Saturday, July 20, 2024

New cyber security agency to be stood up

Minister for the Public Service, Andrew Little, has announced a lead operational agency will be established to strengthen New Zealand’s cyber security readiness and response.

The Minister said cyber security threats to New Zealand were growing in scale and sophistication.

“We’re committed to staying ahead of the hackers, to protect communities, businesses and our public services,” he said.

“That’s why we’re acting on the recommendation of the Cyber Security Advisory Committee to bring New Zealand’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) into the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

“Having a single agency to provide authoritative advice and respond to incidents across every threat level is international best practice, and will ensure New Zealand is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital economy and provide secure government services to our citizens,” Mr Little said.

“Since 2018 this government has invested $94 million in improved cyber security capability. We’ve delivered world-leading protection products, such as Malware Free Networks to protect internet service providers and private networks, and we’ve rolled out baseline security templates that make it easier for organisations to take advantage of innovative cloud services while better protecting their information,” Minister for the Digital Economy, Ginny Andersen said.

“But we know there’s more to do. $5.8 million of direct financial losses from cyber incidents were reported to CERT NZ in the first quarter of the year. The NCSC prevented $33 million of harm to our economy over the whole of last year. We know the true scale of harm to our economy is underreported.

“Creating a dedicated new lead operational agency ensures New Zealand is best positioned to fight back against the hackers we know cause real harm to individuals and to our economy,” Ms Andersen said.

Operational integration of CERT NZ into the NCSC will begin on 31 August and will phased over several years. All current services will be maintained in the interim.

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