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NZ strengthening cyber security


Te Whanganui-a-Tara – New Zealand is establishing a new agency to strengthen cyber security readiness and response as well as make it easier for people and organisations to get help.

The cyber security threats New Zealand is facing are growing in scale and sophistication which is why New Zealand’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) will work in with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Having a single agency to provide authoritative advice and respond to incidents across every threat level is international best practice and will ensure New Zealand is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital economy and provide secure government services for Kiwis.

Since 2018 government has invested $94 million in improved cyber security capability. We’ve delivered world-leading protection products, such as malware free networks to protect internet service providers and private networks.

But there is more to do because $5.8 million of direct financial losses from cyber incidents were reported to CERT NZ in the first quarter of the year. The NCSC prevented $33 million of harm to the economy over the whole of last year.  

Creating a dedicated new lead operational agency ensures Aotearoa is best positioned to fight back against the hackers we know cause real harm to individuals and to the economy.

Operational integration of CERT NZ into the NCSC will begin on August 31 and will phased over several years. All current services will be maintained in the interim.

A single point of entry for cyber security incident response was recommended by the independent Cyber Security Advisory Committee (CSAC) set-up in December 2021 to review New Zealand’s resilience to cyber threats.

The lead operational cyber security agency will include the advice and response functions now provided to the public and businesses by CERT NZ and the support provided to nationally significant organisations by the NCSC.

A process is in place to transfer CERT NZ’s staff, responsibilities and funding to the NCSC.  The integrated agency will look at how it can better use its increased span and scale to develop an improved operation model to take effect in 2024.

CERT NZ was established in 2017 as a public-facing cyber security agency for government, to support a broad range of businesses, organisations and individuals who are or may be affected by cyber security incidents.