The Australian Government has launched a $10 million cyber security initiative so small businesses can cover the cost of internal cyber security tests.
The program will provide grants of up to $2100 for the next two years for eligible small businesses in order to cover half the cost of having their cyber security tested by service providers approved by the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers Australia New Zealand (CREST ANZ).
To be eligible, small businesses need to employ 19 or less full-time staff, Have a certified small business health check undertaken by a certified CREST provider, have an ABN, be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and be either an entity incorporated in Australia, a partnership or a sole trader.
Some of the certified testers include Deloitte, eSecure, Hivint, PureHacking, PWC and Telstra, among others.
Small businesses can start applying now with applications closing on 30 June 2020, or earlier if the funding is fully committed.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews said that thousands of small businesses stand to benefit from this funding.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Australia’s economy and this funding from the Liberal-National Government underlines our determination to help provide a healthy digital environment so they can prosper,” Andrews said in statement.
The Government is also giving an extra $2 million to CREST ANZ to help it enhance its capacity to help small businesses with cyber security.
“The Coalition Government is committed to keeping Australians safe and our businesses competitive, while protecting our interests online - that’s why we are focused on developing Australia’s cyber security industry and growing jobs within this sector.”
This is the final step "in delivering" the 2016 Australian Cyber Security Strategy launched by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
At the time, the government planned to invest more than $230 million over four years to enhance Australia’s cyber security capability and deliver new initiatives.
In August, Angus Taylor resigned from his role of minister for law enforcement and newly named Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison decided not to name a replacement rolling the cyber security functions into the Department of Home Affairs, re-appointing Peter Dutton to the role of minister for Home Affairs in the process.