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$23m budget boost will put 60,000 Cyber Wardens on patrol


The programs aims to show small businesses how to manage digital risks and avoid being scammed.

By Josh Needs 9 minute read

COSBOA’s Cyber Wardens program got a $23.4 million budget boost to assist its mission of protecting small businesses from digital scams that cost billions a year.

Chair Matthew Addison said the funding was crucial for small businesses to develop the skills needed to prevent cyber attacks. 

“For small businesses to thrive in an online ecosystem vulnerable to cyber threats, increasing employees’ cyber literacy and motivations to act in a cyber-safe manner is essential,” said Mr Addison. 

“This critical investment from the Albanese government will help give small businesses the skills they need to meet the cyber burden.” 

Mr Addison said many firms had been placing their youngest employees on the frontline without any training.

“A good first step is taking stock of who is responsible for your business’ cyber protection,” he said. “Don’t just assume your kids or younger employees are the safest pair of hands when it comes to online activity.”

COSBOA said the $23.4 million set aside for the Cyber Warden scheme would create up to 60,000 wardens in small businesses within three years, building small business cyber resilience nationwide. 

It said the program was designed specifically for non-technical small business employees to identify and manage cyber risks and claimed a trained cyber warden could save a small business $50,000 by preventing a single compromised email attack. 

Telstra small and medium business executive Anne Da Cunha, one of the program’s partners, said it would make small firms aware of the necessary precautions required when conducting business online. 

“Managing small business risks online shouldn’t be like the dark arts,” said Ms Da Cunha. 

“We believe the solution lies not just in protecting devices and your internet connection, but also in the cyber safety culture you create.”

“Telstra is a proud foundational partner of this program and welcomes the government’s commitment to supporting small businesses.” 

The Commonwealth Bank, another partner of the program, said it was pleased to see the government take the issue seriously and invest in the worthwhile program. 

“Developing a cyber-safe mindset and empowering small business teams to identify and manage cyber threats is an essential skill,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, Commonwealth Bank executive for business banking. 

“We’re excited to see the expansion of the Cyber Wardens program with the government’s support, providing more small businesses with access to this crucial training.”

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Josh Needs

Josh Needs


Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

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