A wave of government funding is on its way to help support small businesses — particularly those in regional Australia — upskill in cybersecurity and better protect themselves in an increasingly digital world.
The federal government has announced the recipients of its Cyber Security Business Connect and Protect Program, with a total of $6.9 million in grant funding distributed between 14 organisations.
It will fund projects helping small businesses identify security risks and take steps to secure their systems.
In a statement, new Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter suggested that improving cybersecurity for small businesses is a priority for the Morrison government.
“It is essential to our economy and national security that SMEs continue to expand and improve their digital capabilities in a secure way,” Porter said.
The funding is intended to recognise the government’s vision of making the internet more secure, while also helping protect the small businesses “on which we all depend”, the statement said.
That’s particularly true as many businesses have moved to more digital operations during the COVID-19 crisis.
Grants range from just shy of $189,000 to $750,000, and recipients span Australian states and territories, with a leaning towards projects that support regional businesses.
For example, Western Sydney University’s Oz Cyber Security Aid Centre in Parramatta has received $745,920 in funding. That will see the university launch an online support service and a physical ‘aid centre’ for SMEs, in partnership with four New South Wales cybersecurity companies.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has also secured $364,500 for a project to boost cybersecurity awareness in the caravan and camping industry.
Another recipient, Real World Technology Solutions, secured $750,000 for its project to improve cybersecurity resilience among charities and Indigenous-owned businesses.
The grant recipients are:
- IT Connexion: $250,000 for cyber security awareness training;
- Murray Hume Business Enterprise Centre Limited: $750,000 for its Business Enterprise Cyber Secure project;
- Loyal I.T. Solutions: $456,258 for its Cyber Secure Central Coast! program;
- Hunter Business Centre: $349,040 for its cybersecurity culture program for SMEs;
- Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry: $738,500 to launch its cybersecurity accreditation program;
- Cybercx: $7540,000 for its Cyber123 for SME program;
- Caravan Industry Association of Australia: $364,500 for its project to boost cybersecurity awareness in the caravan and camping industry;
- Western Sydney University: $745,920 for its Oz Cybersecurity Aid Centre;
- The Project Lab: $641,434 for its CyberUp for SMEs program;
- Business Enterprise Centre (Darwin Region): $219,596 for its CyberSafe program;
- Real World Technology Solutions: $750,000 for its work to improve cybersecurity resilience among SMEs, charity and Indigenous-owned businesses;
- First Focus IT: $339,780 to develop and deliver a cybersecurity education package for the SME C-suite;
- Concept Data: $188,721 for a South Australian business cybersecurity advisory service;
- Belmont Business Enterprise Centre: $274,900 for a My Business Centre cybersecurity training and mentoring project.