Focus on cyber security intensified to keep Kiwis safe online and grow economy

Funding from Budget 2019 and a revised Cyber Security Strategy released today will intensify the Government’s focus on cyber security, Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Hon Kris Faafoi said.

“The new Strategy highlights four fundamentals for cyber security in New Zealand: Partnerships are crucial; people are secure and human rights are respected online; economic growth is enhanced, and national security is protected.

“A lot of work went in to hearing what was needed and what was important to the cyber security community, and how we could help New Zealanders be confident and secure in the digital world.

“As a result, the 2019 Strategy is based on four values, the most important of which in my view is “partnerships are crucial” because neither Government nor the private sector can do it alone. We have to work together to keep individuals, businesses, community organisations and the private sector to thrive online.”   

Mr Faafoi said the Government had allocated $8 million over the next four years to help implement the strategy. This is on top of $9.3 million increased funding for CERT NZ.

“As part of the Wellbeing Budget, the Government has funded a number of new or expanded initiatives to keep new Zealanders cyber secure and build a secure digital nation.  Two initiatives that directly support the new Cyber Security Strategy are funding to address emerging priorities and increased funding for CERT NZ to address growing demand for its services.

“It is important to stress that a focus on cyber security is critical across society and the economy.  This is why the Strategy also sets out the Government’s priorities on cybercrime and how New Zealand will continue to champion a free, open and secure internet internationally.” 

Notes to editors

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) New Zealand and the National Cyber Security Centre and international sources continue to report an ongoing rise in the scale and sophistication of the cyber security threat. Incidents reported to CERT NZ increased by 205% in 2018. The National Cyber Security Centre recorded 347 incidents, largely affecting organisations of national significance in the 2017 financial year with 39% of those incidents linked to state sponsored actors.

Further information can be found at:

https://www.ncsc.govt.nz/incidents/

https://www.cert.govt.nz/about/quarterly-report/