ACSC Small Business Survey: tell us about your cyber security challenges
The havoc caused by someone maliciously entering online and IT systems by hacking and other cybercrime is immediate and costly, for business owners, customers and suppliers throughout the economy.
Around 25 per cent of Australian small to medium enterprises experienced a cybercrime in 2017 1. In a 2017 survey, small business operators rated cybercrime as the third biggest risk to their business 2.
For a big business with access to extensive IT support and resourcing, a cyber security incident can be a bad day for business. For a small business, such as a café, medical practice or tradesperson, with tight running costs and much fewer staff, it can be their last day of business.
The theft of funds and assets, including intellectual property, can be devastating, leaving hefty remediation bills and irreparable damage to a business’s customer base, reputation and bottom line.
The ACSC knows that having good cyber security protection in place is as essential as good physical security. It’s even more important when we consider that most small businesses in Australia today rely on some form of digital connectivity to operate.
The ACSC receives reports on a daily basis from business owners and operators around the country who’ve been hit by a cyber security incident. From paying false invoices to scammers, through to staff inadvertently clicking on suspicious links that bring a business’s entire system down – the reports are alarming and growing.
In this constantly changing environment where more and more businesses are being hit by cybercrime and more business leaders and workers are talking about ‘cyber security’, we are keen for the small business community to tell us what cyber security means to them.
The ACSC Small Business Survey is being shared with a range of government and small business support groups around Australia, inviting members and stakeholders to participate.
The survey is an opportunity to share the challenges small businesses face and to know what they’re worried about, so we can help businesses of all kinds manage risks and minimise harm to their business, staff and customers.
For the Head of the ACSC, Lt General John Frewen, listening to Australia’s small business community to better understand this important sector’s concerns and needs – even what they think ‘cyber security’ means – is vital.
‘The ACSC Small Business Survey will provide a real-time snapshot of what’s happening on the ground in the some 2.3 million small businesses operating in Australia today, and help us to prioritise the information we develop for this diverse and prevalent sector of the economy.’
The survey results will assist the ACSC to better understand the types of challenges confronting small businesses, so we can develop tailor made products and advice to specifically address their needs.
Products including how-to guides and a new Small Business Guide, with easy-to-understand cyber security advice, will help businesses manage cyber security risks on a day-to-day basis.
NSW Small Business Commissioner, Robyn Hobbs OAM, knows too well the impacts of cyber security incidents on small businesses.
‘Falling victim to cybercrime can be absolutely devastating for small business owners, taking a toll not only on the business, but also on their emotional and mental health,’ Ms Hobbs said.
Founder and CEO of the Small Business Association of Australia, Anne Nalder, echoes Ms Hobbs’ sentiments, and urges small businesses to take part in the survey to help the ACSC deliver increasingly targeted advice and assistance.
‘Small business owners need to understand what a cyber security incident is, how it can affect their business, the different types of cyber threats and how they can develop strong defences against those threats.’
South Australia’s Small Business Commissioner, John Chapman, reiterated the benefits of completing the survey.
‘Inadequate cyber security has the potential to destroy a small business. By completing this survey, the ACSC will be able to better deliver support to you.’