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Government’s cyber-security strategy is welcome but business owners still need to take responsibility for their own security

Key takeaways

  • Australia’s Cyber-Security Strategy 2020 is a broad plan by the Federal Government to protect the nation from cyber-criminals but business owners ultimately need to take responsibility for their own cyber-security.
  • Experts say cyber incidents targeting small, medium and large Australian businesses can cost the economy up to $29 billion/year.
  • The Federal Government’s helpdesk will only provide general advice to business owners and will refer you back to security specialists such as Envisage to implement the necessary cyber-security strategies.

By Jess Walker, Technical Director, Envisage Technology

Australia’s Cyber-Security Strategy 2020, released this week by the Federal Government, is a broad plan to protect the nation from cyber-criminals.

But one thing the strategy makes very clear is that while the Government has a significant role to play at a high level, businesses ultimately need to take responsibility for their own cyber-security.

Through the strategy, the Government will invest $1.67 billion into cyber-security over 10 years and develop new capabilities, encourage businesses to protect themselves and their customers, build trust in the digital economy, and support the community to be secure online.

According to the Government, between July 2019 and June 2020, the ACSC responded to 2266 cyber security incidents. Experts say cyber incidents targeting small, medium and large Australian businesses can cost the economy up to $29 billion/year.

It is also estimated that a four-week interruption to digital infrastructures resulting from a significant cyber-incident would cost the Australian economy $30 billion and around 163,000 jobs

While the Government’s new strategy is important to protect Australia, business owners must not fall into the trap of thinking it will solve everything and magically keep everyone safe.

The Government has made it very clear that it will focus on critical threats and the most sophisticated actions, while ensuring a baseline level of cyber-resilience across the economy.

Business owners, it says, should take responsibility for their own cyber-security while it helps by providing online training and a 24/7 helpdesk for SMEs that need cyber-security advice or assistance.

While the Federal Government’s strategy is commendable, and keeping the nation safe is a priority, its helpdesk would be there to only provide general advice to business owners and in most cases would refer you back to security specialists such as Envisage to implement the necessary cyber-security strategies moving forward.

The key focus of their hotline will be to provide support but the actual implementations around cyber threat review and protection ultimately rests upon your local provider.

To support businesses in taking action to protect themselves and their customers, the Government will also release the voluntary Code of Practice: Securing the Internet of Things for Consumers, to inform businesses about the cyber-security features expected of internet-connected devices available in Australia.

Consumers can be assured the Government is doing its part at a high level by engaging in key partners such as internet providers to protect consumers from some of blanket threats that are online but, as always, a discussion with a cyber-security expert will protect you from more sophisticated style attacks.

I am optimistic and grateful that Australia’s Cyber-Security Strategy 2020 is coming to fruition though hopefully many SME’s have already implemented such measures or are well on their way to implementing them.

More than ever, business owners need to be vigilant and continually reviewing their systems to ensure they are using the latest policies and products to protect their business.

If you need help with your cyber-security issues, the team at Envisage Technology is always available to help. Contact us on 07 3112 1960.

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