​Govt pledges $22.2m to boost NZ cyber security defences

The Government has pledged $22.2 million to help bolster the country’s cyber security infrastructure, as part of the Budget 2016 announcements.

The Government has pledged $22.2 million to help bolster the country’s cyber security infrastructure, as part of the Budget 2016 announcements.

Revealed by Communications Minister Amy Adams, the Government will invest $20 million of operating funding over the next four years on a new national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to combat cyber-attacks and cybercrime, with an additional $2.2 million of capital for set up.

A CERT is an organisation that receives cyber incident reports, tracks cyber security incidents or attacks, and provides advice and alerts to its customers on how to respond and prevent further attacks.

As explained by Adams, CERTs also work closely with their international counterparts to prevent and respond to cybersecurity incidents, and address cybercrime.

“Our national CERT will be a key piece of New Zealand’s cyber security architecture,” Adams adds.

“It will be the central place for businesses and organisations to go to for help and information when they’re experiencing cyber-attacks.

“It will help to protect critical infrastructure and the digital economy, and ensure New Zealanders can be secure, resilient and prosperous online.”

According to Adams, cybercrime cost the New Zealand economy $257 million last year and affected more than 856,000 New Zealanders.

“CERT is a core part of our Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan, which I launched in December, and speaks to how seriously the National-led Government takes cyber security,” Adams added.

“Establishing a national CERT means New Zealand joins an international network of CERTs, improving our access to information on potential or real-time cyber-attacks. It will help us play our part in a global effort to improve internet security.”

Adams says that CERT will initially be set up as a separate unit in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and is expected to be in operation in the first quarter of 2017.

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