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Knowing your enemy: 1/3 Australian SMEs have been victims of cybercrime

Statistics from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) reveal that more than one in three Australian small businesses have been victims of cybercrime, a sobering reality for many. Let this reality set a serious tone as we mark National Cybersecurity Week.

Graham Neilson, a seasoned cyber expert from Geonode, sheds light on the most common cybercrime tactics used against small businesses:

Knowing Your Enemy: Cybercrime Threats for Small Businesses

  • Phishing Attacks: These involve sending deceptive emails to get sensitive data like login credentials and credit card details from unsuspecting employees.

  • Ransomware Attacks refer to when fraudsters encrypt files, effectively locking businesses out of their own systems and demanding a ransom in exchange for the keys to decrypt the files.

  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks: Cybercriminals position themselves in the two-party transaction process, intercepting and potentially altering the communication.

Constructing a Robust Cybersecurity Infrastructure: Geonode’s Top Tips

“Small businesses need to be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to cybersecurity. Building a resilient digital infrastructure is an essential investment for every small business,” says Neilson.

Here are his game-winning strategies for a safer cyberspace for your business:

  1. Education and Training – Staff training on cybersecurity is a must. Employees should recognize potential threats and understand best practices.

  2. Anti-virus Software – Having this software installed on all devices connected to your business network is a basic measure that should not be overlooked.

  3. Software Updates – Ensure that all your programs, particularly your operating system and internet browser, are up to date to protect against malware.

  4. Backups and Encryption – Regularly backup your business data and encrypt sensitive information to protect it in the event of a cyber attack.

  5. Two-factor Authentication (2FA) – Activate 2FA on all systems holding sensitive data to reduce the risk of unauthorised access.

  6. Incident Response Plan – Even with robust precautions, attacks might occur. An incident response plan ensures smooth recovery and minimises downtime and damage.

Sustaining Cybersecurity Efforts

Maintaining cybersecurity is a constant endeavour, not a one-time project. Businesses need to assess their digital stockade periodically, investing in the latest technologies and continual staff education.


Let’s heed the wisdom from Neilson: “In our interconnected world, the axiom “better safe than sorry” is more relevant than ever. Cybersecurity demands perpetual vigilance and adaptation.”

With this knowledge, let’s forge ahead in cementing the digital security of our businesses. As we commemorate National Cybersecurity Week, arm your business with a digital shield and set a robust line of defence against the cyber threats of the digital age.


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