Faster internet bringing more cyberattacks


Growing evidence shows that the downside of super-fast connectivity and ultra-fast broadband is producing an equivalent lift in cyberattacks, NZTech Chief Executive Graeme Muller warns.


Recently returned from the multinational Global Tech Leaders Dialogue in Melbourne, Muller says many nations involved in the forum confirmed increasing cyberattacks along with faster connections.

“This week alone we have seen sophisticated scams using fake government websites and email addresses,” Muller says.

“The national cyber emergency response team CERT NZ have identified and exposed scams such as the fake IRD tax rebate email scam and the fake Ministry of Primary Industries exporters advisory email scam.

“Both elaborate cases of phishing attacks designed to get people to click on a link that inserts malware onto their computer.

“This malware allows criminals to capture your key strokes or take over your machine.”

Close cooperation

As systems across our economy are becoming more digital the greater the number and variety of attacks, says Muller, and at the extreme end of the range of concerns is what could happen when complex systems like autonomous vehicles or drones come online.

“Our discussions in Melbourne focused on the increasing need for all countries to share information better around cyber issues as global supply chains connecting large corporates and small-to-medium enterprises across borders provide many potential vulnerabilities that expose us all.”

Recent research from the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO), highlights that cybersecurity remains a significant risk as nations in the region become more digital.

The report recommends the establishment of a regional CERT to connect national cybersecurity response teams for faster information sharing.

Muller says the cybersecurity of New Zealand and its trading partners is particularly important as digital trade grows and ultimately sees something similar to a security version of the World Health Organisation develop as the sense of shared responsibility grows and nations work to decrease cybercrime.

World leaders

“The New Zealand government’s cybersecurity strategy is considered world leading and as a nation we continue to work on improving our security together.

“The third annual NZTech Advance Cyber Security Summit in Wellington on October 25 will see tech leaders, security experts and policy makers finding innovative solutions for improving our cybersecurity.

“The summit has become an environment for shared learnings and experiences, and the opportunity to check in on the work being done as part of the national security strategy.

“We will hear from firms like TradeMe and Xero, completely digital businesses and how they are managing their security, and there will be updates from the minister, the CERT and the National Cyber Policy Office.”

“This is a nationally critical issue that is not about to go away and our ability to get together like this and collaborate, across industry and government, means that as a nation we are well placed to be one of the most secure nations, and this will help drive economic growth in the future,” Muller says.