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2023 a year of cyber concerns, NZ summit will help

January 30, 2023

This year has been earmarked as one of significant cyber risk to organisations so the New Zealand cybersecurity summit in Wellington on March 14 and 15 is critical to being prepared for any hack attack, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

The covid pandemic provided cyber criminals with a fertile ground to execute scams and reap the riches. Attacks designed to steal company and customer information rocketed in the last two years.

According to the security companies about a third of cyber-crime victims are small businesses, Muller says.

“CERT NZ, the government agency that tracks cybercrime reporting, says 2069 cybercrimes were reported in the third quarter of last year, continuing to grow from the previous year.

“The most common crimes were phishing, credential harvesting, scams and fraud as criminals worked to gain access to company emails.

“After a company’s email accounts are compromised, they are often used for the unauthorised transfer of money, but it’s not just data being accessed, it’s stock exchanges and healthcare under attack internationally, reserve banks, power grids, and hospital operating theatres.

“A UK government study has found that 56 percent of small businesses that suffer a breach are victims of further attacks. They also found 66 percent of businesses attacked make no substantial changes to prevent future attacks.

“New Zealanders are also inherently complacent. It is estimated 80 percent of cybercrime could be prevented by individuals and businesses doing some pretty simple things such as using updated complex passwords and using a password safe to protect those passwords and make it easy for you to manage them.

“Kiwi  businesses and organisations must act immediately to block future cyber hacks which is costing New Zealand vast sums every year. The covid pandemic has increased New Zealand’s reliance on digital devices and the internet,” Muller says.

NZTech, which is organising the March cyber summit with Brightstar, says that it is time for the government to put funding into educating New Zealanders about how to avoid being a victim of cybercrime, just as government does for road safety.

About 87 percent of Kiwis concede security of their personal information online is important but 40 percent say safeguarding their information is inconvenient, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

The March cyber summit delegates will hear from experts and peers at the coal face of cyber security about the realities of cyber in the modern business environment.

Cybersecurity was a major topic of  at the World Economic Forum’s recent meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Experts warned that cyberattacks are increasing in sophistication and frequency. There’s a gathering cyber storm brewing and it’s really hard to anticipate just how bad that will be, Davos delegates heard.

For further information contact NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller on 021 02520767 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

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