The Australian Government is aiming to make small businesses feel more secure with the launch of a new $10million cybersecurity initiative today. Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews says the grants initiative forms part of the Liberal-National Government’s Cybersecurity Small Business Program. “The Liberal-National Government recognises that confidence in the security of data is vital both to businesses and their customers, and thousands of Australian small businesses stand to benefit from this funding, helping them secure their digital assets,” Andrews says. “Small businesses are the backbone of Australia’s economy and this funding from the Liberal-National Government underlines our determination to help provide a healthy digital environment.” Over the next two years, eligible small businesses can apply for individual grants of up to $2100, covering half the cost of having their cybersecurity tested by service providers approved by the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers Australia New Zealand (CREST ANZ). The second component of the Cyber Security Small Business Program is a $2 million grant to CREST ANZ, enhancing its capacity to help small businesses with cybersecurity. “Support from CREST ANZ will provide pathways for small businesses to take advantage of the economic opportunities that connected technologies provide.” “The Coalition Government is committed to keeping Australians safe and our businesses competitive, while protecting our interests online - that’s why we are focused on developing Australia’s cybersecurity industry and growing jobs within this sector.” Today’s launch of the Cybersecurity Small Business Program is the final step in delivering a measure announced under the Liberal-National Government’s 2016 Australian Cybersecurity Strategy. The cost of cyber-crime to the Australian economy is estimated at about $1 billion annually and this initiative, along with the comprehensive suite of measures under the Cybersecurity Strategy, is designed to ensure all players in the economy, large and small, remain resilient and competitive in the face of growing and constantly evolving online threats. Last week, Andrews launched the Cybersecurity Industry Roadmap, which will guide the development of Australia’s cybersecurity sector.
“The roadmap investigates how cybersecurity can enable our technology growth industries to seize business opportunities, and what actions and research priorities we will need to better take advantage of this burgeoning industry and the jobs it will generate for many Australians,” Andrews says.
Minister Andrews also launched the Australian Cybersecurity Growth Network’s (AustCyber’s) Sector Competitiveness Plan annual update, that together with the roadmap sets out clear steps on how Australian businesses and workers can be given the best chance to flourish in the industry, which is already driving significant jobs and investment.
Earlier this year, the Coalition Government also launched two new tertiary qualifications to create more skills-based cybersecurity professionals.