Story image

Half of NZ businesses 'unprepared' for cyber threats

06 Oct 14

Nearly half of New Zealand businesses are unprepared to prevent or mitigate cyber threats, with our primary industries being the least prepared.

That's the verdict of the Cyber Security NZ SME Landscape 2015 report, commissioned by Vodafone and undertaken by the head of the University of Waikato's Cyber Security Lab, Dr Ryan Ko, in conjunction with Colmar Brunton.

While 56% of the 500 companies surveyed had experienced IT security attacks at least once a year, 45% felt their business did not have adequate tools and policies in place to prevent or mitigate the increasingly advanced and sinister threats.

Colin James, Vodafone head of security, says the statistics are 'pretty alarming across the board' but notes that for primary industries (construction, trades services, agriculture, forestry and fisheries) it is particularly concerning, given their huge importance to the local economy.

James says the telco is seeing a marked increase in the number of attacks within New Zealand.

“Geographical isolation isn't a safety net against threats,” James says.

“Gone are the days when all you needed was a firewall or virus scan to secure your company's private data.

“Threats are becoming more sinister and advanced in their capability; the players are the same, but the tools they have access to have evolved astronomically.”

Rapid increases in mobility mean businesses must now grapple with securing information outside of the business environment.

The report notes that 83% of lost smartphones in 2014 resulted in compromised business data, but despite these statistics, six out of 10 companies have no plans to increase their investment in IT security.

“Business leaders and IT managers need to re-evaluate where information is sitting these days; who has access to it and what security policies they have in place to protect against and prevent attacks,” says James.

He says the future of true cyber security lies with the vigilance of IT decision-makers to ensure their systems are capable, and network providers to build more intelligent infrastructure capable of acting on threats to protect not only an individual users, but the overall integrity of the network.

“We need to ensure information is protected, regardless of where it resides.

“Intelligent networks operate by understanding what devices are connected to it, who is using those devices, who and what they're communicating with and what they're talking about.

“Without this intricate knowledge, businesses run the risk of creating chinks in their armour and opening themselves up for attack.”

DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
SingleSource scores R&D grant to explore digital identity over blockchain
Callaghan Innovation has awarded a $318,000 R&D grant to Auckland-based firm SingleSource, a company that applies risk scoring to digital identity.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.