Earlier this month, the government announced that it will invest $22.2 million from the Budget 2016 to boost cyber security.
Of the $22.2 million, $20 million will be invested over the next four years on a new national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), to combat cyber-attacks and cybercrime.
At the time, Amy Adams, Communications Minister stated that “Cybercrime cost our economy $257 million last year and affected more than 856,000 New Zealanders”*.
Liam Rowland, Head of Incident Response and Forensics, APJ at Dell SecureWorks, believes that businesses taking action to protect themselves is the key and that if they don’t, they could be in for a surprise if their systems are compromised.
“Creating the CERT is an indicator that the New Zealand government takes cyber security very seriously,” explains Rowland.
“The worst time to realise you are not prepared for a cyber-security incident is when a breach occurs. Security incidents are crisis situations that place a great deal of pressure on IT staff. Nearly every day the media report on organisations, companies and nation states that are dealing with information security breaches.
“From the smallest companies to the largest conglomerates, organisations around the world are attacked every second of every day and many do not have an incident response plan in place,” says Rowland.
While identifying and understanding the short and long term costs is important, Rowland says the real key is being prepared, “Estimating what a breach might cost today can help a company better develop a plan for the day when an event does occur. Determining potential losses can highlight key areas of opportunity for enhancing security strategy, focusing budget and resources on the right vulnerabilities, and preparing the company to respond quickly and resolve a breach more effectively,” says Rowland.
Rowland’s vital tips for organisations on reducing and mitigating the overall impact of a breach include: