A spate of ransom computer hacks has hit New Zealand businesses, but hackers could be doing worse damage behind the scenes.
Deloitte partner Anu Nayar said hackers could secretly compromise a computer to steal confidential information and manipulate systems for as long as they liked without being noticed.
Ransomware was typically a hacker’s last move when it had made the most of a business’s assets, he said.
Nayar said such a hack could cause any company to go under by destroying its reputation, and the Government needed to make more small businesses aware of it.
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Communications Minister Simon Bridges, who led the Government’s 2016 Cyber Security Strategy, said he recognised that most small businesses did not have the resources or skills to deal with cyber security.