Protecting Tasmania’s SMEs’ cyber defences

HOBART’S small to medium enterprises’ (SMEs) cyber defences are set for a boost with a $600,000 grant to help combat increased ransomware, cyberattacks and data breaches as part of the Federal Government’s CyberUP program. 

CyberUP is a business advisory program designed to enable key Tasmanian industry sectors to understand and manage their cyber risks and embed these capabilities within organisations through free awareness training and advice, combined with co-funded implementation services.

As part of the CyberUP for SMEs program, over the next 12 months Tasmanian business The Project Lab is set to deliver 54 public and industry-specific workshops across the state to raise awareness, develop industry-specific cyber risk plans for 500 SMEs, and deliver subsidised high-quality, professional cyber advisory services to 142 businesses across Tasmania.

According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), on average there are 164 cybercrime reports are made by Australians every day – about one report every 10 minutes.

Between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, the ACSC responded to 2,266 cybersecurity incidents and received 59,806 cybercrime reports.

Estimates put cyber-related attacks as costing Australia’s economy about $29 billion per year, or 1.9 per cent of the nation’s GDP.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, in announcing the grant, said it was very timely given the increased number of data breach notifications attributed to ransomware attacks which had increased by more than 150 per cent compared to the previous six months.

“Given the significant increase in cyberattacks, it is essential that Hobart’s small and medium-sized enterprises are adequately prepared to protect their businesses,” he said.

“CyberUP will increase Hobart’s SMEs’ cyber awareness and capability in managing their cyber security risks by partnering with key industry bodies and business networks to provide cyber security training, uplift organisational capabilities, and provide professional advisory services to implement change to reduce risk and increase business sustainability.”

“It’s great to see that a Tasmanian business such as The Project Lab can play this important role in helping other Tasmanian businesses protect themselves from cyberattacks, which can cripple businesses and expose sensitive information.”

“With the average cost of a cyber breach in Australia now more than $3 million, ensuring Tasmanian SMEs have contemporary risk management practises in place has never been so important,” The Project Lab’s executive director Joel Harris said.

“The Project Lab will work with Tasmanian peak bodies and business partners to tailor its CyperUP program for a range of Tasmanian industry sectors including medical, finance, tourism and small business to ensure that the program provides real value,” CyberUP program manager Mariae Leckie said.

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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