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Cybercrime tops the list of concerns for SA businesses

Posted on 28/02/2020


More than two thirds of South Australian businesses surveyed have been a victim of crime in the past two years, with cyber-crime topping their concerns, according to a Business SA survey conducted on behalf of Crime Stoppers.

Understanding the Impact of Crime on South Australian Businesses – a Snapshot found close to half of the business owners or operators who responded listed theft or shoplifting as the most frequent crime at their business, followed by burglary, cyber-crime, fraud and vandalism.

With cybercrime listed as the biggest concern over the next five years, 36 per cent of respondents who raised cyber-crime were concerned about phishing, 32 per cent about cyber-ransom, and malware and data breaches were also at the forefront.

Business SA Chief Executive Martin Haese said the snapshot found that in 42 per cent of incidents, the crime was carried out by an employee or known customer.

“The majority of businesses across the state are being impacted by crime – whether it’s a cyber-attack, shoplifting or graffiti spray-painted on their wall,” Mr Haese said. “While shoplifting is more prevalent at present, cyber-crime is causing increasing angst in the business community.

“Close to half of those impacted by a crime attributed less than $10,000 to the cost of that crime over the past two years, 27 per cent reported the cost of crime to their business at between $10,000 and $30,000, and for 15 per cent, crime cost their business up to $200,000.

“The fact that the perpetrators are often out of reach makes businesses feel quite helpless, as does a lack of insurance cover. We think it’s time for owners and operators to act and protect their assets, whether it’s through increased cyber security measures or ensuring their insurance is adequate.”

Crime Stoppers SA Chair Sharon Hanlon said it was critical for the organisation to keep its finger on the pulse of the South Australian community and the survey results provided valuable insight into the current crime issues and concerns impacting many local businesses.

“With the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) estimating the average cost of a cybercrime attack to an Australian business being around $276,000  it is important that they do all they can to protect themselves from this serious and growing threat, and we are here to help them do just that,” Ms Hanlon said.

“In response to the findings, Crime Stoppers has committed to a series of workshops for SA businesses where they can hear from a leading cybercrime expert how to best protect themselves and their customers. The results help inform what future crime-specific campaigns we should deliver, and our hope as a not-for-profit organisation is that the business community will partner with us to make a real difference in tackling and preventing crime.”

Read the survey highlights document here.

This initiative has been funded under a grant from the Australian Government.


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