The Cyber Security Small Business Program will support small businesses across Australia to have their cyber security tested by a provider that has been approved by the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers Australia New Zealand (CREST).
Applications are now open for small and micro businesses (with 19 or fewer employees) to apply for a grant to pay for up to 50 per cent of the cost of a micro, small or standard certified small business check.
Businesses have until June 20, 2019 to apply for a grant.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell welcomed the opportunity for small businesses owners to have access to subsidised cyber security testing, under the Cyber Security Small Business Program.
“Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and Australian statistics show more cyber attacks are hitting small businesses.
“It has been estimated that cybercrime costs Australians more than $1 billion a year.
“Research also shows around one in five small businesses report they have been the target of a cyber attack and over half (56%) either don’t have cyber-crime protection or assume it is covered through their business insurance,” carnell said.
“Small businesses need to understand their anti-virus software only provides a certain level of protection, opening themselves up to loss of data, compromised financial security and identity theft.
“I encourage small businesses to check their eligibility on the Cyber Security Small Business Program website and apply for a cyber security health check as soon as possible.
Depending on the number of devices tested, the maximum grant amount is $2,100 or up to 50% of eligible project costs. The tests will be carried out by providers approved by the council of Registered Ethical Security Testers Australia New Zealand.
Carnell suggested small business owners need to make sure they are aware of cyber risks and have measures in place to prevent and respond to attacks.
“This includes drawing up an online security plan, ensuring their point-of-sale systems are protected, backing-up their data and implementing robust password practices.
“A good starting point to help busy small business owners understand the risks and how to prevent cyber attacks is our Cyber Security Best Practice Guide.”