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Digital technology is a powerful driving force, revolutionising business, lowering costs and extending reach. It can also help businesses deliver products and services faster, respond to changing consumer demands, and welcome new customers locally and internationally who want to buy online. For some businesses, however, grappling with new technology brings challenges, particularly for small business who are already time and resource poor.

The Small Business Digital Champions Project will help small businesses to be more effective, competitive and ultimately, more profitable.

Over two years, NDS will be providing information, practical advice and guidance for small businesses on how to successfully adopt digital technologies when working in the disability sector. Information and services will be delivered through a variety of channels, including face-to-face and online for free.

The project will cover the following topics and much more:

  • Technology trends and technology adoption
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Online content development
  • Social media and digital marketing
  • Websites
  • Online security and data privacy
  • Digital best practice guides
  • Online digital planning
  • Digital training
  • Coaching and support for going online

The first three topic areas, as voted by you in our recent survey, are:

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If you would like to receive information on how you can access the resources, please register for our Digital Champions e-newsletter by clicking here.

Tell us about your journey, challenges and successes in digital transformation by completing this short six-question survey.

Following your feedback, NDS will announce a series of 20-minute webinar sessions, which will commence once a month beginning in August. Sessions will focus on the wide implications of digital transformation for the disability sector using webinars, live sessions, training materials and case studies.

ACSC Resources On Cyber Security For Small Businesses

ACSC Small Business Cyber Security Guide
The ACSC have been working on providing tailored advice about cyber security for small businesses. They have now released the ACSC Small Business Cyber Security Guide to help people along the way as well as the ACSC's Step-by-Step Guides and Quick Wins for Small Business. See below for details.

ACSC Small Business Cyber Security Guide
ACSC’s flagship guidance document and starting point for any small business is the Small Business Cyber Security Guide. It provides simple information that when understood and implemented, can significantly avoid, or reduce the impact of, the most common cyber security incidents. This has been specifically designed for small businesses to understand, take action, and increase their cyber security resilience against ever-evolving cyber security threats.

The language is clear, the actions are simple, and the guidance is tailored for small businesses. It was developed using the insights of the ACSC Small Business Survey, and is intended for small businesses with less than 20 staff, that are time poor, and have limited resources and cyber security background knowledge. It contains the following sections:

  • Key Threats
  • Key Software Considerations
  • Key People and Procedures
  • Summary Checklist
  • Glossary

View the ACSC Small Business Cyber Security Guide

ACSC Step-by-Step Guides
Feedback from business and individuals is that once they understand why cyber security is important, there is a gap of information on “how to do specifically do it. ACSC recognise that specific instructions reduce the anxiety of those with limited technical knowledge having to wander through the settings of a device or software. To complement our Small Business Cyber Security Guide, ACSC have also launched their Step-by-Step Guides.

These Step-by-Step Guides are designed so that each stage of the process, with visual screenshots, is clearly set out to ensure the user understands what they are doing and why they are doing it. ACSC currently have Step-by-Step Guides published for how to turn on automatic updates (Windows and Mac versions) as well as on how to turn on two-factor authentication for various popular email and social media platforms. They are currently working on guides for backing up and restoring data, other two-factor authentication guides, amongst other controls and are always open to suggestions and ideas.

View ACSC Step-by-Step Guides

ACSC Quick Wins for Small Business
ACSC also see the need to provide quick and accessible advice on specific cyber security issues. The Quick Wins for Small Business series provides a two page summary of quick action items a small business owner can read and apply. The first is for portable devices, and they are currently developing Quick Wins for preparing for end of support as well as and website security, both very relevant and important for small business owners and operators.

View Quick Wins for Small Business

.au Domain Administration (auDA) Update

 The .au Domain Administration (auDA) is proposing changes to the rules that govern how domain names ending in .au are distributed. This includes addresses ending in .com.au, .net.au, .org.au and so on. When the new rules take effect, they will also allow direct registration of .au addresses, i.e. www.example.au. To ensure the rules are appropriate and fit-for-purpose, auDA is conducting public consultation on the proposed updated rules.

Is this a small business issue?

We recognise that a domain name can represent a significant investment for a small business. In the .com.au space, domain licensing rules cover issues such as:
  • • Requirements that the domain name applied for must be an exact match for the business or company name, a person’s name, a trademark held by the applicant, a good or service the applicant sells, etc.
  • • Australian presence requirements for registering domains ending in .au
  • • Rules governing the warehousing and reselling of domain names (sometimes referred to as ‘squatting’ or ‘cybersquatting’)
  • • The process and duration of the priority access period, during which the owner of example.com.au may apply for example.au with priority status.

We want to ensure that small businesses’ interests are represented in auDA’s public consultation on the new rules. We are letting you know about the public consultation, so that you can make a submission if you wish.

Are there any specific issues we should be aware of?

Rules
The current rules require that a domain name in the .com.au and .net.au spaces must be ‘a) an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant’s name or trademark; or b) otherwise closely and substantially connected to the registrant’ (existing rules, Schedule C, section 2 – further detail in current Guidelines on the Interpretation of Policy Rules for Open 2LDs, section 10.5). The previous draft of the proposed new rules removed this requirement, instead requiring only that ‘A Person applying for a licence in the com.au and net.au namespaces must be a commercial entity.’ Some stakeholders raised concerns that removing these requirements would make it more difficult for Australian businesses to register domain names connected to their business name, products or services. After these concerns were raised, auDA decided to retain existing ‘close and substantial connection’ rule (see .au Licensing rules Consultation draft, s2.4.4).

Priority period for direct registration of example.au addresses
The implementation plan for the .au namespace (www.example.au) includes a priority registration period, during which the holder of smallbiz.com.au would have priority access to register smallbiz.au. The .au Namespace Implementation Rules set out how competing claims for priority status will be managed, and how long the priority period will be. The Implementation Rules will also set out how priority status for smallbiz.au would be decided between the holders of smallbiz.com.au and smallbiz.net.au.

How can I make a submission?

Written submissions can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 31 October 2019.

Public forums will be held in Canberra (15 October), Sydney (16 October) and Melbourne (17 October). An online workshop is also planned for the morning of 17 October. Details on the public forums, and how to make a written submission, can be found via the consultation page.

What is auDA?

auDA is a non-government organisation that administers the Australian domain name system. The Australian Government has formally endorsed auDA as the appropriate body to administer the .au namespace.

For more information on the domain licensing rules and the proposed changes, please visit https://www.auda.org.au/public-comment/au-consultation-oct2019/.