ZX Security

Introduction to the NZISM

The New Zealand Information Security Manual (NZISM) is the New Zealand Government’s security compliance handbook. It contains both a risk management framework and a number of security controls that NZ government agencies are required to have and that many NZ organisations are encouraged to have.


This NZISM fundamentals course highlights the most significant areas of the NZISM. In particular, this course emphasises the fundamental requirements from the first 5 chapters of the NZISM that includes reporting requirements, risk management and the key roles required to meet the needs of the NZISM. In addition, the second half of the course delves into more detail about the most common area of the NZISM that organisations struggle to match including cryptography requirements, documentation, the system auditing process and organisational security.

Who should attend?

The NZISM fundamental course is suitable for any technical or non-technical staff (e.g. IT professionals, project managers, managers or third-party service providers) from organisations within the New Zealand government, organisations that supply services to NZ government or anyone seeking to comply with government cybersecurity requirements. Previous information security and IT knowledge is helpful, but not required for this course.

It is suggested (but not required) that attendees have:

  • experience with organisation-specific IT infrastructure and practices.
  • an interest in developing a solid understanding of New Zealand and international cybersecurity standards and compliance activities.


  • Half day

Course content

This course will explain the fundamentals of the New Zealand Information Security Manual, including what its purpose is, who it is relevant and useful to and the structure of the document itself. Whilst the NZISM splits security controls into MUST haves and SHOULD haves, This course instead focuses on a core subset of these from both categories that practically reduce organisational risk. This course also explains what all these terms mean, and how to determine which are appropriate for your organisation. The course includes time for open discussion of all areas of the NZISM to ensure that all students have the opportunity to ask questions about specific chapters or controls that are directly relevant to them.

On course completion, you will be able to:

  • Navigate and use the NZISM to obtain specific controls required for your organisation
  • The key requirements to simplify adopting and assessing new controls as they are released
  • Evaluate whether each control is required for your organisation, and understand what may be required in order to comply with it
  • Understand how the NZISM fits alongside other security documentation (such as the PSR, the CERT NZ Critical Controls and the ASD Essential Eight)

The course consists of a live webinar with dedicated time for questions and answers taught by a cybersecurity specialist. Attendees will also be provided with slides and reference materials relevant to the delivered content. Module 1: NZISM Introduction:

  • What is the purpose of the NZISM?
  • The security context of the NZISM
  • Why is risk assessment important to the NZISM?
  • Prioritising compliance activities and budgets

Module 2: Key NZISM concepts

  • NZISM Documentation
  • NZISM Roles and Responsibilities
  • The system audit and certification process
  • Designing systems for security risk assessments

Module 3: NZISM critical controls

  • Organisational security
  • Password policies and use
  • Cryptography
  • Cloud security assessments (Azure, AWS and others)
  • Incident Response