New Zealand government reveals cybersecurity strategy

Less than a week after the Australian Federal Government announced plans for a Cyber White Paper, New Zealand authorities have followed suit with a cybersecurity strategy.

The strategy, available from the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development (MED) website outlines a number of priorities including plans to partner with industry and non-government organisations to improve access to cybersecurity information, the establishment of a national cybersecurity centre, implementing steps to improve cybersecurity practices across government, and incident response and planning.

In May, the New Zealand Parliament website was the subject of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack by hacktivist group ,Anonymous, after the group specifically voiced protest over the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill passed in April. The group took offence to elements such as the deactivation of the Internet accounts of repeat copyright infringers for six months and fines of up to $NZ15,000.

Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Steven Joyce, said in a statement that cybersecurity was increasingly important to New Zealanders, business and government.

“Criminal elements are increasingly using the Internet to gain access to personal information, steal business’ intellectual property, undermine critical services and gain knowledge of sensitive government held information for financial or other malicious purposes," said Joyce.

"New Zealand’s cybersecurity strategy is the government’s strategic response to the growing cyber threat. It brings forward targeted initiatives aimed at improving cybersecurity for individuals, businesses, critical national infrastructure and government."

According to Joyce, the actions contained in the strategy would significantly improve New Zealand’s cybersecurity response and create a strong platform which it could build from to meet new security challenges as they emerge.

The strategy was developed in consultation with unnamed industry and government cybersecurity experts, non-government organisations, academia and security partners.

The Office of Communications and Information Technology has been contacted for comment by Computerworld Australia

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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