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Gender gap in cybersecurity revealed in new research

New research commissioned by the e Council of Small Business Organisations’ (COSBOA) has revealed that women are not as confident as men when it comes to preparing, managing and responding to cyber-attacks even though they are less likely to be scammed compared to their male counterparts.

The survey almost half of the male-led small businesses (48 per cent) said they had experienced a cybersecurity threat or incident either to themselves or their business, compared to just 41 per cent for businesses surveyed that were female-led.

However, it is a different story when it comes to preparing, fighting, and recovering from a cybersecurity threat. 41 per cent of female small-business owners professed to have low confidence in their cybersecurity preparedness compared to 26 per cent among male small-business owners. More so, 57 per cent of female small-business owners are not knowledgeable or confident in dealing with cyber attacks as they happen (compared to 40 per cent among the men).

51 per cent of the female small-business owners are also not feeling confident about their business’ recovery rate after the attack, compared to the 38 per cent among male small-business owners.

The survey is part of the Council of Small Business Organisations’ (COSBOA) Cyber Wardens program, developed in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and Telstra. The program is being rolled out this year to help safeguard Australia’s 2.3 million small businesses and lock the digital front doors of businesses across the country.

“International Women’s Day is a good reminder for small business owners that beyond the gender pay gap, there are many other areas where urgent action is needed to make sure women are empowered and given the confidence to succeed in their roles at all levels,” said COSBOA Chairman Matthew Addison. “With the Cyber Wardens program, small-business owners can take matters into their own hands and ensure their business is protected from the risks of cyber attacks.”

“Cyber security is everyone’s responsibility. The Cyber Wardens program will equip business owners and their employees with the tools to stay safe online,” said CBA General Manager Small Business Banking Sara Sutton.

“The Cyber Wardens program will enable businesses to ensure everyone has the skills they need,” she added. “This program is a frontline defence that will support Australia’s five million-strong small business workforce against cyber threats.”

Telstra Small and Medium Business Executive Anne Da Cunha also commented that the fndings reinforced the importance of training all team members within a business to ensure a collective approach to tackling cyber security risks.

“A true understanding of how to help ward of or deal with a cyber threat isn’t just important for the business owner but for their entire team so that everyone can work together to help build a safer working environment,” Da Cunha said.

This story was originally published on Inside Small Business.

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