A new guide to help owners and operators of small businesses protect themselves against cybercrime has been launched today as part of Stay Smart Online Week.

The guide has been developed in response to online criminal activity which is estimated to cost Australian business over $1 billion each year and growing.1

Research commissioned by the Department of Communications and the Arts about the online security practices of Australian small businesses found only two per cent of small business operators reported that protecting their online business information was a priority.

The research also found:

  • Only a quarter of small businesses considered there was a risk of having their electronic system held to ransom and only 38 per cent considered phishing and scams were a threat.
  • 60 per cent of businesses claim to be good at installing anti-virus software but only 48 per cent keep it up to date.
  • Online criminals are increasingly targeting small businesses because it is easier to access their systems.

The Stay Smart Online Small Business Guide has been developed by the Government in collaboration with Australia Post, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and Telstra. The Guide is designed to help small businesses set up basic online security practices.

Stay Smart Online Week aims to raise awareness about the importance of online security among small business, community organisations, families and individuals.

Small business owners can download the guide and subscribe to the free alert service at:www.staysmartonline.gov.au

1 Symantec Norton Report October 2013, cited in the Australian Cyber Security Centre, Threat Report 2015

Mitch Fifield (2015) Stay Smart Online guide for business, Retrieved 13 October 2015. 

 

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