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Small business lost an average of $9,000 to cyberattacks this year

As Cyber Security Awareness Month draws to a close, small businesses are being encouraged to check their cyber fitness and reduce the risks of working online with a new toolkit from Business Queensland.

The Cyber Security Self-Help toolkit, available online from today, helps small businesses better manage the cyber security elements of running their business.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said Cyber Security Awareness Month was an ideal time for a business health check to identify the risks and implement regular activities to boost cyber fitness.

“Technology plays an important role in business today and can be used to improve efficiencies and productivity, but it also carries risk,” Minister Farmer said.

“Due to COVID-19, more and more businesses are communicating, working and offering services online.

“Small businesses are at the heart of the Palaszczuk Government’s $14.5 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, and this is another way we are working to support them.

“According to small business cybersecurity specialists Cynch, in the past year two out of five Australian small businesses have suffered from an online security incident which can cause significant disruptions.

“Small businesses don’t need other interruptions right now, so making sure you are cyber safe should be a high priority for business owners.

“The Australian Cyber Security Centre Annual Cyber Threat Report 2020-21 says Australians made more than 67,000 cybercrime reports totalling more than $33 billion last year – small businesses made a higher number of reports than the previous financial year, each losing an average of almost $9000.

“Queenslanders reported 30 percent of all cybercrimes.”

Minister Farmer said there were simple things all businesses could do to avoid incidents like phishing scams and password attacks.

“Business Email Compromise made up nearly seven percent of cybercrime reports in 2020-21, and the average loss per successful email transaction increased by 54 percent from $32,935 to $50,673,” Minister Farmer said.

“Just like we have regular health check-ups to improve our own wellbeing and fitness – business health checks to review and improve operations means everyone can be cyber-fit.

“Regularly checking your technology for unusual activity is one way to improve your cyber safety, or it may be many months before an issue is detected, making recovery much harder.”

Minister Farmer said the Palaszczuk Government was also investing in training cybersecurity specialists through TAFE Queensland.

“You can currently train for cybersecurity qualifications at campuses across the state, from FNQ right down to the Gold Coast,” Minister Farmer said.

“We are also investing nearly $10 million for new cybersecurity training facilities in Cairns, Mooloolaba and Southbank.”

The Cyber Security Self Help toolkit was developed in partnership with Cynch, specialists in cyber security for small business, and the Queensland Cyber Security Innovation Node. The Node is part of the AustCyber-backed Australian network co-funded with the Queensland Government.

 

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