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Financial advisers get cyber warning

Financial advisers are being warned to ensure they have cyber security systems in place, as the sector comes under cyber attack.

Wednesday, September 2nd 2020, 5:59AM

Over the past week, DDoS attacks have knocked the NZX offline for five consecutive days. On Tuesday, it was revealed that Westpac had also been targeted.

A high cyber security advisory has been issued by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), warning financial services businesses about the current threat and outlining how the attacks could occur.

Affected entities have received ransom emails demanding payment in Bitcoin, along with a threat of a significant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against internet-exposed infrastructure if the ransom is not paid.

The NCSC said financial services firms should review their plans for responding to a DDoS attack to ensure they were up to date, and review their systems architecture to identify any potential points of failure.

Financial Advice NZ chief executive Katrina Shanks said advisers would need to understand how up to date their cyber security processes were and what protections they had in place. And should avoid “being complacent”.

She said there were a lot of options available to businesses that wanted to improve their cyber security. “You do get what you pay for.”

She said there was a risk to consumer confidence when high-profile financial services firms such as the NZX, were repeatedly felled by the attacks.

Tags: cyber security DDoS Katrina Shanks

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