Security 'treated lightly' - Isocnz

New Zealand businesses are treating the issue of information security too lightly, says Isocnz executive director Sue Leader.

New Zealand businesses are treating the issue of information security too lightly, says Isocnz executive director Sue Leader.

The society is co-sponsoring a series of security seminars across the country which is aimed at senior executives and information security professionals. Leader says that unlike those overseas, Kiwi firms tend to believe problems with hackers and viruses won't happen here.

They are also too busy keeping up with the technology to step back and see how they can make themselves safe.

However, during the recent outbreak of the Love Bug virus, a major New Zealand newspaper was infected and suffered various problems.

Partly due to its timing, Kiwi ISPs were on to the problem early, "but we might not be so lucky next time”, Leader says.

Companies need to look at how they can protect their systems from viruses and also teach staff how to look out for them.

Leader says organisations need to have systems in place for when their computers and Web sites are hacked, such as storing back-up material off-site. Rival organisations may also attack sites as a form of industrial espionage, or hack into systems to seek out secrets. Hackers may also be disgruntled employees.

Leader says Ihug recently suffered a hacker attack and 4000 of its Web sites went down, a problem not helped by Ihug keeping its back-ups online.

Companies also need to look at the type of products they use, as the Love Letter virus only hit Microsoft Office using Microsoft Outlook, says Leader.

The first meeting is in Wellington today. The others are in Auckland and Christchurch next week.

More details can be found at: www.standards.co.nz/seminars/secure-info.html

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