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Kiwis Don’t Care Enough About Cyber Security, Muller Says

Covid has suddenly and dramatically increased New Zealand’s reliance on digital devices and the internet, despite this CERT NZ’s research shows Kiwis are not adjusting their behaviours around cyber security fast enough, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

Research by CERT NZ, the government entity that tracks cyber breaches, found 87 percent Kiwis New Zealanders acknowledge security of their personal information online is important but 40 percent say safeguarding their information is inconvenient.

Virtually a third of Kiwis don’t regularly check the privacy settings on their social media accounts. Roughly the same number of people do not use two-factor authentication when logging into an online account, CERT NZ says.

Even with increasing news reports about security issues such as ransomware, identity theft and hacks, people still do not think it will happen to them or their business, Muller says.

“According to a recent global analysis of hacks and data breaches, it costs three million dollars on average for a company to recover from a successful hack.

“For most New Zealand companies this would mean the end of their business. So, that is the real impact business owners need to urgently understand.

“Likewise, with personal cyber security. The effect can be devastating from loss of personal data and identity theft, to ransoms and direct monetary loss.

“According to CERT NZ’s quarterly data, thousands of Kiwis are subject to cyber blackmail and fraud every year due to their complacency around simple security measures.

“NZTech’s advice, like CERT NZ’s message, is don’t be the ‘it won’t happen to me victim’, use a password manager, keep your device software up to date and use two factor authentication to dramatically improve your security. It’s that simple.

“NZTech is bringing together business and government cyber security professionals for its annual NZ cyber security summit in Wellington next February to help create a more cyber-safe New Zealand.

This week is NZ cyber smart week and NZTech says that whether we talk about it or not cyber security threats are now pervasive across all New Zealand organisation’s networks.

Muller says the cyber security is like seatbelts, once you start wearing one you realise how easy it is and how much safer you are.

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