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Nearly half of Aussie small businesses vulnerable to cyber attacks

New research from Business Australia reveals that almost half of Australia’s small businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The report found that 38 per cent of small businesses are not spending any money on cybersecurity and that 51 per cent are worried they’ll suffer a cyber-attack in the next six months.

It also noted that more than half of the country’s small-business owners personally handle matters around cyber security as many of them believe that cyber security is about technology and that they’re protected by a single piece of software.

These beliefs were belied by Business Australia’s general manager Phil Parisis, who said that this couldn’t be further from the truth, with its research showing 90 per cent of attacks are successful due to human error.

“These survey results are alarming and suggest Australian SMEs need to focus more on protecting themselves,” Parisis said. “Sixty-eight per cent of businesses surveyed didn’t have cyber insurance and that’s concerning because for smaller operators obtaining that insurance will be harder to come by as attacks are now becoming a daily occurrence.

“The best firewall your business can have is a human one. You and your people should always be the first defence in keeping your business safe and operational,” Parisis added.

The report noted that 44 per cent of small-business owners are not confident they’re protected against cyber threats and 80 per cent said that they could be doing more to train their staff.

More than half of business owners surveyed were worried their business could suffer a cyber attack in the next six months while 21 per cent said that they’d already fallen victim to one.

The results come amid the Federal Government’s budget announcement of significant savings for businesses investing in digital technology, cyber security and staff training. And Parisis is keen to draw small-business owners’ attention to Business Australia Cyber, a program that provides a risk assessment for businesses, developing cyber health dashboards as well as preventive measures and checks which include self-based modules, real-life examples, and ongoing training over 15 months to continue to protect the small businesses.

The story is originally published on Inside Small Business.

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