The small business ombudsman has published a new guide to help SMEs protect themselves from cyber threats.

Small businesses now have a new resource to help them understand cyber threats and protect themselves from attack.

The small business ombudsman published the Cyber Security Best Practice Guide in response to research that showed that 60 per cent of small firms that experienced a cyber breach closed doors within six months.

The ombudsman, Kate Carnell, said that small businesses needed to take cyber security seriously.

“Surveys have shown that 87 per cent of small businesses believe antivirus software alone is enough to keep them safe,” she said.

“Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and small businesses are particularly vulnerable.

“Online threats are just as real as physical threats. Cyber security needs to be taken seriously, like having locks on your doors and a burglar alarm.”

Ms Carnell said small businesses should take cyber advice from trusted professionals or consult helpful websites like Stay Smart Online.