THE Federal Government has urged the millions of Australian small businesses to be proactive about their cyber security and to take advantage of the free resources available.
To coincide with Safer Internet Day, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan and Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack have written to Australian business leaders, including Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson and Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell, to reiterate the importance of online security.
"Around 84 per cent of Australian businesses are online and increasingly, millions of small businesses are looking to online platforms to increase their customer base and appeal to the modern requirements of Australian consumers," Mr McCormack said.
"Whilst there are great advantages to online platforms – including websites, social media and EFTPOS facilities – statistics indicate cybercrime can cost Australians more than $1 billion a year, which is why we are heeding caution."
The Turnbull-Joyce Government has released a series of business-specific resources to arm small businesses with information about cyber security, including alert services, tips for protecting businesses in less than five minutes and an easy-to-follow eight step guide for individuals.
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan said cyber security was important for businesses of all sizes.
"If your business uses the internet then you need to make cyber security a priority," Mr Tehan said.
"Businesses can be the targets of ransomware, malicious insiders, business email compromise, threats to industrial control systems, and adversaries with destructive intent.
"Being proactive about your cyber security can protect your businesses intellectual property and reputation, save money and lead to new opportunities."
Business owners can go to the Stay Smart Online website for information about cyber threats and how to improve cyber security.