Government increases focus on cyber security with $10m grant initiative for small business

Small business gets access to $10m grant for cyber security check

3 min read

The Federal Government has announced a new $10m grant initiative to help small businesses with their cyber security.

If you run a small business with fewer than 19 full time employees, cyber security probably isn't top of mind. After all, isn't that more of an issue for banks or other big companies? Unfortunately not. It is fast becoming a major threat to your files, digital assets and internal IP and it's becoming increasingly important to protect not only your business, but also your customers from potential threats.

How much does the grant cover?

This grant provides up to $2,100 for a small business cyber security test provided by an approved provider from the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers in Australia New Zealand (CREST ANZ). While it only covers up to 50% of the cost of a “micro, small or standard certified small business check” it’s a great starting point to securing your assets and a step in the right direction from the Federal Government in assisting small businesses with this issue.

Is that it?

So that’s half the battle won right?

Not quite... Unfortunately a security health check is just one piece of a wider process of de-risking your business from a cyber security attack.

Let’s imagine the following scenario.

Meet James. He’s a proud, social semi-retired architect who runs a prestigious firm in Melbourne’s city centre.

He’s also just won an award that led to his firm securing the bid to work on a marvellous new split level high rise development with state of the art facilities.

Cyber security is not something James knows too much about, yet almost all of his drawings, 3D renders and designs are all digital and if they were to fall into the wrong hands then years of templates, work, files and IP could cost his business tens of thousands... maybe millions of dollars depending on the damage.

Not to mention the added public scrutiny of his firm unintentionally releasing sensitive information, jeopordising his relationship with the project developers.

A cyber attack could infiltrate his network, remove or copy the files and leak them to the media or competitors.

Worse still a cyber attack could be a ransom attack where the files and assets are held hostage via an encryption lock where the only way of unlocking the files is to pay a ransom to the hackers.

James needs to plan his cyber security strategy which should be part of his overall IT and systems strategy.

In some cases you can now even apply for insurance to cover your business in the event of such an attack to cover any loss of income for the time your business out of action.

Cyber Security High Level Plan

Therefore, the best plan of attach starts with a sound digital and IT strategy that includes security as one of the considerations.

An example Cyber Security plan could include:

  • What’s our business and systems plan?
  • How do we still operate if the business is offline and what’s the process to bring it back online?
  • How can we recognise if we are under attack or have been attacked?
  • What automations are in place and are we exposed when we open up our systems for other systems to connect to?
  • If we are implementing new systems, how do we secure them to ensure only the right people can access them?
  • How can we ensure that any disgruntled staff or previous employees can't open us up to a cyber attack?
  • Are our Cloud providers heavily investing in cyber security? (I.e Microsoft continue to invest over $1 billion a year on cyber security)

These questions are the start of a wider process of digital and IT strategy that aims to improve and secure the future of your business by investing in systems and software.

What software should I start with?

Mentioned earlier, Microsoft is investing about $1billion every year in cyber security to ensure they can provide a platform that is thoroughly tested and suitable for small to large enterprise businesses the world over.

See original article here.

At iGenius, we specialise in Microsoft on-premise and Cloud products like Dynamics 365, Office 365, SharePoint online and Business Intelligence tools like PowerBI to ensure the tools you use are not only highly productive but have robust standards of security.

Next steps

If you’re ready to elevate your cyber security to the next level, partnering with iGenius is your first step to ensuring you get the best advice on the strategy, the process and the products based on industry best practices.

To start the conversation, iGenius offers a free no obligation 30 minute consultation to talk about your cyber security, digital and IT systems strategy.