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As news broke last weekend that a criminal cyber attack breached the Tū Ora Compass Health Primary Health Organisation accessing almost one million patients data, I wondered whether this would be enough for New Zealand to take the cyber threat seriously? Probably not as the problem is very intangible to most people.
The breach didn’t access any medical records, so most Kiwi’s will likely say, ‘so what’. However, armed with names, dates of birth, addresses and ethnicities provides hackers with an unlimited supply of identities for identity fraud. This sort of data is all that is needed to apply for a credit card, file a fraudulent tax return or remove money from a bank account. Following a breach like this we can expect the volume of phishing to increase dramatically as criminals purchase identity information with the hope of making a quick return.
Ironically, next week is New Zealand Cyber Smart Week, a valiant effort by the Government cyber agency, CERT NZ, to help raise awareness of the issues. Hundreds of organisations are running cyber safety events and NZTech is hosting our annual Cyber Security Summit in collaboration with our event partner Conferenz.
‘Security is not working! So what can we do?’ This is the question I am asking at a roundtable discussion at the summit. The alarming rise in phishing attacks, aided by the loss of personal data via breaches is now costing New Zealand and New Zealanders millions of dollars a year. This doesn’t even start to measure the intangible losses such as our ability to trade safely in a global digital world.
If New Zealand wants to thrive in the digital era, we need to make cybersecurity a core foundation for our digital nation. Every single Kiwi needs to buy into this, because we are only as safe as our weakest link. Are you secure online? Make sure of it! Stand by for Cyber Smart Week’s simple security measures everyone can action. Please remember, no one is immune, we are all vulnerable to cyber attack.
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