Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Conventional insurance may not cover cyber security breaches: Centre for Internet Safety

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013
Photo credit; elhombredenegro on Flickr

Photo credit; elhombredenegro on Flickr

Companies with an online presence need to look beyond conventional insurance policies to ensure they are protected against more than just cyber attacks, a new report from the Centre for Internet Safety (CIS) has warned.

The University of Canberra-based thinktank warned in the report that many organisations are unprepared to manage risk from a variety of factors beyond simple cyber-attacks. Negligence and human factors accounted for 35% of data breaches in one recent Ponemon Institute-Symantec study, while 29% were due to system glitches and the remainder due to the stereotypical malicious attack.

“Traditional business insurance policies have tended to only cover ‘tangible’ assets such as PCs, laptops and other mobile devices,” the report warns.

“Developing exposures have highlighted that electronic data is not always considered to fall under the definition of tangible assets and is just one area where cyber insurance is designed to fill a gap. Some organisations have discovered gaps in what is and isn’t covered after an attack. Unfortunately for them, by then it is too late.”

The report identified five key issues organisations needed to consider in assessing their cyber risk:

  • identifying the organisation’s tangible assets
  • evaluating its ability to survive without them
  • establishing whether it is principally a business-to-business or business-to-consumer operation
  • evaluating the burden of managing fully automated IT systems
  • assessing the privacy and data breach laws for the markets where it operates.

Companies need to make sure their insurance regimes also cover the ancillary effects of a data breach and its aftermath.

These include:

  • cover for business interruption
  • the cost of notifying customers
  • the cost of regulatory investigations or actions in the event of a breach, “without the requirement for physical damage that is a standard trigger under property policies.”

Other expenses that should be included in cyber-insurance policies include:

  • crisis management
  • hiring a public relations firm to manage a data breach incident
  • forensic analysis
  • repairing and restoring computer systems
  • the loss of business income resulting from the incident.

“An effective cyber insurance policy will include explicit wording which covers first party and third party claims,” the report advises, warning that the nature and scope of cyber-insurance policies must be managed at the business level and not just by the IT organisation.

The 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report found 570 of 855 recorded attacks were targeted at businesses with 11 to 100 employees.

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E-commerce to grow by leaps and bounds in Asia-Pacific report predicts

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Asia Pacific - Brisbane City CouncilEcommerce sales in five of the largest markets in the Asia-Pacific region will soon surpass all e-retail sales in North America and Europe combined, Forrester Research Inc. has predicted.

Taken together, online retail sales in the five markets — Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and India — are growing rapidly, from $398 billion in 2013 to $858 billion in 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 16.61%, Forrester projects in the report, entitled “Asia Pacific Online Retail Forecast, 2013 to 2018,” by analyst Zia Daniell Wigder.

Forrester predicts e-retail sales in these five Asia-Pacific markets will reach $768 billion in 2017, nearly 17% more than the $658 billion Forrester predicts in 2017 for the U.S., Canada and Western Europe combined. (Forrester has not yet issued 2018 e-commerce projections for the U.S. and Europe.)

The report states that Australian online retail sales will grow 10% per year from $23 billion in 2013 to $38 billion in 2018. Australians buy a lot from foreign online retailers, encouraged both by a relatively small number of domestic players and the fact that the first A$1,000 in purchases made from a foreign retailer enter the country duty-free. Purchases made under this exemption, the government reports, totaled $6.23 billion in 2011-12. More global brands are entering the online space in Australia, taking advantage of the relatively minor localization required for brands that operate in the United States or United Kingdom.

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Online wine retailer takes home the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award for 2013

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Photo credit; Uncalno Tekno on Flickr

Photo credit; Uncalno Tekno on Flickr

Vinomofo, an online wine retailer with revenue growth of 1,723% over the past three years has taken home the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award for 2013.

Co-founder and CEO Andre Eikmeier said the award is recognition of the “impact of a million decisions we’ve made, and the traction in the marketplace. Since we’ve grown profitably, rather than simply pumped capital into marketing dollars to ‘buy’ our growth, it’s something we’ve very proud of. For us, our customers and suppliers aren’t just transacting with us; they have to a large degree invested in our journey. They believe in us, and have championed us from start-up.”

Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 leader Joshua Tanchel said in a statement that Vinomofo’s innovative customer relationship model and its use of social media to enhance consumer engagement contributed to the business’s success.

“Vinomofo has disrupted and redefined the ultra-competitive online wine market since its launch three years ago. They have pioneered a content driven approach that has been a real hit for consumers, helping to break down barriers and open up new channels to market by working directly with wine producers.”

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Program ranks 50 of Australia’s fastest growing public and private technology companies, based on percentage revenue growth over three years (2011 to 2013).

Total revenue for this year’s Fast 50 winners was approximately $1.7 billion. Average three-year revenue growth for this year’s winners was 222%.

Melbourne-based online foreign exchange broker Pepperstone, which was founded in 2010, won the Rising Star Award, which recognises companies with strong growth potential that do not qualify for the Technology Fast 50 list, either because they don’t have revenue data for three years or they don’t meet the $8 million income threshold to take part in the Technology Fast 50 program.

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Cybercrime still huge concern for Australian businesses

Friday, November 29th, 2013
Photo credit; elhombredenegro on Flickr

Photo credit; elhombredenegro on Flickr

Business standards company BSI says still too many Australian companies aren’t taking cyber attacks seriously.

 BSI recently revised its Information Security ISO and the 2013 revision by BSI of the international standard organisation’s (ISO), ISO 27001 Information Security, combined with the launch of Star Certification for Cloud security providers represents a comprehensive rethink of the organisation’s approach in addressing cyber security.

BSI’s CEO, Howard Kerr, said that ISO 27001 is one of the fastest growing management systems globally, and the 2013 revision of the standard will assist businesses of all sizes to address cyber security threats.

“The challenges currently faced are quite phenomenal and with the introduction of the cloud, these issues potentially impact the whole supply chain,” he said.

According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2013 the risk of a cyber attack on any business has risen by 250% since 2010.

As ARN reported back in October Cyber crime costs Australians $1.06 billion, cyber crime cost Australian business $1.06bn in the last year, and affected 5 million people.

Businesses are now doubling their data every 1-2 years, which puts a strain on company infrastructure, and the employees that administer it. Plus, the move to Cloud computing has seen more and more companies putting commercially sensitive information outside the physical company premises – and into the unknown.

Kerr also cautioned that, with the rise of mobility and BYOD, these more flexible forms of working are producing even more security hazards.

“All of these developments are making information security increasingly difficult to manage with threats are growing in sophistication and impact and greater penalties being imposed by regulators for breaches and the risks associated with reputational damage,” said Kerr.

BSI certifies more than 3500 clients in Australia.

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Step-by-step guide to registering your own small business online

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Photo credit; Midiman on Flickr

Photo credit; Midiman on Flickr

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published a step-by-step guide for who want to register their own small business online.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Decide on your business structure.

