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Govt cyber-security strategy unveiled

Paul Brislen, Editor. 03 July 2019, 7:04 am

The government has released its latest cyber-security strategy document with the aim of ensuring New Zealand is "confident and secure" in a digital world.

The Strategy has five broad priority areas:

  • Cyber security aware and active citizens
  • Strong and capable cyber security workforce and ecosystem
  • Internationally active
  • Resilient and responsive New Zealand
  • Proactively tackle cybercrime.

and includes four values:

  • Partnerships are crucial
  • People are secure and human rights are respected online
  • Economic growth is enhanced
  • National security is protected.

demonstrating the government's awareness that these issues affect all New Zealanders and can't be managed by central government alone.

The strategy document was produced by the National Cyber Policy Office (NCPO), part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and is overseen by the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media on cyber security policy matters - in this case, Kris Faafoi. The new strategy comes with an increase of around $8 million in this year's Budget round to help address what the minister calls "emerging priorities" and to help CERT NZ, the public face of the government's cyber-security efforts, to cope with increased 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," says Faafoi in a media statement.

CERT and the NCPO form two legs of the government's cyber-security team - the third is the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) which is part of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and which operates alongside CERT to respond to "high impact cyber incidents at a national level". 

The number of incidents reported to CERT in 2018 rose more than 200% over the previous year, while NCSC recorded "347 incidents, largely affecting organisations of national significance in the 2017 financial year with 39% of those incidents linked to state sponsored actors".


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