Remote Work: Cyber Safety Concerns in New Zealand
The cost of living and cyber security concerns have placed New Zealand at #34 on the list of best countries for remote work, according to a survey from the Global Remote Work Index (GRWI), which says that the country punches above its weight, but concerns relegate its country position in the Index.
Denmark took the top position in the survey, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.
Cyber safety was one of the main negatives to emerge from the survey so far as New Zealand is concerned, noting that “although its legal measures and response capacity to cyber threats fare decently, the overall infrastructure in this dimension could benefit from bolstering, as evidenced by its 47 position.”
The media release for the GRSI survey is below –
New Zealand is the number 34 country for remote work, according to new research by cybersecurity company NordLayer. Last year, the company created the Global Remote Work Index (GRWI), which reveals the best and worst countries to work remotely in terms of four different criteria: cyber safety, economic safety, digital and physical infrastructure, and social safety.
This year, NordLayer evaluated 108 countries compared to 66 last year. Here are the top 10 countries that are best for remote work according to this year’s data:
- The Netherlands
The full list is available here: https://nordlayer.com/global-remote-work-index/
The index was compiled by assessing and comparing countries using four index dimensions. Under each dimension are various attributes (sub-dimensions) that, combined, help evaluate general remote-work attractiveness:
1. Cyber safety — infrastructure, response capacity, and legal measures.
2. Economic safety — tourism attractiveness, English language proficiency, cost of living, and healthcare.
3. Digital and physical infrastructure — internet quality and affordability, e-infrastructure, e-government, and physical infrastructure.
4. Social safety — personal rights, inclusiveness, and safety.
How does New Zealand rank?
Positioned at 34 globally, New Zealand reveals a diverse performance across the evaluated dimensions. Economically, the nation punches well above its weight, securing a splendid 5 rank worldwide.
Key drivers behind this strong showing include its unparalleled English proficiency, where it stands unsurpassed at first place, coupled with noteworthy achievements in tourism attractiveness and healthcare, ranking 8 and 10, respectively.
Furthermore, the nation’s digital and physical infrastructure earns commendable recognition, particularly in e-infrastructure and e-government, both capturing the 14 spot.
On the social front, New Zealand’s commitment to personal rights is globally unmatched, holding first position, supplemented by an impressive 11 rank in inclusiveness.
Despite its laudable achievements, New Zealand faces challenges, particularly in cyber safety, where it lags at 62 globally. Although its legal measures and response capacity to cyber threats fare decently, the overall infrastructure in this dimension could benefit from bolstering, as evidenced by its 47 position.
Another pressing concern is the cost of living, which, at a rank of 90, indicates a relatively high living expense burden for its inhabitants. While not dismal, the country’s safety rank at 48 suggests room for improvement in creating a safer environment for its people.
New Zealand — personal rights leader in the region and globally
New Zealand holds the 62 position in cyber safety, with Australia outperforming at the 35 spot. Although New Zealand’s response capacity is commendable (24), Australia demonstrates stronger cyber infrastructure, placing seventh.
Economically, both countries are neck-and-neck. New Zealand is fifth globally in economic safety, closely trailed by Australia at fourth. Both nations excel in English proficiency, securing the top spot. In the realm of digital and physical infrastructure, New Zealand stands at 19 while Australia is slightly ahead at 18. Australia’s e-government services are ranked seventh, indicating a robust online administrative framework.
Socially, New Zealand’s dedication to personal rights shines, securing first place globally. In contrast, Australia sits at 22 for personal rights. Both countries value inclusiveness, with New Zealand and Australia ranking 11 and 14, respectively. However, New Zealand lags in general safety at 48, while Australia is positioned at 53, indicating room for improvement in both nations.
Practice good cybersecurity habits
“Even though some of the big tech companies recently brought their employees back to the office or introduced a hybrid work model, remote work is here to stay. It’s not just a trend — it is a fundamental shift in how we approach productivity and work-life balance. Embracing remote work empowers our teams to harness their full potential, regardless of geographical boundaries,” notes Donatas Tamelis, managing director at NordLayer.
For people interested in remote work, Tamelis recommends practicing several good cybersecurity practices:
- Always use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your internet connection and helps protect your personal information from prying eyes. It is especially crucial when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.
- Also, ensure that all your devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, have the latest software updates installed. These updates often include security patches that can help protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Be cautious with public Wi-Fi and avoid accessing sensitive information such as online banking or entering passwords on public Wi-Fi networks unless you are using a VPN. Hackers can easily intercept data on unsecured networks.
- Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible for your email accounts, social media profiles, and other online services you use while traveling. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification during login.
- Use strong and unique passwords. Create strong passwords for each of your online accounts and avoid using the same password across multiple platforms. Consider using a password manager like NordPass to securely store and generate complex passwords.
“In the age of remote work, cybersecurity is not just an option. It’s a critical necessity to safeguard our data and protect our organization from evolving cyber threats. Working remotely opens up new opportunities, but it also exposes us to potential security risks. Cybersecurity vigilance is our first line of defense,” says Tamelis from NordLayer.
Methodology: The Global Remote Work Index by NordLayer was conducted based on four dimensions that focus on countries’ cyber safety, economic conditions, digital and physical infrastructure, and social safety. Here you can find the full methodology: https://nordlayer.com/global-remote-work-index/2023/methodology/
NordLayer provides flexible and easy-to-implement cybersecurity tools for businesses of any size or work model developed by the standard of NordVPN. We help organizations secure networks in a stress-free way. NordLayer enhances internet security and modernizes network and resource access with technical improvements aligning with the best regulatory compliance standards. Helping organizations to adopt ZTNA and SWG principles, NordLayer is focused on the Security Service Edge of cybersecurity services. Quick and easy to integrate with existing infrastructure, hardware-free, and designed with ease of scale in mind, NordLayer meets the varying growth pace and ad-hoc cybersecurity requirements of agile businesses and distributed workforces today.