The recent KPMG Cyber Challenge saw 400 people, from 169 New Zealand-based organisations, each of the New Zealand universities and many of the polytechnics, compete in a competition designed to develop and test the cyber security skills of New Zealand IT professionals and cyber security students.

Over the period of a week, participants pitted their skills against more than 750 practical and knowledge-based capture-the-flag style cyber security challenges. The cyber security challenges were developed to suit all skill levels and allowed participants to develop their knowledge and skills in a practical and fun way.

“It was great to see the level of enthusiasm involved, and the feedback has been very positive,” said Philip Whitmore, who leads KPMG’s cyber security practice in New Zealand. “We’re already being asked by participants if they can sign up to next year’s competition.”

“We are facing a shortage of people with cyber security skills in New Zealand, and that’s hampering organisations’ digital transformation journeys. The more we can do to develop people’s skills– those already in the workforce, and those about to enter the workforce – the better,” added Philip. “New Zealand is seen as a soft target and we’re increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals – including those taking advantage of what can be described as a somewhat ‘she’ll be right’ approach to cyber security in some organisations. We need to ensure our workforce is up to speed and continuing to develop their skills. And that’s not just the IT staff; but staff throughout our organisations, from the Boards down.”

The KPMG Cyber Challenge was powered by Immersive Labs, making use of the same innovative platform used for cyber security training at the likes of intelligence agencies, international technology companies and major financial institutions. The Immersive Labs platform takes a unique approach to developing cyber security skills, aligning human capability to the actual cyber risks faced. The hands-on skills content empowers individuals and teams across organisations to build the most relevant cybersecurity expertise, and expand those skills in the face of new challenges

Prizes were won by participants Voy Ivancevic and Matthew Dockerty, who between them completed more than 1,000 of the cyber security challenges over the week.

About KPMG New Zealand

KPMG is focused on fueling New Zealand’s prosperity – for the benefit of all New Zealanders. We believe by helping New Zealand’s businesses succeed, the public sector achieves more and our communities grow, that our country will succeed and prosper. KPMG is one of New Zealand’s leading professional services firms, specialising in Audit, Tax and Advisory services. Our nationwide team of 1,000+ professionals work with private businesses, publicly-listed companies, Government and public sector organisations, and not-for-profits.

About KPMG Cyber

KPMG Cyber provides independent, jargon free cyber security advisory and assurance services. No matter where organisations are on their cyber security journey, KPMG Cyber can help them reach the destination: a place of confidence where they can operate without crippling disruption from a cyber security event. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with clients, KPMG Cyber professionals can help work through strategy and governance, organisational transformation, cyber defense and cyber response.

About Immersive Labs

Immersive Labs is the world’s first human cyber readiness platform. Its technology delivers challenge-based cybersecurity content developed by experts and powered by the latest threat intelligence. Immersive Labs unique approach enables businesses to battle-test and evidence their workforces’ preparedness to face emerging cyber threats.  At the heart of its online platform are labs: cloud-based and story-driven exercises accessible on demand. 

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Philip Whitmore
Partner, KPMG Cyber
Ph: (09) 3675931 or 021654846 Email:

Philip Whitmore - KPMG NZ - Partner

Partner - Cyber Security

KPMG in New Zealand