SME businesses at risk of cybercrime

Tuesday, 16 May, 2017

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Cybercrime has affected almost one third of businesses in NSW, according to a data from the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.

The survey of 1400 small and medium-sized businesses indicates that around half of the companies surveyed felt their limited online presence made them less exposed to cybercrime.

However, even companies who have just a basic website with their contact details can be at risk.

“Doing business online can open up huge opportunities, but small businesses need to take full account of the risks — for example, something as simple as using email every day or taking a phone call can present a big cybersecurity risk to any business,” said NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs.

“Research shows around half of cybersecurity incidents target small businesses and almost 60% of cybercrime impacts small and medium-sized businesses.

“Our survey shows two out of three small firms in NSW said they felt well informed about the risks of cybercrime and 80% of companies said they felt they could respond to a security breach — making them more confident than most ASX-listed companies.

“Going digital can be a fantastic way of growing your business, but there’s no room for complacency — the risks are real and we’re encouraging small businesses to be aware and stay safe.”

The survey shows small businesses remain concerned about a variety of cybersecurity events, including fraudulent emails or phone calls, social media hacking, online banking fraud, crypto-ransomware and malware.

“They also want help when it comes to tackling cybercrime — more than 90% said they needed risk management tools to assist in protecting them from cybercrime,” Hobbs said.

“Some simple ways for small businesses to manage cyber risks to their business include educating and training staff, continuously updating software, using two-factor identification for emails and payments, encrypting important customer files.”

Businesses can also access the NSW Government’s Business Connect program and its team of specialist digital business advisors by calling 1300 134 359.

For more information and to see the full report, visit

Image credit: © Kilasonia

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