The number of cyber security incidents reported to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) NZ by businesses and individuals in 2019 surged by 38 per cent compared to the previous year’s total, to 4,740.

The annual tally comes as CERT NZ releases its fourth quarter report for the 2019, ending 31 December, with the organisation receiving 1,197 incidents in the final three month period of last year.

Although fourth quarter incidents were down by 12 per cent compared to the preceding quarter, there was an 11 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in phishing and credential harvesting reports to CERT NZ.

The organisation also said it received a cluster of reports of SIM swapping attacks in Q4, where attackers were able to gain access to victims’ online bank accounts. 

“While the number of reports was small…the average financial loss from these attacks was $30,000. Given the potential impact of this type of attack we want to share how to protect yourself and your business,” CERT NZ said.

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