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Cybersecurity Attacks On New Zealand Small Business Double In Three Years

News Highlights:

  • COVID has brought more flexible working and an increased threat of security breaches with 69% of all businesses having staff working regularly from home
  • 37% of NZ businesses have increased their investment in cybersecurity since the start of the pandemic
  • Greatest security threats to business come from employee carelessness, internet connected devices and outdate software

Research released today by HP New Zealand has found cybersecurity is a growing issue for New Zealand small business. The 2021 HP New Zealand IT Security Survey, a three-yearly review of the attitudes, behaviours and preparedness of NZ SMBs towards IT security, found cybersecurity attacks on small businesses in 2021 occurred twice as often as in 2018, with over half (54%) of respondents seeing evidence of security breaches in their workplace in the past year.

This is despite mid-market businesses nearly tripling their investment in IT security over the past three years. Businesses that experienced a cyberattack faced an average cost of $159,000 for each attack.

“NZ small businesses, especially mid-market businesses have really improved their security preparedness in the past three years but what we are seeing is small businesses facing more sophisticated attacks,” says Mike Jamieson, Enterprise Sales Leader, HP New Zealand.

"We know that COVID has increased the number of people working from home. While this creates new opportunities for workplace flexibility, productivity and mobility, it also opens up workplace networks to new vulnerabilities. What our research tells us is that for many businesses, there is a growing security risk with remote working and employee carelessness being identified amongst the key security threats to small businesses today.”

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The pandemic has seen more companies adopting flexible working, with 81% of respondents allowing staff to work from home. 44% of respondents identified employee carelessness and 43% highlighted internet connected devices as significant security threats, not far behind outdated software at 49%.

Two-thirds of businesses (67%) identified endpoint security as key to network security with many seeing the threats from unsecured endpoints such as employees using personal devices for work purposes, work devices being used for personal reasons, or unsecured devices like printers being connected to their network.

As a result, more than one third of respondents (37%) reported increasing their investment in cybersecurity because of the pandemic, 43% in the mid-market, 26% in small business.

"The good news is that there is widespread awareness of the threat and investment in IT security has nearly tripled in the past three years with more businesses instituting security policies and procedures as well as increasing training,” says Mike Jamieson.

“While malware and viruses remain the most popular methods of cyberattacks, there are also plenty of ways for business to protect itself. Using leading technology like HP Wolf Security that is secure by design and intelligent enough to detect, contain and mitigate threats and their impact - and to recover quickly in the event of a breach - is key. 60% of NZ mid-market businesses are already using endpoint security to protect their networks.”

HP is helping organizations to secure the hybrid workplace by delivering robust endpoint protection built-in to HP PCs and printers, with multi-layered security below, in and above the OS providing a resilient and secure foundation. HP Wolf Security reduces the addressable attack surface and enables remote recovery from firmware attacks, fortifying a business first line of defense with self-healing firmware, in-memory breach detection and breach containment.

Other key findings from the HP New Zealand IT Security Survey include:

  • NZ businesses which have fallen victim to a cyberattack identified the greatest impact of a breach on their business was disruption to business operations (51%) followed by financial cost (40%) and damage to reputation (37%);
  • Three-times more businesses who fell victim to a cyber-attack saw legal and compliance implications than in 2018;
  • Two-thirds of all small and medium businesses have policies or training in place relating to online security versus 55% in 2018. In the mid-market the uptake is even higher at 78%;
  • Mid-market businesses spend an average of $280,000 per year on IT security, while small businesses have kept their spend at a steady at an average of $41,000.


About the research

The HP New Zealand IT Security Survey was undertaken by Perceptive Research in August 2021. The research spoke to 503 NZ SMBs (those with less than 20 employees) and Mid-Market businesses (those with 20+ employees). In total 36% of businesses surveyed employed less than 20 employees, 31% employed 20-99 employees and 33% employed 99+ employees. Respondents were drawn from a wide cross-section of NZ industries. The survey looked at their attitudes and behaviour towards IT security to understand preparedness and compared the survey’s 2021 findings against the same research undertaken in 2018.



About HP Inc.

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers and 3D printing solutions, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at

About HP Wolf Security

From the maker of the world’s most secure PCs and Printers , HP Wolf Security is a new breed of endpoint security. HP’s portfolio of hardware-enforced security and endpoint-focused security services are designed to help organizations safeguard PCs, printers and people from circling cyber predators. HP Wolf Security provides comprehensive endpoint protection and resiliency that starts at the hardware level and extends across software and services.

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