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(ISC)² Auckland Chapter - October 2018 - Building the Bob Semple Cyber Tank

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Deloitte Auckland

Floor 18

80 Queen Street

Auckland, Auckland 1010

New Zealand

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New Zealand, 1940. As World War II fighting draws ever closer, the prospect of a Japanese invasion looms large and the country finds itself vulnerable and virtually defenceless.

Unable to source armoured vehicles from the United Kingdom, the country turns to legendary Kiwi ingenuity and develops a home made fighting vehicle using just the equipment at hand.

Rt Hon. Robert Semple, Minister of Public Works and National Service, is inspired by an American design to turn bulldozers into tanks that will help defend New Zealand from enemy invasion.

The Bob Semple Tank is born!

Faced with impending invasion, engineers worked hard to adapt a civilian vehicle for military purposes. The end result was certainly slow and heavy but Semple defended the concept stating:

“instead of sitting down and moaning we felt we ought to do something to manufacture weapons that would help to defend our country and our people”

So what does this tale have to do with cybersecurity?

New Zealand is a country of small businesses. 97% of enterprises – 499, 944 in total according to MBIE’s 2017 statistics - have fewer than 20 employees but contribute more than a quarter of the country’s GDP.

Almost a quarter (24%) of New Zealand small businesses have been hit by cyber crime according to Symantec’s latest SMB Cyber Security Survey with the average financial loss sitting at $16,000.

Many of these small businesses will be operating on the proverbial “smell of an oily rag” with cybersecurity far down the list of priorities for business owners focused on keeping the lights on and the cash flowing.

It’s in this environment that many small businesses will find themselves operating below the ‘security poverty line’ – a concept first identified by Wendy Nather in 2011 and used to describe the point below which a company cannot effectively protect itself from cybersecurity threats.

In a recent UK survey of small business owners, more than a third of respondents stated that they were operating at or below this line with many small companies believing that security is too expensive and that they lack the knowledge on how to combat cyber threats. Thirty eight percent admitted that they will spend nothing at all to protect themselves.

In this environment, with reports of cybercrime and security incidents continuing to increase, the ISC2 Auckland Chapter will this month be looking for willing volunteers to put their skills, ideas and experience to good use and turn their hand to assembling a Bob Semple Cyber Tank – literally constructing a good defensive posture for the average NZ small business using what IT resources they can lay their hands on.

We’ll be comparing the guidance and recommendations from a number of security control frameworks and looking to identify the value for money, big impact items that will help keep the average small business safe and secure. What should be bought first with a budget of $500 or $5000? AV, DNS filtering, staff training, cloud backups? All ideas will be welcome.

If you’re keen to take the security equivalent of the Coke vs. Pepsi taste test (pitting NIST vs. ASD Essential Eight vs. CIS vs. CERT’s Ten Critical Controls and more) and to share your views on how to solve a number of real world case studies then register now to attend for free.

Instead of sitting down and moaning about the state of security, come bring your business thinking and best ideas and help us construct something to help defend our small businesses.

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Date and Time

Location

Deloitte Auckland

Floor 18

80 Queen Street

Auckland, Auckland 1010

New Zealand

View Map

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