Research has recently emerged from the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) and Cyber Wardens on the perceptions of online safety amongst small business owners. This research surveyed 2,098 Australian small businesses, finding that 45% do not see themselves as targets for cyber criminals, whereas 50% consider cyber-security a high priority in their business.

This split is troubling when we consider that Australian small businesses are our nation’s largest employer, and contribute $418 billion to Australia’s GDP. Small businesses are extremely valuable targets for cyber criminals, especially due to the fact they are frequently ill-equipped to defend themselves from cyber-attacks.

Despite 45% of the surveyed businesses perceiving their business to have low or no cyber-risks, 81% of the business owners surveyed had experienced a cyber threat at work or in their personal lives. The most common form of threats reported included:

  • Suspicious emails, phone calls, and SMS messages (70%)
  • Invoice and payment scams (21%)
  • Facebook Marketplace scams (20%)
  • Data leaks from attacks on another organisation (17%)
  • Compromised accounts and passwords (10%)
  • Malware or ransomware attacks (6%)

The rate of cyber-crime in Australia is continuing to rise with an attack reported every 6 minutes, which is an increase of 23% from 2023. This news should be troubling to small businesses, considering that the average cost to a business per cyber-attack is $46,000.

The majority of cyber-attacks on small businesses are a result of human error. This is why it is so important to ensure the entirety of your business is across the proactive and reactive measures that can defend your business from cyber-criminals. Having a cyber-safe culture in your business is one of the strongest forms of defence, you will want to have regular conversations with your team and consider cyber-security in all facets of your business operations.

Business Foundations is running a free ‘Cyber Security Essentials for Small Business’ online workshop on the 18th of April as part of the Digital Solutions program. This workshop is an essential guide for every small business owner to protect their business from cyber-threats, and will cover:

  • Insights into Current Threats
  • Real-Life Case Studies
  • Spotting Phishing Emails
  • Social Engineering Unveiled
  • Top Five Protective Measures
  • Response Strategies

Don’t miss this opportunity to empower yourself with the tools and knowledge needed to secure your small business in today’s digital landscape. Register here.

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