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Small business owners warned not to rely on Gen Z to handle cyber security

Small business owners could be putting their businesses at risk by relying on younger family members or employees to manage their cybersecurity.

A new survey has found two-thirds of Australia’s small business owners believe tech-savviness equates to cyber-safety skills.

But our first generation of digital natives, Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2010), are among the least cyber safe in the country. 

The survey found members of Gen Z were most likely to rate cyber security as a low or medium threat to small businesses they owned or were employed in.

They also struggled more than other groups to identify and prevent some of the most common cyber attacks faced by small businesses, such as identity theft, malware attacks, and ransomware.

According to the survey, the safest pair of hands in the small business community appear to be those Gen Xers and upper Millennials in their 30s, who are the most likely group to take cyber security seriously.

Small businesses increasingly targeted

The survey was conducted for the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) for its Cyber Wardens initiative.

In October, COSBOA announced a plan to launch a Cyber Wardens pilot program as a new resource for Australia’s small businesses to learn how to protect themselves from cyber threats and scams, which cost the economy an estimated $29 billion a year.


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