CERT launches in Wellington
New Zealand's cyber-security just took a major step forward with the launch of the national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
The $22 million project was announced in May last year as part of the government's move to provide support and guidance around cyber-security incidents that affect New Zealand.
The number of incidents is on the rise - from a reported 190 in 2015 to 338 last year and CERT's role will be to act as a go-between for individuals who may be affected, IT professionals who discover security problems that need to be widely shared and government agencies. In the past this model has been less well coordinated and CERT's role will predominantly be to coordinate activity on a broad front.
CERT will operate five key functions, says the organisation in a backgrounder released this week.
Threat identification will be its number one role, and the organisation will work with similar government-level bodies around the world to advise on any emerging threats.
The team will also work to identify vulnerabilities that may be exploited for nefarious purposes.There will be an incident reporting service to allow those affected to get help, and CERT will operate a response coordination service to support New Zealand businesses during times of emergency. Finally, CERT will play a key role in raising awareness of issues and providing pro-active support in the form of best practice guidelines.
CERT will work alongside existing agencies, including Netsafe, Department of Internal Affairs anti-spam unit, the National Cyber Policy Office (NCPO), the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC - part of the Government Communications Security Bureau) and the Police.
CERT is led by former deputy police commissioner, Rob Pope.
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