Auckland UIT launches anti-hacking software – makes it available free to NZ non-profits

New Zealand cyber-security is about to get an upgrade with the launch of a new system that alerts organisations as soon as a cyber-attack occurs.

The system, Red Alert, was launched yesterday by Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology and Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).

Several years in the making, Red Alert is designed to help protect computer networks by detecting intrusions, notifying victims, providing details around what type of attack has taken place, and offering a list of experts who can help resolve the issue.

The system is a New Zealand first and will be made available free for selected not-for-profit organisations this year, ahead of a wider release in 2016.

The product has been produced by Japan’s NICT in collaboration with other parties, including Unitec staff and students working on computational intelligence for cyber security.

Unitec head of computing, Hossein Sarrafzadeh, says the Red Alert system will be valuable combating modern cyber-attacks, which can come from a multitude of sources making them difficult to combat.

“The red alert system is designed to be the last line of defence – after the virus scanner and firewall,” he says.

“Cyber threats are changing and developing all the time, and we all know how important it is to be protected against hackers. This system will give companies greater ability to protect their data, and their clients’ data.

“Leveraged together with conventional boundary defence systems, this system is expected to realise improved network security and reduce staffing requirements within organisations.”

Image: Hossein Sarrafzadeh, Unitec head of computing