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Govt cyber security spend welcome – Dr Ian Welch

Posted in Reflections On Science on June 20th, 2016.

In the New Zealand Herald Victoria University Wellington cyber security researcher Dr Ian Welch welcomes increased government investment in cyber security.

Fiber-OpticAn excerpt (read in full here)

Ian Welch: Waging war on hackers a daunting arms race

The Government has released its new defence policy with a budget of $20 billion. The plan covers the next 15 years and in addition to replacing hardware over that time, as you’d expect, it includes the creation of a cyber security system. This is good news – we need a cyber security system, but more importantly, we also need a lot more people learning about cyber security.

Recent US figures point to more than 169 million personal records being exposed in 2015, across the financial, business, education, government and healthcare sectors.

The now infamous Panama Papers represent the world’s largest ever data breach, with 11.5 million documents that were stored in the computer systems used by Mossack Fonseca – the law firm that was a primary conduit for world leaders and corporations seeking off-shore tax havens – being leaked.

We might see this particular data breach as a good thing because of the pressure it has placed on governments around the world to address tax havens. However we might not have been so happy to see ordinary individuals’ phone records or tax records being stolen and unfortunately the problems that allowed the Panama Papers to be stolen are not unique, they are found in many commercial and government systems.

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