This week, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro released the results of a new national survey of small business views on cyber security.
The survey of more than 1,000 small businesses shows that firms rate cybercrime as their third biggest business risk, behind overheads and chasing payments.
Barilaro said businesses rated cybercrime as a bigger risk than competition, theft, hiring employees and a 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,” Barilaro said.
“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 a 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.
“The Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner has backed this national survey to increase awareness and help small firms get better informed about the risks of cybercrime,” he said.
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 per cent of cybercrime events are costing between $1,000 and $5,000, 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.
“All small businesses can take a few simple steps to reduce the risk of cybercrime – 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,” she said.