2. Apply for your Australian Business Number (ABN).

3. Check that your chosen business name is available.

4. Register your business name.

5. Register your website domain name.

Step 1: Decide on your business structure
When starting a business choose the business structure that best suits your needs.
Your business structure (aka applicant or entity type) refers to the way you will operate your business.
These include:
  • Sole trader: an individual trading on their own
  • Partnership: an association of people or entities running a business together, but not as a company
  • Trust: an entity that holds property or income for the benefit of others
  • Company: a legal entity separate from its shareholders.
You can change your business structure as your business grows.
Visit the Australian Taxation Office website for more information on each business structure.
Step 2: Applying for your Australian Business Number (ABN)
Your ABN is a unique number that allows you to identify your business to government and other businesses.
You can get your ABN online at the Australian Business Register.
Applying for an ABN is free and should take about 30 minutes.
Things you will need to provide:
  • your personal details
  • your business information
  • your associate details
  • reasons for your application
  • your business activity details and
  • a declaration that the information you have provided throughout the application is true.
Your new ABN will appear on the completed application screen and will be ready for you to use right away.
Step 3: Checking your chosen business name is available
You can check the availability of a business name online at the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) website.
To check if your proposed business name is available:
  1. Search business names register on the ASIC Connect website.
  2. From the drop down menu select ‘Check business name availability’.
  3. Enter the name you would like to search in the field below.
  4. Submit your search by pressing the ‘Go’ button.
If your name is not available, keep searching until you find one that isn’t claimed.
Step 4: Registering your business name
After you have found an available business name, register the name with the ASIC to secure it by:
  1. Going to the ASIC Connect website.
  2. Signing up to create an account with ASIC prior to beginning your application. Once you have your account you can begin the application.
  3. Completing the application. This should take you around 15-20 minutes to complete and at the end of the application you will receive confirmation that your chosen name has been registered.
Applying for a business name costs $33 AUD for one year or $76 for three years. Visit the ASIC website for more information on business name payments and fees.
Your business name is only your identification and registering it does not give you full rights over the name. You should trade mark your business name, too.
Step 5: Registering your website domain name
Your domain name is your website address on the internet and gives your business an online identity or brand for your customers.
When picking a website name it’s best to go with a name that:
  • represents your business
  • is easy to remember, pronounce and spell
  • is three syllables or less.
If you want to buy a or web address you will need to have an ABN.
To register your domain name go to the .au Domain Administration Ltd (.auDA) website for links to registrars and resellers, and to confirm current fees and options.

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David Jones online sales up 1,000%

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
1000 - Miguel

Photo credit; Miguel on Flickr

While sales growth for David Jones is flat-lining, its online sales increased by more than 1,000% in the first quarter of this financial year just ended.

Compare that to total sales revenue of $424.2 million, up just 2.1 per cent.

David Jones didn’t put a dollar figure to the online sales.

The key takeouts from the quarterly David Jones report:

* New South Wales and Victoria stores are the strongest for sales.

* Online sales up more than 1,000 per cent in the quarter. Its relaunched webstore is 12 months old next week.

* Total Sales up 2.1 per cent to $424.2 million from the same quarter the previous year of $415.6 million.

* Like for Like Sales down 0.3% to $414.2 million from $415.6 million.

* Sales were up 0.6 per cent excluding the disruption impact of the Canberra Centre store

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CEO of eWay vows to drag Aussie businesses to ecommerce, even if they are kicking and screaming

Monday, November 18th, 2013
Illustration credit; Tsahi Levent-Levi on Flickr

Illustration credit; Tsahi Levent-Levi on Flickr

The CEO of Australian online payment gateway provider eWay has taken it upon himself to try and coax more Australian businesses to embrace ecommerce by dramatically overhauling the speed at which businesses can gain a merchant account and get paid after transacting.

“We are going to change the speed of how long it takes to get a merchant account. Right now, if you try to get a merchant account, it takes four weeks, six weeks, six months,” eWay CEO and founder Matt Bullock says. “We are pushing it down to four days, and then we will change that down to four hours next year, then eventually get that down to nought hours. That is by getting rid of a whole bunch of banking processes which are busted, and us fixing them and doing them properly.”

The increased speed comes at a price: 2.2 percent and AU$0.30 per transaction, and an AU$25 per month fee. However, that also includes 24/7 support, which banks don’t offer.

Bullock says the higher cost won’t deter merchants, as they are more concerned with the issue of the time taken to get online, get trading, and get paid.

“You talk to the [payment] gateway [company], they say, ‘go away and talk to a bank’,” Bullock says. “You talk to the bank, and that is a long and painful process; sometimes you finish through it and sometimes you don’t. We’re saying, ‘talk to us, you don’t need to talk to your bank. We will do it all and we’ll do it quicker than the banks have ever done it before.’”

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Australian businesses ready to embrace cloud computing

Monday, November 11th, 2013
Photo credit; Kei51

Photo credit; Kei51

Australia is the second-most cloud ready country in the world, according to the Business Software Alliance.

A report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that about 86% of businesses in Australia were using the cloud in some aspect in July this year, which was a 15% increase compared to the same time last year.

