The federal government has announced two initiatives aimed at boosting support to small and medium businesses (SMEs) to fortify their cyber security skills.
The government has promised $7.2 million to set up a voluntary cyber health-check program, enabling access to a free, self-assessments of cyber security maturity.
It’s also committed another $11 million towards the Small Business Cyber Resilience Service, which offers one-on-one assistance towards cyber challenges, and covers cyber attack recovery.
It’s expected businesses will be able to use these new cyber health checks to calculate the strength of their own measures and access educational tools or materials needed to upskill.
Minister for small business Julie Collins said small businesses are “the foundation for Australia’s digital economy, making up 97 percent of all Australian businesses.”
“That’s why the 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.”
Minister for home affairs and cyber security Clare O’Neil also said the government’s forthcoming “cyber security strategy will make sure support is available to help businesses 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,” she said.
“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.”
In a separate LinkedIn post on Monday, O’Neil said the work adds to the $23.4 million already committed across three years for a small business cyber wardens program aimed at building in-house capability to protect against cyber threats.
In the post, O’Neil said the cyber wardens program “will support more than 15,000 small businesses to build a cyber-smart workforce.”