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Can New Zealand maintain its cyber security status?

Friday, October 07, 2016

It seems everyone from average consumers to the executives of major organisations are all enamoured by fast-developing technology. This means they’re also all united by the same caveat: the need to remain secure in the digital world.

While we think of the Internet as a place with few tangible connections to geography, it is possible to view digital capabilities with regards to specific countries and regions. With that in mind, Microsoft has created an index which ranks countries across the Asia-Pacific region, finding that New Zealand is currently reasonably safe in regards to its neighbours. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is low risk.

According to Microsoft, the risk is greatest in emerging markets. Essentially, while the excitement for new technology in these nations is being propped up by a new wave of affordable smartphones and similar devices, the relevant security solutions aren’t evolving at the same rate. They often have:

  • Out-of-date IT assets – Legacy infrastructure that hasn’t evolved to handle new threats.
  • Neglected assets – Organisations need to manage how their assets are used and maintained to reduce risk.
  • Poor behaviour – Users need to be educated about how to best use systems and devices to minimise risk.
  • Inability to monitor threat levels – Require preventative checks instead of waiting until it’s too late.

New Zealand may be performing relatively well in the Asia-Pacific region, but cybercrime is still an ongoing threat. It’s a challenge that is likely to direct IT recruitment efforts in some cases, especially as the costs related to these incidents continue to rise.

The New Zealand Government found that the country is undergoing rapid change as technology continues to become more essential for both businesses and individual consumers alike. According to its NZ Cyber Security Strategy report from 2015, there will be 24 billion devices in use across the country by the end of the decade. The Government warns, however, that the opportunities afforded by these devices come with added challenges as well. This is especially due to the fact that 83 per cent of New Zealanders have already had their cybersecurity compromised at some point.

New Zealand’s public sector is taking action though, with the formation of the Computer Emergency Response Team representing a $20 million commitment to getting on top of these issues. “It will help to protect critical infrastructure and the digital economy, and ensure New Zealanders can be secure, resilient and prosperous online,” Communications Minister Amy Adams notes.

For New Zealand to remain a safe haven from cyberattacks in the Pacific, it needs to balance investment in new technologies with added expenditure on security solutions. As a result, IT professionals that are familiar with these challenges will be invaluable.

With cyber security, whether you are looking for expert permanent or contract support, 920/Finite NZ have built their reputation for fast & accurate sourcing of the ‘hard to find’ quality security specialists across NZ for our clients. For further information please contact our Auckland or Wellington offices.

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