Cybercrime


Cybercrime, also called computer crime, involves using computers and the internet to break the law.

Cybercrime is a growing threat in Australia. Criminals use it to steal information, money and disrupt businesses. Common types include:

  • identity theft and fraud
  • online scams
  • attacks on your computer systems or websites

Cyber security


Cyber security is about protecting your technology and information from:

  • accidental or illegal access
  • corruption
  • theft
  • damage

You need to protect any online information that your business creates and stores, plus information from your customers. Providing a secure system is critical to build and maintain customer trust in your business.

To be effective, you need to make cyber security a part of your daily business processes.

Who could be a cyber threat


Cyber criminals may be an individual or a group of people. Threats to your technology or data might come from:

  • criminals – out for money or information, to illegally access your hardware and data, or to disrupt your business
  • clients you do business with – to compromise your information
  • business competitors – looking to gain an advantage over your business
  • current or former employees – who accidentally or intentionally compromise your information

Ways cyber attacks can happen


Cyber criminals look for information, access to and data on your business, employees and customers. They might do this by:

  • theft or unauthorised access of hardware, computers and mobile devices
  • infecting computers with malware (such as viruses, ransomware, and spyware)
  • attacking your technology or website
  • attacking third party systems
  • spamming you with emails containing malware
  • gaining access to your information through your employees or customers

How a cyber attack could affect your business


A cyber attack could cause you:

  • financial loss – from theft of money, information, disruption to business
  • business loss – damage to reputation, damage to other companies you rely on to do business
  • costs – getting your affected systems up and running
  • investment loss – time notifying the relevant authorities and institutions of the incident

What is at risk

Your money, information, technology and reputation could be at risk. This could include the destruction, exposure or corruption of the following:

  • customer records and personal information
  • email records
  • financial records
  • business plans
  • new business ideas
  • marketing plans
  • intellectual property
  • product design
  • patent applications
  • employee records (which could include sensitive personal identifiable information such as their date of birth)

How to protect your business from cyber threats


To protect your business from cybercrime, try these tips:

  • Develop clear policies and procedures for your business and employees. In them, outline your security measures to protect your systems and information.
  • Produce a cyber security incident response management plan to support your policies and procedures.
  • Train new and existing staff on your cyber security policies and procedures. Include what to do if a cyber threat or incident occurs.
  • Keep your computers, website and point-of-sale systems up-to-date with all software updates or patches.
  • Back-up important data and information regularly. This will reduce the damage if something happens.

Cyber security resources for small business


Need more help understanding the basics of cyber security for your business?

  1. Small business cyber security guide is also available to download on the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman website.
  2. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) leads the Australian Government’s efforts to improve cyber security. Their role is to help make Australia the safest place to connect online by providing advice and information about how to protect yourself and your business online. When there is a cyber security incident, the ACSC provides clear and timely advice to individuals, small to medium business, big business and critical infrastructure operators.
  3. Stay Smart Online, delivered by the ACSC, provides topical, relevant and timely information on how home internet users and small businesses can protect themselves from, and reduce the risk of, cyber security threats such as software vulnerabilities, online scams, malicious activities and risky online behaviours.