Communications Minister Amy Adams says the government has included an investment of $22.2 million for Budget 2016 to boost the country’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
The government will invest $20 million of operating funding over the next four years on a new national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to combat cyber-attacks and cybercrime, with an additional $2.2 million of capital for set up, says Adams, in a statement.
A CERT is an organisation that receives cyber incident reports, tracks cybe security incidents or attacks, and provides advice and alerts to its customers on how to respond and prevent further attacks. CERTs also work closely with their international counterparts to prevent and respond to cybersecurity incidents, and address cybercrime.
“Our national CERT will be a key piece of New Zealand’s cyber security architecture. It will be the central place for businesses and organisations to go to for help and information when they’re experiencing cyber-attacks,” says Adams.
Cybercrime cost our economy $257 million last year and affected more than 856,000 New Zealanders
“It will help to protect critical infrastructure and the digital economy, and ensure New Zealanders can be secure, resilient and prosperous online," she states.
“Cybercrime cost our economy $257 million last year and affected more than 856,000 New Zealanders."
She says CERT is a core part of the government's Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan, which was launched in December.
“Establishing a national CERT means New Zealand joins an international network of CERTs, improving our access to information on potential or real-time cyber-attacks. It will help us play our part in a global effort to improve internet security.”
CERT will initially be set up as a separate unit in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and is expected to start operating in the first quarter of 2017.
Wanted: CERT advisory board members
Adams, meanwhile, says nominations are open for members of the board who will advise her on setting up the national CERT.
“There is substantial experience in cyber security in the private and non-government sectors – and I intend to tap into that as CERT NZ will not reach its full potential without a strong voice representing our private sector guiding its establishment and operation,” says Adams.
The advisory board will have up to nine members, made up from a mix of cyber security experts from the private and public sectors. It will provide advice on the establishment, operation and longer-term organisational form of the CERT and the transition to this structure. The board is also expected to build strong links with the key customers of the CERT.
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