“However, there is risk of a significant impact to the economy if individuals and organisations are reluctant to engage in the digital economy or avoid using technology to its full potential due to cyber security fears,” he cautioned.
“Small to medium enterprises, in particular, are seen as being most vulnerable to both actual threats and fears over perceived threats.
On the political front, Bridges said the government is leading an “ambitious program” of action to fulfil the vision of a “secure, resilient and prosperous” online New Zealand.
Consequently, areas of focus for 2017 include supporting the development of the country’s cyber security industry, working on the Cybercrime Plan, helping small businesses to protect themselves online and launching a national CERT.
“CERT NZ will open its doors next month as the central place for New Zealanders, businesses and government agencies to report cyber incidents,” Bridges added.
“It will provide trusted and authoritative advice on preventing cyber threats and responding to incidents and will work with CERTs in other countries on incidents that have cross-border implications.”
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