Businesses threatened by cyber-attacks

  • 04/12/2015

Businesses need to start sharing information about cyber threats or risk being left behind, the Institute of Directors says.

The group's chief executive, Simon Arcus, has called for the Government to help develop a sharing hub for companies to be able to discuss attacks and threats between each other.

"Cybercrime losses are in the millions, and information sharing on attacks is a way to combat these threats," he said.

"Many companies have no forum to share data and there is often a reluctance to discuss attacks. This puts commercial data at risk, where a combined response to threats will be a major advantage and drive down costs."

The Institute called on the Government to act quickly on the matter.

"We need to see a breathless pace of action from Government with a fresh, energised framework for engagement in place," Mr Arcus said.

But he said it was important the Government didn't run or own the sharing hubs, but rather just acted as a facilitator.

New Zealand businesses were given a harsh score on cyber security in an international report by Australia's Strategic Policy Institute last month.

The report's authors describe New Zealand businesses as ill-prepared, giving the sector a six out of 10.

"New Zealand businesses are inadequately prepared to protect themselves from cyber threats and have no intention to invest further in cyber security," the report said.

"While the New Zealand Government's efforts are notable, New Zealand's score in this category is reduced because there doesn't appear to be a good level of two-way dialogue between government and the private sector."