Cyber attack incidents are on the rise in New Zealand, to the point organisations lost almost $4 million within three months.
New Zealand’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) said between April 1 and June 30 , they responded to more than 1350 cyber security incidents, resulting in $3.9 million of direct financial loss.
Of the reports to CERT, there was a jump in the number of ransomware incidents (from 12 in the first three months of the year, to 30 between April and June).
The number of phishing and credential harvesting reports to CERT dropped by five per cent from the previous quarter. It remains the most common category of reported incidents, with 618 reports.
The second most frequent category of reports includes cyber attacks involving scams and fraud.
CERT NZ director Rob Pope urged organisations not to pay ransoms.
“Paying the ransom does not guarantee that your files will be recovered and if an attacker sees you are willing to pay, it may also open you up to future attacks,” he said.
“If you believe you have been a target of ransomware, isolate your machines by disconnecting cords and router, seek the assistance of an IT provider, and please report the incident confidentially to CERT NZ – we’re here to help.”
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that attackers use. Their aim is to access the computers and systems to encrypt files, and then demand a ransom to have them recovered.
Cyber attackers usually target business and organisations with ransomware.
“These types of attacks can result in data loss and significantly impacted operations as the affected organisation often has to go offline to recover systems and files,” Pope said.
He said the best thing organisations can do to prevent being the target of a ransomware attack is to take proactive steps to keep their data safe.