How cyber aware is your small business?

Almost 50% of SMEs nationwide limit their online presence to only a business website and contact details and social media.

Cyber Aware National Report

The NSW Small Business Commissioner has partnered in a national 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 to investigate cyber security awareness amongst small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Australia. The partnership resulted in the Cyber Aware National Report, released in November 2017.

This follows the Cyber Scare report (May 2017) by the NSW Small Business Commissioner, which detailed the result of its study into NSW business attitudes and views of cybercrime.

The emergence of digital technology as a global, shared infrastructure has contributed to a growing risk of cyber security events or cybercrime. Cyber security events, previously unknown or rare in the 1990s, now occur globally, every second that an organisation operates online.

The national survey shows that 40% of cybercrime events are costing between $1,000 and $5,000 and for two out of every three businesses these costs are not recovered.

Cyber Scare NSW report, May 2017

Top tips for protecting your business against cyber crime

Passphrase: 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.

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 up 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.

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

How does cyber crime affect small businesses?

Watch the video below to learn how cyber crime can affect small businesses.

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