Australian small businesses will have access to a range of tools and services to help them stay safe online thanks to a collaboration between the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre (A3C) and the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA).
Together they have developed a free cybersecurity toolkit that is now available to small businesses across Australia.
The toolkit is a customised version of the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small Business–an online resource providing free, effective tools and resources that organisations in Australia can use to reduce their cyber risk.
A3C Interim Chief Executive Officer, Paula Oliver, said “the Australian version of the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small Business was jointly developed to ensure it aligns with the security messaging for small businesses put out by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)”.
While the toolkit is the first major achievement resulting from the recent partnership, Ms Oliver said the two organisations would look at other initiatives. “GCA have similar aims to A3C, so we want to extend the good work they do in Europe and the US to Australia. We will be a conduit for some of the work they do.”
One such potential collaboration is through a service known as Quad9, which is a collaboration between GCA, IBM, and Packet Clearing House. Oliver said “Quad9 is completely free and protects internet users from accessing known malicious websites. We are starting to investigate whether we integrate that into the free city WiFi in Adelaide [where A3C is based] and cities around Australia.”
Quad9 was introduced across the New York City public WiFi network in 2018.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Susan Close, said this partnership highlights A3C’s commitment to collaboration and how the centre is able to use their collective knowledge to help Australian businesses.
“By bringing together industry experts, A3C is helping to build cyber awareness, capability and resilience for Australian small businesses,” Minister Close said.
“The A3C is able to use their collective knowledge and expertise to make cyberspace a better and safer place for people to do business.
“With a strong network of national and international cyber partnerships, the A3C is the only cyber centre in Australia that provides an opportunity for the education, industry and business sectors to come together.”
GCA Global Partnership Officer, Terry Wilson, said of the partnership “Addressing cybersecurity is not something that can be addressed in isolation. Partnering with likeminded organisations such as A3C is important if we are to stem the increasing tide of ransomware and cyber criminality. GCA is proud to work with A3C to better protect Australian small businesses and looks forward to further collaboration”.
Vetted cyber security resources for SMBs
ACSC already has a substantial range of resources for SMBs, including more than 30 step-by-step guides for specific software, applications and devices.
The GCA toolkit, on the other hand, is a catalogue of vendor- tools and resources vetted by GCA to ensure compliance with a number of internationally recognised cybersecurity standards. The Australian standards are the ACSC’s list of Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents.
The GCA toolkit takes small business through six steps (or toolboxes), each of which includes free tools, videos, recommendations, training materials, and guidance to help them on their journey to better cyber safety. There is also a learning portal offering access to a range of seven free mini-courses and a community forum to support implementation.
A3C is a not-for-profit membership organisation founded in 2020 with $10m funding from the South Australian Government in collaboration with South Australia’s Office for Cyber Security, the Federal Government, industry partners including BAE Systems Australia and Telstra, and academic institutions including UniSA, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, AustCyber and the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre. The Commonwealth Bank is also a sponsor.
A3C’s stated mission is “to make cyberspace a better, and safer, place for organisations, corporations, agencies and institutions to do business.” To this end it offers three main services:
Workforce Services: to raise, train, deploy and sustain an industry ready, globally competitive cyber security workforce.
Cyber Range: training and testing infrastructure to reduce the cost and time required to ensure products and services are cyber secure.
Cyber Training Academy: providing local and national organisations with simplified access to cyber security training and education programs.
The A3C has a range of other offerings for SMEs to get started in their cyber journey and to complement the free toolkit. These include Cyber Clinics, a free in person or virtual ‘check up’ with a trusted consultant, as well as an Affiliate membership option which affords SMEs discounts on products and services.
About Global Cyber Alliance
The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to making the Internet a safer place by reducing cyber risk. GCA builds programs, tools, and partnerships to sustain a trustworthy Internet and enable social and economic progress for all. GCA is a 501(c)(3) in the U.S. and a nonprofit in the U.K. and Belgium.
It was founded in 2015 by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the City of London Police, and the Center for Internet Security. GCA has more than 160 partners that span all sectors and in 98 countries.