August 10, 2020

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New Zealand helps mitigate cybersecurity risks in the Pacific

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New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi have jointly announced a new initiative to support Pacific countries to respond to cyber security risks in the region.

According to a recent press release, New Zealand will be providing NZ$ 10 million in over five years to support Pacific countries.

Building cyber security capacity in the Pacific

This assistance will be used by Pacific countries as they:

  1. Develop national cyber security strategies
  2. Secure Infrastructure and data
  3. Enhance online safety
  4. Implement robust cyber-crime laws across the Pacific

Pacific countries are seeing an increased risk of cyber security threats with the improvements in connectivity in the region.

Minister Peters shared that New Zealand is committed to supporting its Pacific neighbours to provide a safe secure online environment for their citizens.

Moreover, support will be given to maximise the benefits of a free and open internet while minimising cyber security risks.

Minister Faafoi added that building cyber capability in the Pacific is one of the priority actions of New Zealand’s cyber security strategy.

CERT NZ

As part of this initiative, a dedicated Pacific Partnership Advisor role within New Zealand’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) will be created.

The role will be responsible for working with Pacific countries to lift their cyber security capability.

CERT NZ is a key component of New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy, contributing to the delivery of the Strategy’s vision of a confident and secure digital New Zealand.

It works to support businesses, organisations and individuals who are affected (or may be affected) by cyber security incidents, with the primary goal of improving cyber security in the country.

New Zealand and its cybersecurity

OpenGov Asia recently reported on New Zealand’s intensified focus on cybersecurity, wherein the Government stresses that a focus on cyber security is critical across society and the economy.

Funding from Budget 2019, together with a revised Cyber Security Strategy, will strengthen the Government’s focus on cybersecurity.

The new Cyber Security Strategy highlights four fundamentals for cyber security in New Zealand. These are:

  1. Partnerships are crucial
  2. People are secure and human rights are respected online
  3. Economic growth is enhanced
  4. National security is protected.

The Government had allocated NZ$ 8 million over the next four years to help implement the strategy.

This is on top of the NZ$ 9.3 million increased funding for CERT NZ.

Earlier, OpenGov Asia reported on CERT NZ releases cybersecurity report for Q1 2019.

The Quarter One Report 2019 provides an overview of the cyber security incidents reported from 1 January – 31 March 2019.

Latest data shows that Kiwis from all over the country continue to be affected by cyber security issues.

The report shows that almost 1,000 New Zealanders reported cyber security issues to CERT NZ in the three months to March 2019.

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