New Zealand’s ability to respond to major cyber events and provide cyber threat intelligence is boosted in Budget 2018.
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran says the government is committing $3.9 million of new operating funding over the next four years to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
“CERT was established just over a year ago,” says Curran, in a statement. “The new funding means it can continue to respond to major cyber events and provide advice to businesses, organisations and individuals who may be affected by cybersecurity incidents.”
“We’re dealing with threats such as disruptive malware, denial-of-service attacks and theft of data perpetrated by a range of actors, including organised criminal groups and vigilante hackers.”
She points out reported financial losses in the year to the end of April show that Kiwis lost more than $5.3 million from known cyber incursions. The victims come from the corporate sector, government agencies, small businesses and individuals.
“We need to improve our capabilities now to get ahead of these threats,” she says.
“It is crucial CERT is funded to enhance its trusted and authoritative services.”
The new funding means CERT can continue to respond to major cyber events and provide advice to businesses, organisations and individuals who may be affected by cybersecurity incidents
In addition to the CERT funding, Budget 2018 also invests in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s ability to deliver on the Government’s communications policy, infrastructure and digital economy priorities.
“Budget 2018 provides $6.2 million of new operating funding over the next four years so the Ministry can continue to provide policy advice on communications issues, such as 5G mobile networks and ultra-fast broadband,” she states.
Spotlight on R&D
MYOB New Zealand General Manager Carolyn Luey, meanwhile, says among the big winners in Budget 2018 are businesses investing in research and development.
“The government should be commended for its goal of lifting national R&D spending to 2 per cent of GDP, up from 1.3 per cent now. New Zealand cannot afford to fall behind, given the OECD average is 2.4 per cent,” says Luey.
“It’s important that New Zealand’s economy moves up the value chain,” she adds. “We want to see more businesses involved in R&D because that delivers higher value jobs and more innovation.”
Budget 2018 puts $1 billion of operational funding forward for the R&D tax incentive, allowing businesses to claim 12.5 cents back for every dollar they spend on R&D. The incentive will be available for all businesses spending more than $100,000 on R&D.
She points out MYOB’s latest Business Monitor Survey of more than 1,000 local small to medium businesses found 36 per cent do not budget for R&D, while 29 per cent spent less than 1 percent of their revenue on product or service innovation.
“We would encourage all businesses who are involved in R&D to engage with the government’s consultation document currently out for feedback on how the tax incentive scheme should be designed,” says Luey.
“For example, further consideration needs to be given to how to support start-up and high-growth companies. These businesses might currently be making a loss and therefore not paying tax, but should be incentivised to invest more in R&D.”
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