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CBA launches new cyber safety initiative for SME firms

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has launched a new cyber safety training program to upskill small businesses, in a bid to help them develop “crucial skills”.

user iconLauren Croft 20 October 2022 SME Law
CBA launches new cyber safety initiative for SME firms
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In a joint initiative with Telstra and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), the new program will help protect small businesses from cyber threats and scams, which cost the economy an estimated $29 billion a year.

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 micro-credential for the small-business sector.

The program, which will be “designed by small business, for small business”, will aim to give owners and employees 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 per cent of all Australian cyber crime is directed at small businesses — costing small-business owners almost $9,000 on average in financial year 2021. Therefore, it is critical that the almost 5 million small-business employees are supported to upskill their cyber safety knowledge — particularly as online scams and fraud continue to rise.

COSBOA chief executive Alexi Boyd said the aim of the Cyber Wardens program is to develop crucial skills training for small-business owners who have felt powerless in the digital safety space. She noted that for many small businesses, the struggle to upskill is made harder by limited resources, time and technology expertise.

“We believe that having a cyber warden on the team will help give small-business owners the confidence that their business and customers are protected,” she said.

“Australia’s innovative small-business owners are used to wearing many hats, but we can’t just add another task to the to-do or ‘too-hard’ lists. By targeting employees, as well as owners, the Cyber Wardens program will equip Australia’s small-business workforce with the mindset, skill set and toolset to more easily and safely engage with an increasingly digital world.

“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.”

CBA group executive for business banking Mike Vacy-Lyle explained that it is crucial the small-business sector is equipped with the skills it needs to stay safe online.

“Understanding a complex topic like cyber safety can be challenging, and we are always looking for ways to better support small businesses in this space,” he said.

“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.”

The Cyber Wardens pilot program will be rolled out in the coming months.

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