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Cyber security an increasing threat for Victorian businesses, survey shows

Almost three quarters of Victorian businesses are concerned about cyber security risks, with more than half experiencing an increase in cyber threats over the past five years, a survey has found.

While the majority of surveyed businesses have some measures in place to protect their organisations, these differ widely from advanced systems and outsourced IT protection to just over a quarter with only basic anti-virus software.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry today releases its Survey of Business Trends and Prospects, with responses from more than 400 businesses used to signal trends and sentiments across the third quarter of 2017.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Mark Stone AM said while the majority of businesses were aware of the risk of cyber threats at some level it was a concern that 12 per cent have not taken any measures to protect their business against cyber security risks.

“Some businesses still do not consider the risks of cyber security as a high priority or they do not have the skilled staff or information to protect their business. But the risks of cyber-attacks are very real, and can include damaging practices like hacking, shutting down or misusing websites, stealing money or theft of company or customer data stored online,” he said.

“As our latest survey shows, 54 per cent of businesses have experienced an increase in cyber security threats over the past five years so the risks are increasing and businesses need to be armed with the latest knowledge and protection.

“Nearly one in 10 surveyed businesses had experienced a cyber security breach of their systems in the past year, so we encourage all businesses to take this issue seriously and get up to date with the latest information and protection available.”

The Survey of Business Trends and Prospects also revealed:

·         Business sentiment for the national economy received a boost with 27 per cent anticipating stronger growth in the next 12 months.

·         Sentiment for the Victorian economy remained stable, with 26 per cent of businesses expecting growth over the upcoming year.

·         The transition of the manufacturing sector from traditional industries to high-tech globally competitive industries was also evidenced, with 39 per cent of respondents in this sector reporting growth in domestic sales and 37 per cent reporting optimism for December trading conditions.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched a new Cyber Resilience Workshop designed to equip business owners and Board Directors with the key information and knowledge they need to improve their organisation’s resilience to cyber threats. 

More information on topics such as technology exposures, risk assessment and management, threat monitoring, governance and legal compliance, workplace policies and procedures, and cyber insurance can be found here

View the full report here (Member only/ password protected)

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