COSBOA, Telstra and CBA Partner as Providers of Free Cybersecurity Courses for SMBs
To educate and provide tools to Australian small businesses to protect them from cyber threats, the Council of Small Business Organizations Australia (COSBOA), Telstra and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have launched a new program called Cyber Wardens.
According to the Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC), 43% of cybercrimes target small businesses, costing them an average of $9,000.
Cyber threats and scams are estimated to cost the Australian economy $29 billion a year.
Cyber Wardens is based on the ASCS Essential Eight strategies currently in pilot phase, to help mitigate cyber crimes. This includes ISM mapping, security vulnerability assessment, and application monitoring.
The e-learning platform will be designed by and for small businesses with the aim of becoming the nation’s first cybersecurity workplace certification for the small business sector, according to COSBOA, which describes the concept of a cyber guard much like a fire warden, who is someone within a business who can help ensure the business is protected from threats.
Since COSBOA has identified lack of resources and time as the main reasons why small businesses struggle to improve their cybersecurity skills, the Cyber Wardens program should be free. It also found that six in 10 small businesses rate their cybersecurity as poor, in need of improvement, or just fine.
Lack of resources makes cybersecurity difficult for small businesses, according to COSBOA added, listing the basic training offered in their Cyber Wardens program:
- Know the cyber risks and risks unique to your business.
- Contribute to password security and data protection.
- Be a point of contact for employees with cybersecurity concerns and know how to quickly access expert help.
- Promote the process of reporting cyber threats, suspicious messages and dangers.
- The Cyber Warning pilot program will be rolled out over the next few months.
Partner companies such as Telstra and Commonwealth Bank have made this free resource possible.
COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd noted that innovative small business owners in Australia are used to wearing many hats but won’t be able to add another task to to-do lists or “too difficult”.
“We believe having a Cyber Warden on the team will help give small business owners confidence that their business and their customers are protected.”
“Targeting employees, as well as owners, the Cyber Wardens program will equip Australia’s small business workforce with the mindset, skills and tools to engage more easily and in safe in an increasingly digital world,” Boyd said.
Small businesses are more digitally savvy, according to COSBOA, but that raises the question of expertise and compensation.
In an interview with SmartCompany, COSBOA described a best-case scenario: Companies could have an IT professional on staff or an ad-hoc cybersecurity auditor to take care of their business, but resources and funding don’t make it easy. not always that possible.
“The Cyber Warden program is not designed to replace the advice and assistance of IT experts.”
“It aims to provide small business owners and their employees with the basic training needed to keep their workplaces safe online,” COSBOA said.
If a small business employee has completed this certification, it is not quite the same as being a first aider or a firefighter.
These roles tend to be more incidental, while cybersecurity is much more labor intensive, ongoing, and involves putting processes and policies in place. It’s a lot of extra responsibility to fall on the shoulders of one or two people who already have jobs with the company.
If a Cyber Warden program can be implemented ethically and effectively, it could be a great resource for small businesses to protect them and their customers, COSBOA concluded.
[Related: Palo Alto Networks launches free ‘CyberFit Nation’ education program]