Adams says a particular focus this year is educating and supporting SMEs, which represent over 90 per cent of total businesses in New Zealand.
“Businesses that use the internet to its full potential are 6 per cent more productive than average. If we could get all SMEs online it could add up to $34 billion in productivity gains to New Zealand.”
She adds: “SMEs often don’t have the resources available to spend on security that bigger businesses do which leaves them vulnerable to online intrusion. Recent reports show 60 per cent of all cyberattacks are aimed at SMEs.”
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates there are 459,300 SMEs in New Zealand. These include micro (1 to 5 employees), and small (6 to 19 employees) enterprises.
SMEs are advised to get a cybersecurity ‘warrant of fitness’ by taking the following steps:
One: Assess the cyber security of your business
Two:Develop a cyber-security policy for your business
Three: Establish an incident management plan
Four: Regularly review and update your network security systems
Recent reports show 60 per cent of all cyberattacks are aimed at SMEs.
Guard your privacy
Peter Chisnall, country manager for MasterCard New Zealand, echoes the same cybersecurity message, focusing on consumers.
“As Kiwis increasingly shop online, they should remain alert, especially when they are sharing personal information,” says Chisnall.
“Guard your privacy and do not disclose personal information unless you know who is collecting it and how it is being used,” he advises.
“Some websites sell their customer information to third parties, so check the small print and opt out of sharing your information if you don’t want other people to use it.”
“It’s not difficult to set up a page on the Internet, so the onus is on you to do some background research on the retailer you are buying from, especially if they are not a familiar brand name or you have not come across their website before.”
Send news tips and comments to email@example.com
Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap
Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.