The IDC also predicted that the Australian market for public cloud services will grow at a compound annual rate of 24.7% over the next five years, reaching about A$2.6 billion in 2017.

The Australia Business Review says more Australian businesses should embrace cloud computing because:

  • It is relatively easy and inexpensive to set up a cloud computing system.
  • The cloud enables you to streamline your computing processes and achieve economies of scale.
  • You can complete your computing tasks in less time and increase your productivity with fewer workers.
  • It provides easy and secure data backup and recovery.
  • Cloud computing technology will continue to evolve and get better in the future.

To read more about this story, click here.

Harvey Norman is late to the online party, but a welcomed guest nonetheless

Friday, November 8th, 2013
Photo credit; Nicolas Nova on Flickr

Photo credit; Nicolas Nova on Flickr

Harvey Norman has moved from confrontation to convert when it comes to online sales.

The retailer’s executive chairman Gerry Harvey famously described internet retail as “a lot of crap” in 1999 and was skeptical about it even as recently as 2006.

In November 2011 Harvey Norman finally joined the 21st Century and launched a website  that now accounts for 2% of group sales and is reporting annualised growth of more than 100% as sales from the Australian business overall have fallen for six of the past eight quarters.

“We were a little bit behind but we’re catching up,” says Gary Wheelhouse, Harvey Norman head of digital. Harvey Norman was so behind, in fact, that Wheelhouse’s job title didn’t even exist three years ago.

But he agrees with the prediction of Myer boss Bernie Brookes that Australia will follow the US and British markets, where big department stores such as Nordstrom and John Lewis are the biggest players in the online sector.

“Pure plays are great but one of the challenges that they have which we don’t is having inventory close to where customers are, and that’s really driving a lot of our thoughts on development,” Wheelhouse says.

“Very few online retailers would be able to get a camera to a customer in Karratha this afternoon, but we can because we have inventory in 170-odd locations across Australia. A lot of our products are about instant gratification — Lumia 1020 phones and Grand Theft Auto 5, people want it right now. That’s one of the big things driving our growth.”

The store network, mostly franchised outlets, are used as “click and collect” points for customers. The payoff for franchisees is that they have a chance to sell the customer picking up their online purchases something else — on that visit or in the future.

“We think of our store network as being our fulfilment partners, and click-and-collect customers buy more when they go into the store,” Wheelhouse says.

“It’s a local Harvey Norman customer, so sometimes they’re buying online and picking up in store, and other times they’re doing research online and then going into the store, so it works both ways. The benefits for franchisees are about servicing their local customer who is going to do the majority of their business with that store.”

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Regional Development Australia Southern Inland wants to boost Australian online business presence

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Photo credit; Angela Thomas on Flickr

Photo credit; Angela Thomas on Flickr

Regional Development Australia Southern Inland aims to help local community organisations and small to medium businesses navigate their way around the internet and take advantage of high speed broadband with the Capital Digital Enterprise Program.

“The Australia Government has done research and the reason this program exists is because it showed that only 23% of Australian businesses have a proper online presence,” project officer Richard Everson said. “So 75% of businesses could do better online, there’s a huge potential there.”

The program will be delivered through a series of free weekly workshops facilitated by Three Sides Marketing as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions.

The two-hour workshops include topics such as:

  • creating a website
  • online marketing principles
  • e-commerce
  • online security, and
  • online business tools.

“There’s 16 workshops in total and we’ll run the circuit three times. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to attend workshops over the two years,” he said.

The program is designed for total novices to those who have already ventured into the online world.

Everson encouraged local community groups not just businesses to take advantage of the program which is scheduled to run until August 2015.

“Almost every single person in Queanbeyan belongs to a sporting group or a church group or a youth group or some sort of association. Don’t think just because it’s technology, it has to be a business,” he said.

“Sporting groups can run a website, send text messages to their players if the game’s cancelled, things like that.

“There’s something for everybody.”

An Introduction to the Capital Region Digital Enterprise Program will be held on Tuesday, November 5 at the Airport International Hotel from 5.30 – 7.30pm. Workshops will be held every Tuesday after that. For more information or to book, visit

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