Media Releases

CERT NZ Q1 Media Release

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Kiwis turn to CERT NZ to help build resilience online

Latest data from CERT NZ shows that Kiwis from all over the country continue to be affected by cyber security issues. The Quarter One report released today shows that almost 1,000 New Zealanders reported cyber security issues to CERT NZ in the three months to March 2019.

CERT NZ Director, Rob Pope says that doesn’t mean it’s all bad news though.

“Helping people keep safe online and improving cyber security in New Zealand is at the core of what we do at CERT NZ. Having a broad range of people reaching out to us and getting the help they need reinforces our role as a central front door to help people get back on their feet quickly following a cyber security incident,” says Mr Pope.

“This quarter we’ve worked with close to 1,000 Kiwis, from Invercargill to the Bay of Islands, to help them recover from cyber security incidents and build their resilience to new and evolving cyber security threats. In 2019, we’re focused on building that resilience even further.”

In the first quarter for 2019, CERT NZ received the highest number of unauthorised access reports for a three month period to date. The most common account types that attackers gained access to were cloud services and email accounts.

CERT NZ received 96 reports of unauthorised access between January to March of 2019, with reports of both business and personal email accounts being compromised.

“It’s easy to trust our email and other online accounts, assuming that a password will be enough to keep us protected. Attackers rely on this trust and exploit it to gain access to personal and corporate accounts. In many cases this can result in the loss of personal information and more.

“One simple step people can take to protect their online accounts is to set-up two-factor authentication (2FA). Adding 2FA to your login process is a simple way of adding an extra layer of security to your accounts,” says Mr Pope.

Unauthorised access can be costly. New Zealanders reported a total of $1.7 million in financial losses to CERT NZ this quarter, with $329,000 attributed to unauthorised access incidents.

If you or your organisation experiences a cyber security threat – or if you suspect you may have been exposed to one – contact CERT NZ any time at www.cert.govt.nz or call 0800 CERT NZ, Monday to Friday, 7am – 7pm.