Small business flags cybercrime concerns in survey


Wednesday, 22 November, 2017


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Most small businesses rate cybercrime as their third biggest risk, according to a national survey.

More than 1000 small businesses were surveyed, and they overwhelmingly rated cybercrime as a bigger risk than competition, theft, hiring employees and natural disaster.

“One of the most concerning findings of this report is that many small businesses are limiting their online presence to address the risks of cybercrime,” said NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro.

“Two out of five companies surveyed said they are choosing to do less online to avoid the risk of cybercrime, which in itself is a huge risk to the success and growth of their business.

“Small companies need to be engaging fully with the digital economy — doing business online can provide huge opportunities for business growth.”

NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs said the annual cost of cybercrime to Australian businesses is estimated at $1 billion and growing.

“Our survey shows 40% of cybercrime events are costing between $1000 and $5000, and for two out of every three businesses these costs are not recovered,” Hobbs said.

“There’s no doubt cybercrime is a risk, which is why it’s so important that small businesses get informed, make a plan, engage with their service providers and make the most of resources like the Australian Government’s StaySmartOnline service.”

Small businesses are urged to take a few simple steps to reduce the risk of cybercrime. These include making sure they educate and train staff, regularly update virus software, use two-factor identification for emails and payments, and encrypt confidential data.

“The survey found that many SMEs still don’t know where to get help to respond to cybercrime events so I’ll be working together with Small Business Commissioners in other states and with the Australian Government to help raise awareness,” said Hobbs.

The survey attracted 1019 responses between 17 July and 18 August 2017 and is available at http://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au along with other resources from the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner to help small businesses navigate the risks of cybercrime.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/weerapat1003

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