Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Survey Shows Staff Bigger Threat To Cyber And Physical Security Than Cyber Criminals

AUCKLAND, March 24, 2020 — A new Newsweek Vantage survey finds as critical infrastructure organisations converge their IT, operational technology (OT), internet of things (IoT) and physical systems to improve overall performance, employees are the biggest threat to cyber and physical security.

The independent report, “Weathering the Perfect Storm: Securing the Cyber-Physical Systems of Critical Infrastructure,” queried over 400 C-level executives from critical infrastructure organisations across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific and found:

  • 52% say employees are the biggest threat to operational security
  • Cyber incursion into IT data systems accounted for 53% of attacks in the last 12 months
  • 85% of security incursions made their way into OT networks – of those, 36% started in IT/data systems and 32% involved physical incursion into OT
  • More than half (64%) say it took a cyber or physical security breach to motivate them to move toward a more holistic approach to cyber-physical security
  • A quarter believe their existing security is adequate

“The perfect storm of increasing cyber threats, digital transformation and IT/OT convergence means organisations must move swiftly to gain visibility and enhance cybersecurity into their OT and IoT networks,” said Nozomi Networks CMO Kim Legelis. “It’s a board issue and an employee issue. We are encouraged that organisations recognise both the threats and the opportunities of modernising critical infrastructure. We know from working with thousands of industrial installations, that it’s possible to monitor and mitigate these risks, whether they stem from cybercriminals, nation-states or employees.”

Other report findings include:

The Integration of IT, OT and Physical Systems is Mainstream

  • 88% of critical infrastructure executives surveyed have either already integrated their systems or say the integration process is underway
  • 68% say that some of their OT and/or physical systems are isolated from IT, but that the integration process is ongoing
  • One in five respondents (20%) say that all their systems are fully integrated with externally accessible systems, and even fewer (11%) say that none are

The Threat Landscape is Changing – and So Are Security Postures

  • Nearly nine in 10 executives say their organisation has experienced a security incident in the previous 12 months and more than half have suffered two or more
  • 85% of security incidents involved OT – of those, 36% started in IT/data systems and 32% involved physical incursion into OT
  • Nearly half of respondents (47%) say cyber-criminals pose the biggest risk
  • But an even larger number (52%) believe former and current employees are the greatest threat
  • 70% of respondent organisations are taking steps to address the new vulnerabilities created by the integration of cyber/digital and OT/physical systems, though the specific nature of those steps varies

Challenges and Obstacles to a Holistic Approach to Cyber-Physical Security

  • Nearly half of respondent organisations (49%) struggle with differences in risk tolerances between IT and OT in an environment that has traditionally associated those two areas with very different goals
  • Differences between IT and OT operating environments (43%) and cyber/IT skills requirements (40%) are the top two technical obstacles
  • 30% face employee resistance to cultural change

Motivating Change

  • 32% say clear directives regarding risk tolerance or performance either from IT/OT executives or from the CEO or Board is driving change

The survey, conducted by Newsweek Vantage in partnership with Nozomi Networks, Siemens and Yubico with guidance from the International Society of Automation (ISA), can be found here:

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>


NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>


Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>


Bankers Association: Banking Becomes First Living Wage Accredited Industry

Banking has become New Zealand’s first fully living wage accredited industry, leading to nearly 1800 employees and contractors moving onto the living wage and gaining greater economic independence for them and their families. As of today, all ... More>>


QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>


Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>


FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>


Stats NZ: Mixed Performance By Regions Leaves National Emissions Picture Unchanged

Approximately two-thirds of New Zealand’s regions recorded decreases in their total greenhouse gas emissions, while one-third of regions saw increases between 2007 and 2018, Stats NZ said today. “While some regions reduced their emissions, ... More>>