The Albanese Government will empower small businesses to bolster their cyber security resilience and ability to bounce back quickly from a cyber attack.
Led by the Minister for Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil, the forthcoming 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy will include new support for small and medium businesses that are more vulnerable to the impacts of cyber incidents.
This new support will be critical as we know that cyber attacks can cause serious financial and reputational damage to businesses of all sizes. Industry consultation in the development of the Strategy heard that small and medium businesses are less likely to have the financial resources, time and expertise to invest in cyber security.
That’s why we are announcing two initiatives to support small and medium businesses to strengthen their cyber security capabilities.
The Albanese Government is committing $7.2 million to establish a voluntary cyber health-check program will allow businesses to undertake a free, tailored self-assessment of their cyber security maturity.
Businesses can use this health-check to determine the strength of their cyber security measures, and access educational tools and materials they need to upskill.
Small and medium businesses with higher risk exposure will also be able to access a more sophisticated, third‑party assessment to provide additional security across national supply chains.
The Albanese Government will also invest $11 million in the Small Business Cyber Resilience Service which will provide one-on-one assistance to help small businesses navigate their cyber challenges, including walking them through the steps to recover from a cyber attack.
These new programs build on the steps that the Albanese Government has already taken to strengthen Australia’s privacy laws, to ensure that small businesses are less attractive targets for cyber criminals.
Supporting small businesses is essential to our national prosperity, and a priority in our goal to make Australia a world-leading cyber secure and resilient nation by 2030.
This commitment to cyber security is vital to our national security and economic prosperity, especially for Australia’s 2.5 million small businesses.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security Clare O’Neil:
"We understand the challenges that small businesses face in the complex world of cyber security, but they are not on their own. The Australian Government’s cyber security strategy will make sure the support is available to help them understand and improve their own cyber security.
The strategy is underpinned by six cyber shields, with Strong businesses and citizens at the core of these shields. Uplifting the cyber security of our small businesses is integral to a cyber secure and resilient nation, and this dedicated support will make a huge difference in their preparedness and resilience."
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Small Business, Julie Collins:
"Small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy and the foundation for Australia’s digital economy, making up 97 per cent of all Australian businesses.
That’s why the Albanese Government will continue to put them at the centre of our efforts to tackle cyber security threats and help uplift their cyber capabilities to create a stronger Australia.
It’s just one way we’re working to improve the resilience of Australia’s small businesses."