SecurityBrief New Zealand - Technology news for CISOs & cybersecurity decision-makers
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NZ IT decision-makers woefully underprepared for cyber risks
Thu, 9th Mar 2023
FYI, this story is more than a year old

New Zealand IT decision-makers are woefully underprepared for cyber risks, a new study has revealed.

Security awareness training and simulated phishing platform KnowBe4 found New Zealand IT decision-makers are underprepared regarding risks to the business from phishing and BEC (Business Email Compromise also known as CEO Fraud). 

Surprisingly, only a third (32%) of Kiwi IT decision-makers say they are concerned about phishing as a risk to their organisation, while even fewer are concerned about BEC (27%). 

When asked to determine whether example emails and SMS were real or fake, only 5% of Kiwi IT decision-makers were able to correctly identify them all. In addition, a quarter (25%) of Kiwi IT decision-makers use their work phones for personal activity (7% higher than indicated by office workers) and 23% use their work email address for personal activity. 

"When those charged with keeping a business secure are unaware of the risks and unable to identify scam emails and SMS messages, their organisations are at significant risk," says Jacqueline Jayne, Security Awareness Advocate for APAC at KnowBe4. 

"According to Consumer Protection NZ, Kiwis lost a combined total of $183.5 million to scams in 2022 (up a massive 40% on the previous year). If those in charge of security are unaware of best practices, then they cannot educate and train employees," she says.

"When employees are using their work email address for personal activities such as online shopping, they are much more likely to fall victim to a phishing attack that uses a hook such as delivery delays to entice the victim to click through. Having a clear separation between work and personal activities makes it much easier to spot when an email is a scam if you know you never shop online using your work email address, then you know that email from Amazon cannot be real."

Data breach protocol 

Alarmingly, only four in ten (40%) IT decision-makers say they are confident they would know the steps they would need to take following a cyber incident or data breach in their organisation. 

Furthermore, just four in ten Kiwi IT decision-makers believe the employees in their organisations understand the business impact of falling victim to a cyber attack (42%), are confident their employees can identify phishing and BEC emails (36%) and that their employees report all emails they believe to be suspicious (36%). 

Security investment 

Nearly three quarters (73%) of Kiwi IT decision-makers say they plan on investing in/spending money towards cybersecurity in 2023. 

Those who plan on investing in/spending money towards cybersecurity in 2023: 

Are most likely to be investing in/spending money on new cybersecurity software solutions (58%), followed by a cybersecurity awareness training program with ongoing and relevant content (55%)  Other areas of investment include cybersecurity insurance (49%), employee policy changes related to cybersecurity (44%), further investment in infrastructure (39%) and simulated phishing and social engineering for end users (36%)