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Fostering Cyber Resilience in New Zealand’s Youth

Image credits: waikato.ac.nz
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New Zealand Government and University of Waikato are looking to instill cybersecurity awareness within youngsters, strengthening country’s preparedness and resilience in the face on increasing cyber threats.

Amy Adams, the New Zealand Government Communications Minister, has proactively addressed the escalating challenges posed by cybercrime and online threats. With the introduction of an action plan and national strategy, the government aims to fortify the nation’s defences and protect its citizens in the digital realm.

The launched strategy reflects New Zealand’s unwavering commitment to establishing a secure, resilient, and prosperous online environment. It recognises that the safety and well-being of individuals are crucial while also acknowledging the crucial role of thriving businesses in driving economic growth and national prosperity.

Understanding that a secure and resilient online presence is instrumental in enhancing productivity and competitiveness, the strategy prioritises bolstering the nation’s economy. By safeguarding critical infrastructure, protecting sensitive data, and promoting cybersecurity best practices, the government aims to create a robust foundation that supports business innovation, facilitates seamless digital transactions, and fosters stakeholder trust.

However, it is acknowledged that more than the strategy is needed to address cyber-attacks and enhance New Zealand’s cyber resilience effectively. It is crucial to involve young people in cybersecurity, stating that the country can strengthen its preparedness and resilience by empowering education and motivating them to be aware of cyber threats.

Furthermore, in light of this challenge, today marks a significant milestone as Kiwis from all over the nation gather at the University of Waikato to participate in the 10th annual New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge. It is known as the largest event of its kind in the country, and this challenge signifies the collective effort to tackle cybersecurity challenges and promote awareness in New Zealand.

Dr Vimal Kumar, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato’s Cybersecurity Researchers of Waikato (CROW) lab, emphasised the Cyber Security Challenge’s significance in addressing the urgent need to combat cybercrime. He highlighted how competition is an ideal platform for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the industry, providing them with a practical and competitive environment to showcase their skills and expertise.

“This is a good opportunity for Kiwis to enhance their knowledge in practical and competitive environment to showcase their skills and expertise in cyber security,” he explained.

This collaboration aims to tackle cyber criminals, which always happen in New Zealand, resulting in losing approximately $2 million every month.

“New Zealand is not only grappling with a significant skills gap but also an alarming lack of awareness regarding cybercrime, resulting in New Zealanders losing approximately $2 million every month to cybercriminals, “he emphasised.

By addressing this issue, there is a pressing need for more individuals to consider pursuing careers in cybersecurity. The Cyber Security Challenge provides participants with a unique hands-on experience to test their skills and acquire valuable knowledge, all under the guidance of respected experts in the field.

The Cyber Security Challenge aims to promote career exploration in cybersecurity by offering high school, tertiary, and open categories, ensuring that individuals of all ages can participate.

He expresses optimism for the support of the programme, enabling participants to test their skills and determine if they have the potential for a successful career in cybersecurity. “If we prepare our young generation to pursuing his major in cyber security, it will help New Zealand a lot particularly for our cyber resilience,” he concluded.

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