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Many small businesses limiting online presence due to fear of cybercrime, according to a new Australian national survey of small business views on cybersecurity

Many small businesses limiting online presence due to fear of cybercrime

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John
Barilaro today released
the results of a new national survey of small business views on cybersecurity.

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.

Mr. 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,” Mr. 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 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 AU$1 billion and

“Our survey shows 40% of cybercrime events are costing
between AU$1,000 and AU$5,000, and for two out of every three businesses these
costs are not recovered,” Ms. 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

“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.

The survey attracted 1019 responses between July 17 and  August 18
2017 and is available here
along with other resources from the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner
to help small businesses navigate the risks of cybercrime. 

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