Backing up the Smart State:
E-Security in Queensland's Small and Medium Enterprises. Graduation
Thesis (Diplomarbeit), Furtwangen University, Furtwangen, Germany.
of today's information economy is still not sufficiently realised:
The economic structure of Queensland is
to a great extent made up of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
Across all industry sectors, these businesses rapidly approach a
similar level of information technology take-up than large enterprises
and thus depend to an increasing degree on IT efficiency and security.
findings of this study, which has been conducted in partnership
with the Information Industries Bureau and the Gold
Coast City Council,
are drawn from an online survey in order to provide an indication
of the present e-security situation in SMEs of Queensland's
Gold Coast region.
The data shows that the installation and maintenance
of e-business technology requires significant time, staff and money
well as a constant learning and updating process in order to be
on top of the IT development, which is why most SMEs rely to a
degree on the expertise and competence of external IT service providers
E-Business technology is subject to various vulnerabilities.
It is necessary to conduct proper risk analysis to gauge the impact
likelihood of any potential business threats. The risks identified
in this process have then to be treated with appropriate backup
plans. SMEs seem to be overstrained to handle this burden by themselves
without the availability of support programs to reasonable charges,
for specialised e-security service providers do not target SMEs.
Their solutions are too pricey and are not designed to be applied
in the setting of a SME.
The Queensland Government shows a high
level of interest in issues surrounding e-business and their usage.
However, e-security issues
in SMEs are rarely addressed. Many public funding and assistance
schemes seem to be unknown, unattractive, or unsuitable to SMEs.
is an obvious lack of awareness for security issues among SMEs
which has to be addressed by developing new and rethinking
public programs and strategies. To stimulate awareness and appropriate
action, it is desirable to provide certain incentives and rewards
to enterprises that pass security audits and fulfil Australian
security standards. These are essential steps towards the protection
and preparedness for any e-security incidents which both the public
and private sector have to take in order to survive something Sam
Nunn calls an "electronic Pearl Harbor".
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