Posted October 21, 2020
Last week on our social media platforms (you can find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram here), we shared one of the latest scams that has been doing the rounds of salons in Australia. This prompted so many of our members getting in touch and sharing their stories of the huge number of scams that are in operation across Australia at the moment, and we were genuinely appalled. It seems that in our post-Covid world, where so many of us are doing more and more of our business online, salon owners are seeing a rise in cybercrime that cannot be denied.
From fake phone calls, hackers targeting small business owners and mimicking government documents, salon owners have to be so switched on to stay on top of cybercrime that threatens to undermine their business. We have shared and exposed a number of scams over the years, always to great response from our members who feel that government and authorities aren’t paying attention to this serious issue across the small business community.
Enter the Australia Cyber Security Strategy 2020.
After receiving more than 144 cybercrime reports a day, which translates to a reported crime every 10 minutes, the Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) has announced over $1.67billion in funding to be used over the next 10 years to increase online security for businesses and individuals. This forms the backbone of a direct government response to cybercrime for small business owners.
Under the new Strategy, small business owners will be protected and supported through:
- A $12.3 million expansion to the ACSC’s 24/7 cyber security hotline will enhance the provision of cyber security advice and technical assistance.
- The $8.3 million Cyber Security Connect and Protect Program will equip trusted organisations to raise the cyber security of salon owners in their local area.
- Supporting the roll-out of threat-blocking technology will prevent known malicious cyber threats from reaching Australian consumers and businesses.
- The ACSC Small Business Cyber Security Guide provides tailored advice to protect against the most common cyber security incidents.
- ACSC-produced Step-by-Step and Quick Wins Guides provide practical instructions with visual aids outlining actions salon owners can take to protect themselves.
- The ACSC Stay Smart Online Program promotes best practice cyber security advice and encourages businesses to protect themselves online.
- Toolkits published on cyber.gov.au will help salon owners raise cyber security awareness among their staff members.
- A dedicated online cyber security training program hosted on cyber.gov.au will help upskill salon owners and their staff members.
- Law enforcement will have strengthened capabilities to identify and disrupt cyber criminals targeting Australian businesses.
According to a recent survey by the ACSC, one in five small business owners didn’t know the term “phishing” and close to half claimed their personal understanding of cybersecurity to be ‘average’ or ‘below average’. The most important thing salon owners can do is stay on top of what scams are doing the rounds, question every phone call or document that you receive and report anything suspicious that comes across your desk. Stay informed and stay in front.
Advice or assistance
Our advisers are ready to answer your questions. For advice on this topic, or any other workplace relations matter, please call the HABA Advice Line on 02 9221 9911.
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