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NZ government to expand cyber defence service

MFN was developed as part of the CORTEX initiative, which provides an advanced cyber defence that goes beyond the capabilities of commercially available products and services. CORTEX protects again 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.

GCSB won’t disclose what organisations are taking part in CORTEX and MFN, but they are identified through the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and include government departments, key economic generators, niche exporters, research institutions and operators of critical national infrastructure.

“I expect over the next two years a substantial number of New Zealand’s nationally significant organisations will have engaged with the GCSB on Malware-Free Networks,” Little says.

The move to extend the MFN is part of a number of announcements made by the Government recently around Cybersecurity. Little is part of the Cabinet External Relations and Security Committee , which also includes Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Attorney General David Parker and Communications Minister Clare Curran.