NZ GCSB's CORTEX wins public trust award

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 27 July, 2018

NZ GCSB's CORTEX wins public trust award

The New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau’s (GCSB) CORTEX cybersecurity initiative has won an award for its contribution to building trust and confidence in government.

The Institute of Public Administration of New Zealand (IPANZ) issued the award during the Deloitte IPANZ Public Sector Excellence Awards ceremony in Wellington on Wednesday night.

The CORTEX initiative provides an advanced cyber threat detection and disruption service as well as other capabilities to government and nationally significant private sector organisations.

These capabilities are designed to protect against theft of intellectual property, loss of customer data, destruction or dissemination of private communications, holding data for ransom and damage to IT networks and services.

Participants in the initiative are not disclosed in order to prevent publicly identifying New Zealand’s most valuable targets and exposing them to greater attention from attackers.

But according to the GCSB, protected organisations include “government departments, key economic generators, niche exporters, research institutions and operators of critical national infrastructure”.

“This award recognised the efforts of the GCSB team, particularly the staff in our National Cyber Security Centre, to build and deliver the CORTEX capabilities and to develop and sustain the trusted relationships that enable us to help protect the information and data of New Zealand’s most significant organisations,” GCSB Director-General Andrew Hampton said.

“CORTEX was established in 2014 to provide protection services to government agencies and crucial national infrastructure. There was strong uptake, with nearly all of the organisations offered CORTEX services signing up.”

Hampton said economic models seeking to quantify the benefits of CORTEX capabilities estimated a gross reduced harm benefit of nearly NZ$39.5 million ($36.3 million) in the 2016/17 financial year — and this was before CORTEX was fully implemented.

“We are currently planning for the next stage of delivering our cybersecurity services, with the rollout of a Malware Free Networks capability to a broader range of nationally significant organisations,” Hampton said.

Image credit: ©

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