Cert NZ Q1 & Q2 2020 Reports released


The Cert NZ Quarter One (Q1) and Quarter Two (Q2) Report for January – June 2020 has been published. Covid-19 disrupted the activities of all New Zealand businesses and organisations this year. For CERT NZ, it meant the production of the 2020 Q1 report was interrupted. This publication provides a half year picture of the data and trends in 2020, rather than the quarterly focus. “CERT NZ received a greater number of incident reports between January and June, compared with the same period in 2019. Although some incidents were clearly the result of opportunistic cyber attackers taking advantage of the COVID-19 environment, the bulk of the reports were not specifically COVID-19 themed. The increase in reporting is a welcome sign that New Zealanders are becoming more cyber smart and more vigilant online. However, cyber attackers are also increasingly sophisticated, and the need for effective cyber security measures has never been more pressing”

There are two parts to the report:

  1. A Highlights Report focusing on selected cyber security incidents and issues.
  2. A Data Landscape Report providing a standardised set of results and graphs for the quarter.

Accompanying the report is the 2020 Half Year Summary, giving an overview of what CERT NZ has seen and done in 2020.

In assessing the reports, Aaron Bugal, Global Solutions Engineer APJ at Sophos stated “In the latest report from CERT NZ we’ve seen an alarming rise of cyberattacks, with 3,102 incidents being recorded in the first half of the year. The data continues to show us the increasingly targeted nature of attacks, with many attackers taking advantage of COVID-19 to carry out opportunistic COVID themed online scams and phishing attacks.

While quarter after quarter we continue to see attacks become more targeted and frequent, the financial costs also increase. In 2019 alone we saw losses of $16.7 million, which was a more than $2 million increase from the year before. Already in the first half of the year we’ve seen losses of $7.8 million, which indicates 2020 will see similar losses. 

Yet as the cost of a cyberattack continues to rise, New Zealand organisations remain unprepared to defend against growing threats and smarter attackers. Cyberattacks pose a significant financial risk to both the enterprise and the economy. It needs to be a priority for every business. Yet companies’ complacent attitudes mean it still gets treated as an afterthought.