New report shows the costly impacts of cyber incidents
CERT NZ Q2 media release
New report shows the costly impacts of cyber incidents on New Zealanders
The latest report from CERT NZ shows that cyber incidents can be costly. Alongside financial losses at a quarterly high, the incidents reported in quarter two are also impacting New Zealander’s day-to-day lives and business operations.
Financial losses reported between 1 April and 30 June were $6.5 million, up from the $1.7 million reported in the previous quarter. Of the 1197 reports in Quarter Two, 21% reported some type of loss.
“It’s evident that cyber incidents can result in financial loss, however losing money is not the only impact businesses and individuals experience. Cyber incidents can also result in other types of loss like data, reputational and operational,” says CERT NZ Director Rob Pope.
The Quarter Two report highlights a 38 percent increase in ransomware attacks from the previous quarter.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that can get into a computer system and infect it. Once in, it encrypts files so they can’t be read or accessed, and demands a payment to unlock them. The attacks are mainly targeted at businesses through email attachments or out-of-date software vulnerabilities. CERT NZ strongly recommends not paying the ransom as it does not guarantee files will be recovered.
Reports show that ransomware can be highly disruptive. Of the 160 ransomware attacks reported since CERT NZ launched, over 70% reported some type of loss.
“Although there are some reports of financial loss, what we see from ransomware attacks are businesses reporting losses like customer information and operational capacity. Recovery from a ransomware attack can also be incredibly time consuming, affecting a business’s ability to carry out their usual services, and can damage their reputation,” says Mr Pope.
“The good news is that the risk of these attacks impacting you or your business can be easily mitigated with a few simple steps; updating your operating systems and software, backing up your files regularly and installing antivirus software can go a long way to help keep you safe online.”
The Quarter Two report also shows New Zealanders of all ages are affected by cyber security incidents, with scams and fraud incidents making up 38% of all incidents reported to CERT NZ and accounting for 92% of direct financial loss this quarter.
“The data we gather from these reports and others is vital as it helps us to understand the evolving threat landscape. The more we know about the types of incidents affecting New Zealanders, the more we can be there to help New Zealanders and their businesses stay safe online,” says Mr Pope.
If you or your organisation experiences a cyber security threat – or if you suspect you may have been exposed to one – contact CERT NZ any time at www.cert.govt.nz or call 0800 CERT NZ, Monday to Friday, 7am – 7pm.
Read the attached quarterly report for more details. More information available at on the CERT NZ website.