CBA to protect small businesses in new cyber safety initiative

The program will upskill everyday Australians to become the nation's cyber frontline

CBA to protect small businesses in new cyber safety initiative


By Mina Martin

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has joined forces with Telstra and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) to help protect the country’s 2.3 million small businesses from cyber threats and scams.

CBA and Telstra are the founding sponsors of COSBOA’s Cyber Wardens pilot program, which aims to become Australia’s first cyber safety workplace certification or microcredential for the small business sector, providing small business owners and employees with the tools they need to stay safe online, through a free and easy-to-use accredited e-learning platform.

According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), 43% of all Australian cybercrime is directed at small businesses, costing them nearly $9,000 on average in FY21.

“By targeting employees, as well as owners, the Cyber Wardens program will equip Australia’s small business workforce with the mindset, skillset, and toolset to more easily and safely engage with an increasingly digital world,” COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said. “With the support of Telstra and CBA, and I hope many more corporate partners, we can provide free, simple, and accessible resources to the small business community. We want to foster a culture of self-determination and understanding in cyber safety — no IT degree, excel expertise, and cloud wizardry required.”

“We’re excited to launch the Cyber Wardens pilot program to help demystify cyber safety, instil a cyber-mindset, and empower small businesses to identify and manage cyber threats,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CBA’s group executive for business banking.

Designed specifically for non-tech employees, the Cyber Wardens pilot program will be rolled out in coming months, at no cost to small businesses, to upskill everyday Australians based on the ACSC’s Essential Eight.

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