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Growing cyber-awareness

Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you’re immune to cyber attack. Losing control of your online systems can have big consequences.

The Cyber Aware National Report was released in November 2017. It’s a collaborative effort to investigate cyber security awareness amongst small and medium-sized enterprises in Australia.

The NSW Small Business Commissioner partnered in the study with the Victorian, South Australian and Western Australian Small Business Commissioners, the Queensland Small Business Champion, and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

We rely on digital technology now more than ever, and this has resulted in a growing risk of cybercrime. The national survey shows that 40% of cybercrime events are costing between $1,000 and $5,000. For most businesses, these costs aren’t recovered.

The first step is awareness, so stay informed:

There’s also some simple actions you can take right now, and in the daily operations of your business and your digital systems:


Use a catchphrase or passphrase, rather than just a password, and use a password management system. Cybercriminals are smart and can guess single word and number combinations in seconds.

Make a back-up:

Back up your important business data to a separate and secure location, such as a cloud based service or external hard drive. Do it regularly and verify backups are correct.

Software applications:

Make sure your software applications are kept up-to-date by enabling automatic updates to install latest security patches.

Toolbox talks:

Train your team with toolbox talks to speak up about suspicious emails.

Cloud-based platforms:

Move your corporate emails to a cloud-based email service and resist the temptation to blend personal and business accounts. This will assist in malware prevention and separate out your own personal subscriptions that may be higher risk.

Security Software:

Install security software to prevent unauthorised connections and scan regularly for malware.

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