Improving our nation’s cybersecurity is a major part of the Australian Government’s current and future plan. As recently as 2020, a $1.7 billion Cyber Security Strategy was released to create a more secure online world for businesses and consumers. In the 2022-23 federal Budget, the government showed again how serious they are about preventing cyber threats, announcing a $9.9 billion investment in Australia’s intelligence and cyber capabilities.
So, should businesses be excited by these announcements or worried? With the government dedicating so much funding to one area, does this mean the risk of cyber-attacks is increasing? One thing is certain, any investment in bolstering cyber security is money well spent.
Whether you’re a small, medium or large business, you’re vulnerable to online criminal activity. Let’s look at how you can take advantage of the government’s billion-dollar cyber splurge and what you can do to protect your business now and in the future.
How will the funding be distributed to businesses?
The main purpose of the funding is to help Australia build cyber intelligence, as well as defensive and offensive capabilities. The cybersecurity program has been named REDSPICE (resilience, effects, defence, space, intelligence, cyber and enablers). While much of the funding will go towards building advanced AI, machine learning technology and building a strong cybersecurity workforce, there are impressive tax breaks for businesses who adopt new technology.
The government set aside $1.6 billion in tax relief for small businesses as part of the Technology Investment Boost. If you’re a business with an annual turnover of less than $50 million per annum, you may be eligible for some serious tax deductions. As was stated on Budget night:
…for every AU$100 small businesses spend on (select) digital technologies, they will get a AU$120 tax deduction… investments of up to $100,000 per year will be supported by this new measure…
No doubt every business will look to improve and update its digital capability.
So, what can you claim?
- Cloud-based services
- Cyber security systems – anti-virus software, network security etc
- Upskilling staff
- Web Design
- Plus more
Why should you consider upgrading your technology services?
Whether you’re introducing cloud-based software or choosing someone to manage your IT services, your business will be more secure.
Managed Cloud Server
The rise of employees working from home or working remotely has prompted many businesses to upgrade their internal systems. Using a cloud managed service provides a secure platform for everyone in your business and saves you time and money by no longer needing to manage physical servers in your office. The enterprise level cloud server is held off-site and is monitored around the clock.
The software is updated regularly to ensure we all stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and all your data is backed up in a secure offsite data centre.
Benefits of using a cloud-based service:
- May be claimed as a tax deduction
- Save on overall IT expenditure
- Scalable – can grow as your business grows
- Keeps data secure
- Can be accessed remotely
- All data is secure and backed up
Managed IT Service
In terms of cybersecurity, a Managed IT Service delivers proactive IT solutions that ensure your anti-virus and anti-spam software is always up to date. Instead of waiting and hoping a cyber-attack won’t happen, your Managed IT Service constantly monitors internal and external IT operations for any abnormal activity.
Engaging an outside company to take care of your IT means you don’t have to employ dedicated IT staff. Instead, you get a ready-made team of IT experts at your service.
What to expect from your managed IT service:
- Protection from cyber-attacks
- IT support on call 24/7
- Proactive and reactive solutions
- Reduced IT costs – only pay for what you need
- Monitoring and updating IT security
- Monthly updates on IT performance
What’s the next step?
The threat of your business experiencing a cyber-attack is real. Why and when cybercriminals will strike is unknown. Most businesses assume that government organisations or larger institutions are the main targets but often the small and mid-sized businesses have weaker security systems in place making them an easy target.
While the Australian government is prepared to hand out such generous tax benefits, it makes sense to review your current IT operations and make the necessary upgrades. Investing in cyber security is not only about protecting your business but also your customer’s personal data, plus it’ll enhance your overall business reputation.
If you want to discuss your current IT services and get a quote on improving your cyber security, talk to the team at Austin Technology – Australia’s leading managed IT support company.