Protecting Our Internet Security

With growing numbers of cybersecurity breaches affecting government agencies, commercial and educational institutions in New Zealand and overseas, it has never been more important for REANNZ to help its members to protect themselves from common routing threats.

Deliberate or accidental attacks on IT systems can result in a ‘Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) – causing outages to online services, internet sites and systems, compromising information security, and threatening the reputations of affected organisations.

And while REANNZ has been working intensely on developing strategies to improve internet security and prevent DDoS for more than a decade, its more recent collaboration with the global internet security initiative MANRS (Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security) has lifted the game.

MANRS provides best practice guidelines for strengthening network security by making sure the information placed into the internet’s official ‘address book’ is accurate. This ensures data is exchanged between the right people.

REANNZ has strengthened its protocols in line with MANRS guidelines. This helps its members to prevent accidental or deliberate security breaches and disruption to internet services.

The special security requirements of our NREN

REANNZ has the unique position of powering Aotearoa’s research and education network through its high performance advanced network, helping members collaborate and contribute to data-intensive and complex research here and across the globe.

We work closely with the other NREN providers across the globe, and our own members here in Aotearoa, to design and maintain a network while protecting it from routing threats.

We were also the first network operator in Aotearoa to be accepted as a participant of the MANRS initiative.

Aaron Murrihy, Technical Lead for Networks at REANNZ, says: “Security best practice is at the forefront of what we do at REANNZ, through our protocols and systems and the partnerships we form. MANRS’ pragmatic and straightforward framework for implementing best practice routing security reflects and expands on our own efforts.

“Alone we’re only able to accomplish so much, but as participation of collaborative routing security initiatives such as MANRS increases, so does the security and reliability of the internet as a whole.”

All of this means that our researchers and educators can confidently focus on what they do best – collaborating and contributing to ground-breaking studies and global science initiatives that help to change the world.

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