Unitec staff and students have teamed up with Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology to develop an internet security system designed to alert users as soon as a breach has been detected.
According to Mandiant's 2013 M-Trends report, the average number of days an internet threat was present in a system before being detected was 299.
Unitec head of computing Hossein Sarrafzadeh said the Red Alert system was designed to reduce that time and let users know immediately when there was a security issue.
"The red alert system is designed to be the last line of defence - after the virus scanner and firewall," Sarrafzadeh said.
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"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."
Red Alert works consistently to detect intrusions in real time rather than needing regular system scans to detect breaches, and can then notify the victim immediately and provide a report, including the type of attack, the part of the network infected and a list of experts who could help resolve the issue.
Sarrafzadeh said the system would act as another layer of defence and could save companies money as well as protecting client information.
Red Alert was launched yesterday at a cyber security event in Auckland.
Sarrafzadeh said cyber attacks often came from multiple sources inside and outside an organisation.
The system would be available free for selected not-for-profit organisations this year before being released to the wider market next year.