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.
The program is aimed at ensuring an adequate level of cyber security, to avoid a situation in which small businesses become “the soft underbelly or back door into connected organisations”, the strategy states.
The scheme will provide up to $2100 for small businesses with under 19 employees to spend on a security assessment conducted by firms approved by the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers Australia New Zealand (CREST ANZ). https://www.crestaustralia.org/approved.html
Suppliers approved by CREST include several prominent channel security specialists: The Missing Link, Sense of Security, Telstra and Pure hacking are all on the organisation's list.
The consensual probe of IT will help small businesses to understand the adequacy, or otherwise, of their security systems. The grant covers up to 50 percent of the cost of a “micro, small or standard certified small business check”. But the opportunity for the channel will likely extend into remediation work, as tests of this sort seldom find perfect security!
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.