Australian Government Releases Cyber Security Best Practice Guide for Small Businesses
The Australian Small Business & Family Enterprise Ombudsman has recemtly published a Cyber Security Best Practice Guide in order to help Australian small business operators prevent, or better prepare for cyber attacks.
Noting that around 60 percent of small businesses that experienced a significant cyber breach went out of business within 6 months, Ombudsman Kate Carnell said business operators could not afford to be complacent about cyber security.
Surveys have found that around 87 percent of small firms think that antivirus software alone is enough to keep them protected.
It should not be forgotten that cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated & small firms are particularly vulnerable.
“Online threats are just as real as physical threats. Cyber security needs to be taken seriously, like having locks on your doors and a burglar alarm,” said Ombudsman Kate Carnell.
Ms Carnell said the guide made by her office suggests getting advice from a trusted adviser.
“Accountants, IT specialists and skilled family or friends are the go-to sources.
“There are also useful websites like www.staysmartonline.gov.au that provide simple, easy-to-understand advice.”
According to Carnell, small firms should not be afraid of “going online” because the opportunities as well as benefits could be immense.
“Many small businesses have successfully blended their physical and virtual shopfronts to establish sustainable operating models,” she said.
“It would be an incredible shame if small businesses shut themselves out of the online market because of fears about cybersecurity. There are risks attached to most activities, even crossing the road. Taking sensible precautions broadens opportunities and heightens the rewards,” said Ombudsman Kate Cornell.
The guide provides 3 “quick steps to serenity”: Prevention, well-being, as well as response.
It encourages all small firms to undertake regular backups, patch applications, use two-step authentication, use complex passwords as well as to limit access to administrator accounts & sensitive information.
The guide also asks small firms to communicate safe practice & talk frequently about cybersecurity within the workplace, install trusted applications as well as browse safe sites.
Carnell said that many Australian small-to-medium enterprises believe that cyber criminals would target the “big guys”. But, this is not the truth.
“They know the big guys have really cool systems and they know the little guys haven’t,” she explained.