added.
CERT NZ will receive funding of $22.2 million over a four-year period from the national budget for 2016. With the launch of the unit, New Zealand is joining a global network of CERTs, which will enable it to share and execute best practice processes and systems to prevent and respond to cyber security incidents.
“Access to international best practice and threat information will increase our ability to protect our information and systems against cyber threats. It will also enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a trusted business and security partner, which has benefits to our economy and our many businesses that rely on international trade,” Bridges noted.
On average, two out of 10 New Zealanders have experienced cyber crime, according to MBIE data. In 2015/2016 alone, there were 338 incidents that affected local organizations, compared to 190 in 2014/2015. Following are more figures concerning New Zealand’s cyber security statistics: