Story image

Why not extend our existing NZ security fabric nationally?

24 May 16

There is no doubt, in the cyber world there are changes in the water.

There were many positive responses to the New Zealand government’s recent announcement that they will be investing $22.2 million into setting up a national CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) to receive cyber incident reports, track cyber security incidents or attacks and provide advice and alerts to its customers on how to respond and prevent further attacks

However, Jon McGettigan, Fortinet senior director Australia, NZ and South Pacific Islands, believes these capabilities already exist and are already in motion. He says the challenge is in actual fact to take this existing fabric and spread it across the country to include central, regional and local government, education, healthcare, finance and business.

In her recent speech, Hon Amy Adams, Minister of both Communications and Justice, stated that “improving New Zealand’s cyber security is not simply about employing the right technical tools. If you think cyber security is an issue that sits in the IT department, you’ve missed the critical part of this.”

McGettigan affirms that while this may be true, any cyber defence strategy must revolve around technology.

“All the training and education in the world can’t stop a staff mistake,” McGettigan says. “According to Verizon’s most recent Data Breach Investigations Report the median time to the first click on the attachment [of a phishing campaign] was 3 minutes, 45 seconds.  A compromise happens in minutes.”

McGettigan uses the example of the existing security fabric developed by Fortinet, FortiSandBox, that he affirms not only fulfils the functions of the proposed CERT outlined above but goes further.

“It captures suspect traffic before it enters a properly protected network, forwards it to our FortiGuard Labs for analysis, classifies the nature of the threat and then automatically updates all connected security devices with the malware signatures,” McGettigan says. “All this happens automatically and results in a customised, real-time comprehensive catalogue of all of the threats that are attacking any connected network.”

McGettigan stresses that organisations and the CERT boards should have a look at security options that already exist to build a comprehensive, real-time and continuously expanding register of threats that are attacking New Zealand enterprises.

“Working together, we can fast-track CERT development and move quickly to protect all Kiwi organisations from external threats,” McGettigan concludes.

Commerce Commission report shows fibre is hot on the heels of copper
The report shows that as of 30 September 2018 there were 668,850 households and businesses connected to fibre, an increase of 45% from 2017.
Dr Ryan Ko steps down as head of Cybersecurity Researchers of Waikato
Dr Ko is off to Australia to become the University of Queensland’s UQ Cyber Security chair and director.
Businesses in APAC are ahead of the global digital transformation game
“And it’s more about people and culture - about change management - along with investing in the technology.”
HubSpot announces fund for 'customer first' startups
HubSpot is pouring US$30 million (NZ$40 million) into a new fund to support startups that demonstrate ‘customer first’ approach of not only growing bigger, but growing better.
Mac malware on WatchGuard’s top ten list for first time
The report is based on data from active WatchGuard Firebox unified threat management appliances and covers the major malware campaigns.
LearnCoach closes $1.5m seed round
The tutorials are designed for students who want to learn NCEA subjects but can’t make it to a physical classroom.
Bin 'em: Those bomb threat emails are complete hoaxes
A worldwide spate of spam emails claiming there is a bomb in the recipient’s building is almost certainly a hoax.
Marriott sets up call centres to answer questions on data breach
Marriott has released an update on the breach of the Starwood guest reservation data breach which affected 500 million guests.