Australia – The minister for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources in Australia has announced Tuesday, 28 April, that its Cyber Security Business Connect and Protect Program has already provided a total of A$6.9M in funding to 14 trusted organizations that will work directly with businesses to help them amplify their cybersecurity efforts.
The program was established to provide trusted organizations that advise SMEs with funding to raise awareness of cybersecurity risks and promote the necessary action to address these risks.
Some of the organizations include are IT Connexion, Murray Hume Business Enterprise Centre, Loyal I.T. Solutions, and Hunter Business Centre. Each of the 14 organizations will be implementing its unique cybersecurity programs to provide support to businesses in both regional and metropolitan areas in every state and territory.
One particular project to receive funding is Western Sydney University’s Oz Cyber Security Aid Centre in Parramatta, which has received specifically a A$745,920 grant. The university will partner with four NSW cybersecurity companies to set up an online call line and physical Cyber Security Aid Centre.
Minister Christian Porter said that building digital security and capability among SMEs is a government priority and vital to its continuing economic prosperity and development.
“SMEs make up 99 percent of all Australian businesses and employ about half our workforce, so it is essential to our economy and national security that SMEs continue to expand and improve their digital capabilities in a secure way,” Porter said.
“The assistance provided through this grant program will support businesses in recognizing cyber risks and opportunities, particularly in the wake of the strong digital uptake during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added..
The grants support the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 and its vision of creating a more secure online world for Australians, their businesses, and the essential services upon which everyone depends.
The minister also said that the grants will coincide with the newly released Cyber Security Assessment Tool, which is available on business.gov.au. This tool is free to use for all SMEs and provides easy-to-follow, actionable advice on how to secure one’s business from cybersecurity threats.
A list of successful applicants under the program can be found here.