The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has released a cybersecurity guide to educate business operators about the risks and help them prevent cyberattacks.
Noting that 60% of small firms that experienced a cyber breach went out of business within the following six months, Ombudsman Kate Carnell said operators couldn’t afford to be complacent about cyber security.
“Surveys have shown that 87% of small businesses believe antivirus software alone is enough to keep them safe,” she said.
“Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and small businesses 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.”
Ms Carnell said the handy guide produced 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.”
Carnell said small businesses shouldn’t be afraid of “going online” because the opportunities and 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.”
For more information visit www.asbfeo.gov.au/cybersecurity