GoDaddy finds Australian SMBs unprepared for cyber security threats

Tamara Oppen, Managing Director of GoDaddy Australia

Many Australian small businesses lack the understanding and protection systems to effectively handle a cyber-attack, according to new research released by GoDaddy Inc.

Coinciding with Cyber Security Awareness Month, the research found that two in three have no security protections on their website and only 15% would know how to deal with an attack.

Digital transformation has empowered businesses big and small, yet creating new risks.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre received more than 67,500 cyber crime reports from June 2020 to July 2021, representing a 13% increase over the previous year. 

GoDaddy’s cyber security research findings

The global study involved over 8,000 small businesses in 20 countries.

Only 15% of Australian small businesses responded that they were prepared to deal with a cyber attack, with only Canadian small businesses possessing less awareness (12%). 

Despite three in four (76%) Australian small businesses recognising the risk of a cyber security attack, two in three (66%) still haven’t added cyber security protections to their website.  

One in five (22%) Australian small businesses surveyed have experienced a security breach on their website, however this was lower than every other country besides the USA.

Of the Australian businesses who had been compromised, 75% reported having experienced website downtime, with 40% experiencing an outage of over three days, while reputational damage (35%) and financial loss (32%) were the other common impacts experienced.

“A cyber security incident can have numerous negative impacts on small businesses.” 

“Knowing the risks and, more importantly, how to protect your business is crucial, especially as we approach critical retail shopping periods like Black Friday and Christmas.”

“SMBs need to consider the security of their online presence, just as they do the security of their offline presence,” said Tamara Oppen, Managing Director of GoDaddy Australia. 

Awareness, education and action

In Australia, basic awareness of cyber security risks are high, however deep understanding and subsequent actions to help to proactively put protections in place remain low.

Australian businesses are aware of big threats like malware, phishing and ransomware. 

However, on a disappointing note, less than half of the respondents said that they were aware of other important threats like DDoS attacks, SQL injection and man in the middle. 

Of the two in three who reported that they are yet to add protections to their website, 40% said a failure to do so is based on a lack of accessible and straightforward information online.

45% don’t feel like they have the skills or back up to deal with a cyber attack on their website. 

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“It’s reassuring that three quarters of SMBs are aware of the risks posed by a cyber attack, but we can help turn awareness into action to help protect Australian businesses and customers.” 

“Our research found that 40% of small businesses haven’t added protections to their website because information was unclear and confusing, leaving their business potentially vulnerable.” 

“At GoDaddy, we are committed to helping SMBs run successful and safe businesses online.”

“Through GoDaddy Website Security and the suite of protections it provides like SSL Certificates, Firewalls, site backups and malware scanning, we’re making it easier for SMBs to build awareness, protect their website and harness the potential of their online business.”