The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) welcomes additional measures announced by the Federal Government to boost cyber awareness and resilience for small business. New programs include:
A voluntary cyber health-check program, which will allow businesses to undertake a free, tailored self-assessment of their cyber security maturity; and
The new Small Business Cyber Resilience Service, which will provide one-on-one assistance to help small businesses navigate their cyber challenges, including the steps to recover from a cyber-attack.
COSBOA CEO Luke Achterstraat said that the practical initiatives were welcomed at a time when cyber risk remained a high concern for small business.
“43% of all cyber-crimes are targeted towards small businesses, with attacks costing the small business sector an estimated $2 billion a year. The average financial loss due to business-compromised email has risen to over $50,000 per incident which itself can be terminal for many small businesses.
“Small business owners and employees are time-poor and often inadequately prepared for cyber threats. These programs open the door for small businesses to have the cyber conversation, receive a diagnosis and be referred to appropriate courses of action.
“These measures complement the Cyber Wardens program being administered by COSBOA that will upskill 60,000 small business employees in coming years with Commonwealth support.
“You don’t need to be an IT guru to take practical steps to reduce your cyber risk. There is a range of immediate measures including better password management, multi-factor authentication, patch management and data backups to reduce both the likelihood and severity of an attack”, Mr Achterstraat said.
“Cyber-attacks often target various employees of a small business, so it is critical that a team mindset is adopted, and training is undertaken at an organisation-wide level”.
COSBOA notes the mandatory reporting obligations for ransomware attacks announced by the federal government and welcomes the development of a single online reporting portal to help business navigate mandatory obligations.
“Small businesses require ease-of-use, and for reporting obligations to exist all under the one roof – only with reduced red-tape will small businesses be able to understand and execute their reporting responsibilities”.
COSBOA looks forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government to help protect small businesses from cyber risk and to ensure small business plays its role in the national strategy”.
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