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Australian small businesses unprepared for cyber security threats, new GoDaddy research finds


Many Australian small businesses lack the understanding and protections to deal with a cyber-attack according to new research released today by GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs. Coinciding with Cyber Security Awareness Month, the research found that two in three have no security protections on their website and only 15% would know how to deal with an attack.


The digital transformation boom has empowered businesses big and small, but it has also created new risks. The Australian Cyber Security Centre received more than 67,500 cyber crime reports from June 2020 to July 2021 - a 13 per cent increase over the previous year. 

 

In a global study of over 8,000 small businesses in 20 countries, only 15% of Australian small businesses responded that they were prepared to deal with a cyber attack, with only Canadian small businesses possessing less awareness (12%). Despite three in four (76%) Australian small businesses recognising the risk of a cyber security attack, two in three (66%) still haven't added cyber security protections to their website.

 

According to GoDaddy’s research, one in five (22%) Australian small businesses surveyed have already experienced a security breach on their website, however this was lower than every other country besides the US. Of the Australian businesses who had been compromised, 75% reported having experienced website downtime - with 40% experiencing an outage of over three days - while reputational damage (35%) and financial loss (32%) were other common impacts.


“A cyber security incident can have numerous negative impacts on small businesses,” said Tamara Oppen, Managing Director of GoDaddy Australia. “Knowing the risks and, more importantly, how to protect your business is crucial, especially as we approach critical retail shopping periods like Black Friday and Christmas. Small businesses need to consider the security of their online presence, just as they do the security of their offline presence.”


Awareness, education and action

In Australia, basic awareness of cyber security risks are high, however deep understanding and subsequent actions to help to proactively put protections in place remain low. Australian businesses are aware of threats like malware, phishing and ransomware, but less than half said they were aware of other important threats such as DDoS attacks, SQL injection and man in the middle. 

 

Of the two in three who reported that they are yet to add protections to their website, 40% said a failure to do so is based on a lack of accessible and straightforward information online. Meanwhile, 45% reported that they don’t feel they have the skills or back up to deal with a cyber-attack on their website.


“It’s reassuring that three quarters of small businesses are aware of the risks posed by a cyber attack, but we can help turn awareness into action to help protect Australian businesses and their customers,” Oppen continued. “Our research found that 40% of small businesses haven’t added protections to their website because information was unclear and confusing, leaving their business potentially vulnerable.” 


“At GoDaddy, we are committed to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs run successful and safe businesses online. Through GoDaddy Website Security and the suite of protections it provides - including SSL Certificates, Firewalls, site backups and malware scanning - we’re making it easier for small businesses to build awareness, protect their website, and harness the potential of their online business.”


For more information about GoDaddy Website Security, click here.


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