I am pleased, as the new Minister for Communications, to take on Ministerial responsibility for cyber security policy and CERT NZ.
The Government has an ambitious Strategy to address the increasing risk to New Zealanders, businesses and government agencies, from cybercrime and other online threats.
My emphasis is on enabling economic growth, including through digital innovation. Cyber incidents cost our economy and reduce our competitive advantages.
One of my early tasks in this new role is to release the first report on implementing the Cyber Security Strategy Action Plan. You can expect to see this report shortly.
It demonstrates the range of actions underway to improve New Zealand’s cyber security.
My number one cyber security priority is the establishment of a national CERT. It will sit at the centre of New Zealand’s cyber security architecture as the first place to report cyber incidents and as an authority on preventing and responding to cyber threats.
CERT NZ will be operational in the first half of this year.
New Zealanders with a cyber security issue will be able to report this to CERT NZ, which will then help them understand the problem or refer them to the most relevant organisation. CERT NZ will also share advice on preventing threats and mitigating incidents.
A national CERT is the internationally recognised primary point of contact for cyber security matters. CERTs also work closely with the international CERT network to prevent and respond to cyber security incidents and address cybercrime.
Other priorities for 2017 include the establishment of a cyber credentials scheme to help small businesses improve their online security. A taskforce – including representatives from academia and industry – has also been set up to help build New Zealand’s cyber security workforce.
The Connect Smart partnership plays an important role in cyber security. It is essential that the private and public sector work together to address this challenge to our national economy and security.
I look forward to working with you to achieve a secure, resilient and prosperous online New Zealand.
Hon Simon Bridges
Minister for Communications