Health & Safety/Crisis Management
Building Digital Resilience
Small business owners are busy. Trying to navigate the complex and ever-changing world of cyber security is a headache they don’t need. We funded a pilot programme to develop a cyber security audit service for small businesses.
Small businesses, big problems
Talk to any small business owner and they’ll often tell you their most precious resource is time. Business owners are often really passionate about their product or service – but there are so many other specialist skills they need to be successful – and IT is just one of them.
But IT in itself is a vast topic. Dealing with technology can include everything from digital marketing, to customer relationship management, to mobile and hardware purchasing, and possibly the trickiest area of all – cyber security.
No ‘one-size fits all’ solution
Addressing the problem of cyber security for small businesses is complex. It’s not as simple as always updating your software, backing up your data and using antivirus or malware protection – that’s a good start, but it’s not enough in today’s complex world.
The reality is that every small business is unique – meaning their vulnerability to online hacks, attacks and security breaches is unique also. This often requires human intelligence and a human service for what is a very technical problem.
From concept to prototype in 12 weeks
We funded and hosted an initial week long ‘design sprint’ to quickly research, prototype and test the concept of a Cyber Security Safety Audit service to address this problem. Following this, the idea and a multi-disciplined team was established in a Creative HQ accelerator in Wellington.
They developed the idea further into a credible, tangible Proof of Concept and business model in just three months. The intellectual property created during the prototype was then successfully taken to market for private sector investment.
Small businesses who signed up for the audit – which was explained in plain English, easy to access and affordable – were visited by expert consultants at their premises for a thorough cyber security audit.
Upon completion of each audit, the small business owner received a detailed report outlining key risks and how best to address each risk. This would often require additional remedial work to address or fix their security problems.
Helping enable a clear path to market
Without funding from the Westpac Innovation Fund the pilot programme wouldn’t have been possible. And the IP that was developed during the prototype has now been turned into two separate services being run by two private providers in the New Zealand market.
The Innovation Fund was delighted to have helped the Government to deliver on its Cyber Security Strategy – and more importantly, New Zealand small businesses now have more options at their fingertips when they’re worried about cyber security.
Cybercrime costs New Zealand businesses about $250m-$400m a year – though that is only an estimate as a vast number of cyber attacks are not reported.