New Zealand merges cyber agencies

New Zealand's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) has joined with the country’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the first step in creating a lead operational cyber security agency, similar to those in Australia, the UK, and Canada.

“The key thing for our customers to know is that our existing core services continue,” said Lisa Fong, head of the NCSC.

“This initial shift has been designed to minimise disruption to customers, with the move simply transferring CERT NZ’s operations and staff from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to the NCSC.”

“We will shortly begin work to design a new integrated operating model that uses our enhanced scale and capability to provide a stronger cyber security system and improved customer service for New Zealanders,” said Ms Fong.

In the meantime, CERT NZ and NCSC will continue to deliver existing functions. The full merger will be phased in over several years.

CERT NZ, established in 2017, reported $NZ5.8 million of direct financial losses from cyber incidents in the first quarter of 2023.

“While it will take significant time to complete the integration, we hope to find opportunities along the way to leverage the expertise of both CERT NZ and NCSC in the services we provide.”

“Both CERT NZ and NCSC have ambitious programmes of delivery underway, and will continue that work,” CERT NZ Director Rob Pope said.

“We look forward to providing a more integrated range of products and services to New Zealanders.”