Australian Ombudsman Releases Cybersecurity Guide for Small Businesses
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Australian Ombudsman Releases Cybersecurity Guide for Small Businesses

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has released a guide on cybersecurity in the hope of helping Australian small businesses deal with and prevent cyber attacks.

According to the guide, small business is the target of 43% of all cybercrimes, while 60% of small businesses who experience a significant cyber breach go out of business within the following 6 months.

At the ASIAL Security Conference last year, ombudsman Kate Carnell stated, “Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and small businesses are particularly vulnerable.”

She also said that small businesses are a prime target for cyber attacks.

“[Cyber criminals] know the big guys have really cool systems and they know the little guys haven’t. Cyber criminals are now attacking small businesses as a result, very, very regularly.”

Carnell acknowledges that while SMEs may not have the time and resources available to focus on cybersecurity, ignoring it is a mistake they cannot afford to make.

“Online threats are just as real as physical threats. Cybersecurity needs to be taken seriously, like having locks on your doors and a burglar alarm.”

87% of small businesses believe their business is safe from cyberattacks because they use antivirus software. However, Carnell stresses that this is not the case.

The guide encourages small business owners to improve their cyber security using three steps: prevention, wellbeing and response. Important tips for securing online business include backing up websites regularly, installing security updates, and communicating safe practice among employees.

Small business owners are urged to inform authorities if they believe an attack has happened.

Useful resources for Australian small business owners can be accessed below:

Stay Smart Online, another guide providing simple tips on protecting your business
Subscribe to the Stay Smart Online Alert Service to keep up to date with security threats
Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents
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