Govt tries to plug small business systems security holes with cash

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Govt tries to plug small business systems security holes with cash

$10m available for cyber security testing.

Small businesses across Australia are set to benefit from a new government grant aimed at hardening the community's cyber security posture.

The federal government opened the $10 million grant initiative today, meeting a requirement in the 2016 cyber security strategy to help businesses secure their digital assets.

It is aimed at ensuring an adequate level of cyber security to avoid a situation where small business become “the soft underbelly or back door into connected organisations”, the strategy states.

The grant will provide up to $2100 for small businesses to have their cyber security tested by a Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers Australia New Zealand (CREST ANZ) approved provider.

It will allow business with 19 or fewer full-time equivalent employees to understand potential cyber security vulnerabilities and areas that need attention.

However only up to 50 percent of the cost of a “micro, small or standard certified small business check” is covered by the grant.

The grant is part of the government’s wider cyber security small business program, which also provides funding to CREST ANZ to improve its ability to assist small business with cyber security.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said thousands of Australian small businesses would stand to benefit from the funding.

She said with small businesses the “backbone” of the Australian economy, having “confidence in the security of data is vital both to businesses and their customers”.

The grant will close 30 June 2020.

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