NAB is urging Australian small businesses to enhance their cyber security. And to help SMEs boost security, it is offering a year of free cyber security software to business customers.

This follows NAB’s research late last year that found SMEs are one of the least cyber prepared sectors. It revealed that only 15% of SMEs conduct extensive training around scams and cyber security risks. Four in 10 had “not much training at all”.

NAB has agreed a partnership with global cyber security firm CrowdStrike to help SMEs. The offer covers a free year subscription of CrowdStrike ‘Falcon Go’. NAB says this will support and reinforce SME defences against ransomware, data breaches, and cyber threats.

Stopping attacks before they stop business

NAB Chief Security Officer Sandro Bucchianeri said more needed to be done to help protect small and medium-sized businesses.

“The number of cyber-attacks continues to grow year-on-year. It’s worrying that small and medium businesses – 97% of all Australian businesses – are one of the least cyber prepared sectors.”

“It can take businesses years to recover from a cyber-attack due to their cost and complexity. By working with CrowdStrike, we are looking to connect and educate businesses, so they can help stop attacks before they stop business.”

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The CrowdStrike offer complements other initiatives that NAB is providing to help its small business customers to stay safe online. This includes a free cyber security assessment in partnership with Microsoft.

One cybercrime report every six minutes

In the 2022-23 financial year, the Australian Signals Directorate received one cybercrime report every six minutes. The average cost of each incident to small and medium businesses was estimated at A$71,600.

“Smaller businesses just don’t have the resources to manage cyber security at a high level,” added Bucchianeri.

“The Government’s cyber security strategy rightly places small businesses at the centre of its efforts. We’re determined to help lead a collective effort to shift small businesses from one of the least prepared sectors in the country, to the most capable and resilient community group.”