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Simple measures can prevent business compromise

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Media release

Friday 7 November 2018

Latest data from CERT NZ shows simple measures can prevent business compromise

A new report released today highlights how basic measures continue to sit at the centre of protecting New Zealanders and their businesses from online threats.

CERT NZ’s latest report reveals case studies of two New Zealand businesses impacted by significant security breaches, detailing how attackers gained access to business email accounts due to weak passwords.

“In one case, the attacker gained access and tracked the business’s emails for at least six months. They gathered extensive knowledge of the business’s billing cycles and behaviours to create and send out fake invoices to the business’s database,” says CERT NZ Director Rob Pope.

“In these cases, we worked with the affected businesses and helped them recover. CERT NZ was established to help New Zealanders stay safe online, whether by taking incident reports, sharing best practice advice, or by sharing data and information about the online threat landscape as it impacts New Zealand.”

In the July – September quarter, CERT NZ received 870 reports, the highest recorded number in a quarter since its launch in April 2017. Reports of unauthorised access, of both business and personal email accounts, increased by 28 per cent. Mr Pope encourages all New Zealanders, at work and at home, to take simple steps such as using strong, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication to protect their email and other important accounts from being compromised.

“We know from in-depth analysis of the reports we receive, combined with information from international partners and global threat insights, that it’s getting the basics right that will help Kiwis stay safe online. Online security can seem complicated, but the evidence we have shows that most incidents can be prevented by taking simple steps.”

Based on the reports CERT NZ has received, we’ve created advice to help businesses know which steps to take first. See top 11 tips for business on our website.

For more insights into what CERT NZ has seen in the New Zealand threat landscape in Quarter Three 2018, see the CERT NZ Quarterly Report. If you or your organisation experiences a cyber security issue, report it to CERT NZ.

ENDS

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