New Zealand is not exempt to major security risks which could impinge on the economy and livelihood as a nation, NZ Tech chief executive Graeme Muller says.
He will chair a major New Zealand Security Summit in Wellington on October 17 which will look at bringing cybersecurity to the forefront of national leaders at senior executive levels.
“We need to understand the multi-dimensional nature of cyber threats and key issues that government and private sector face.,” Muller says. “Cyber risks are a borderless challenge.”
The NZTech summit will bring together leaders from industry, government, academics and experts in the cyber security space.
“The think-tank will look at national preparedness on cyber security issues at the forefront of leadership strategy across the country,” Muller explains.
“The summit is a multi-stakeholder event to encourage active engagement against cyberattacks through education and collaboration.” Cybercrime is rising and is increasingly being identified as a top threat to New Zealand, as criminals, rogue nations and others in the dark net seek to strike and disrupt at any moment.
“We must seek to reinforce our cyber security gates to ensure that our businesses and lives are safeguarded from damage and disruption that could wreak havoc if the right information gets into the wrong hands.”
The October 17 event looks at the intersection where public and private sectors must meet to join together in defending against cyberattacks from the outset.
Among the speakers are KPMG cyber security senior manager Caroline Carver, Foodstuffs South Island chief information officer Phil Wright,
Vodafone head of security Colin James, Ministry of Justice senior security specialist Lana Tosic, Air New Zealand chief information security officer Frederick Laury and Xero heading of security Paul MacPherson.
The effective and safe use of information technology has the potential to deliver incredible benefits to the New Zealand economy by enabling greater efficiency and productivity.
The technology industry is fast becoming a significant source of export revenues for the country accounting for at least $6.3 billion in exports last year.
Muller says for New Zealand to grow its economy through digital exports, it needs to have trusted, reliable and secure ICT environments.
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.
Small to medium enterprises, in particular, are seen as being most vulnerable to both actual threats and fears over perceived threats.
The NZTech summit in October is crucial for New Zealand businesses and other organisations, Muller insists. “New Zealand companies and organisations this year face a 22 percent chance of a cybersecurity breach.”
Cybersecurity is a growing risk globally and research shows that the incidence of malicious cyberattacks is increasing rapidly. “This has become big business for criminals and a major cost for businesses,” Muller says.