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Cyber security

Understand the types of cybercrime, how to protect your business and report an attack or cybercrime

On this page

  • What is cybercrime?
  • Protect your business against cybercrime
  • How to report a cybercrime or attack

Managing cyber security in your business

Is your business protected against cybercrime?

The average cost of cybercrime to a business in Australia is around $276,000. According to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), Victoria has 25 percent of the country's victims of cybercrime.

Watch the video below to see Small Business Victoria workshop leader Tim Gentle give an introduction to cyber security and common types of cyber attack.

SBV Workshops - An introduction to cyber security video transcript (DOCX 14.7 KB)DOCX icon

Examples of cyber security problems

Cyber security problems you might encounter in your business include:

  • viruses or malicious software (more commonly referred to as Malware) that affect the way your computer runs or corrupts your data – these can be spread by opening email attachments from people you don't know or through online scams
  • hackers capturing personal data if you're sharing information over a wireless internet network that isn't properly protected
  • free software you've downloaded that collects and shares information about you without your knowing about it, or giving your permission.

How can I improve cyber security in my business?

There are some basic things you can do to improve cyber security in your business:

  • Use an up-to-date virus scanner on all your computers.
  • Make sure your wireless internet networks are password protected and secure.
  • Don't open email attachments from sources you don't trust.
  • Be very careful about free applications you download from the internet
  • Keep software up to date, including your operating system. May cyber attacks, such as BlueKeep, exploit vulnerabilities in older versions of your software or OS. Turning on automatic updates can make sure you're always on the most current versions.

How can I minimise the impact of a cyber-attack?

Prepare your business to recover quickly from a cyber-attack with these simple steps:
  • take regular copies of your important files and store them on a portable device, such as an external hard drive or USB
  • keep the portable device somewhere safe and disconnected from your computer (i.e. do not keep a USB with backup files plugged in to your computer)
  • regularly test that your backups are working and accessible from the portable device.

Report data breaches

A data breach happens when personal information is accessed or disclosed without authorisation or is lost.

Under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, any organisation covered by the Privacy Act 1998 must inform any individuals affected by the breech as well as the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Learn more about your reporting obligations

Cyber security resources

For more detailed information about improving cyber security in your business, check out these resources:

Australian Cyber Security Centre

Get the latest advice, news and threats from the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

Cyber Security Self-Assessment Tool

Is your business susceptible to a cyber attack? This Cyber Security Risk Self-Assessment Tool measures if your business is a likely target for cyber attacks and the maturity of your current cyber security practices.

Stay Smart Online 

Stay Smart Online has two great cyber security resources for small business: the Stay Smart Online Small Business Guide and Implementation Guide. You can download them via the buttons below.

Stay Smart Online Small Business Guide

Stay Smart Online Security Awareness Implementation Guide

Report an attack

The Australian Cyber Security Centre's (ACSC) ReportCyber facility provides a secure service for reporting cybercrime such as:

  • malware
  • hacking
  • scams
  • fraud
  • identity theft
  • business email compromise (BEC)
  • attacks on computer systems
  • illegal or prohibited online content.

Where ACSC believes a cybercrime has been committed, it will forward reports to law enforcement agencies and other government authorities for further investigation.

Make a report

Small Business Victoria Workshops

Small Business Victoria offers workshops on all aspects of business including how to build your digital skills. Browse available workshops via the link.

Browse Small Business Victoria Workshops

Other Courses

Want to acquire a formal qualification on cyber security for your business?

Small home businesses can take Introduction to Cyber Security for the Home User through Victoria University Polytechnic.

Medium and large enterprises are offered the cyber security course Cyber for Directors through the Australian Institute of Company Directors.