Small businesses urged to up cybersecurity and stay smart online

- October 11, 2018 2 MIN READ

With 43 per cent of all cyberattacks now targeting small business, the government is encouraging SMBs to ‘Stay Smart Online’ as part of a week-long campaign to highlight cybersecurity awareness.

Stay Smart Online Week is the Australian Government’s annual cybersecurity awareness week to promote safer online behaviours. This year, the campaign – Reverse the Threat of cybercrime – is asking business owners to take some actions to improve their cybersecurity and protect their businesses.

As part of the Stay Smart Online Week, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is hosting an information session for SMEs on how to avoid becoming a victim of email scams known as business email compromises.

The information session will be presented by a panel of cybersecurity experts including cybercrime expert Alex Tilley, e-Crime Lead for the Counter Threat Unit at Secureworks.

“When you realise 41 per cent of Australian businesses have no cybersecurity governance, it isn’t surprising they’re being targeted so specifically by cybercriminals. Australian businesses need to act fast and take their cybersecurity as seriously as other commercial risks,” Tilley said.

Tilley suggests there are simple and effective ways Australian business owners and employees can up the ante on their online security today.

“Make sure you and your staff are trained to spot suspicious (phishing) emails – we need to verify sender details before handing over personal or financial information. The days of clicking on the links provided in emails to finalise payments are over.

“Even easier ways to stay protected when connected are ensuring all employees have unique passwords or setting software updates to install automatically. We need to foster a culture where cybersecurity isn’t seen as a nuisance, but instead a valuable investment in our online security”, Tilley said.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the average cost of an online scam for Australian businesses is $10,000, with business email compromise (BEC) the most common form of attack.

BEC, where a cybercriminal impersonates another business representative to trick an employee, customer or vendor into transferring money or sensitive information to the scammer – is particularly damaging for Australia, with more than $20m in associated losses across 2016-17.

Go here to find out more about the Stay Smart Online initiative

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