Almost 600,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Australia will soon have access to free advice and assistance to upgrade their cyber security. The Cyber Security Business Connect and Protect Program is providing $6.9 million in funding to 14 trusted organisations that will work directly with businesses to identify security risks and help them take active steps to secure their systems.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said building digital security and capability among SMEs is a Government priority and vital to our continuing economic prosperity and development.
“SMEs make up 99 per cent of all Australian businesses and employ about half our workforce, so it is essential to our economy and national security that SMEs continue to expand and improve their digital capabilities in a secure way,” Minister Porter said.
“The assistance provided through this grant program will support businesses in recognising cyber risks and opportunities, particularly in the wake of the strong digital uptake during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The 14 organisations receiving funding will provide support to businesses in both regional and metropolitan areas in every state and territory.
One of the projects to receive funding is Western Sydney University’s Oz Cyber Security Aid Centre in Parramatta, which has received a $745,920 grant. The university will partner with four NSW cyber security companies to set up an online call line and physical Cyber Security Aid Centre.
The grants support the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 and its vision of creating a more secure online world for Australians, their businesses and the essential services upon which we all depend.
The grants will also leverage the newly released Cyber Security Assessment Tool, available on business.gov.au. This tool is free to use for all SMEs and provides easy to follow, actionable advice on how to secure your business from cyber security threats.