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Beware of bad actors.

No, we're not referring to LeBron James in Space Jam. Today we're talking about cyber threat actors, cyber criminals, blackhat hackers and cyber terrorists. Why? Because cyber experts are warning that current geopolitical tensions are also being played out in cyber space. And small businesses are a target.

Whether they're motivated by money, politics or revenge, a bad actor is someone that maliciously attacks and infiltrates your systems.

Have you ever had your Facebook account hacked? Had some strange transactions on your credit card, or had your computer system immobilised by ransomware? Cyber crime is being reported in Australia at a rate of every 10 minutes. And nearly half of all cyber attacks target small business.

Even Barefoot Investor Scott Pape has revealed he was the victim of a cyber scam

According to the latest threat intelligence report by Netscout Systems Inc., cyber criminals launched 9.75 million Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks last year - up 14% on pre-pandemic levels, although down 3% on the previous record number of attacks set in 2020.

The hardest hit sectors included software publishers (606% increase), insurance agencies and brokers (257% increase), computer manufacturers (162% increase), and colleges, university and professional schools (102% increase).

The lesson for all of us is be alert!

The Australian Cyber Security Centre issued an alert following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and is encouraging all businesses to urgently improve their cyber resilience. Here are three steps you can take today to help prevent cyber attacks.

1. Update your device.  Cyber criminals never stop looking for vulnerabilities, so you need to continually download the latest version of software to your devices.

2. Protect your accounts with multi-factor authentication. Some platforms, including Facebook, are proactively encouraging users to set up two-step identity authentication measures.

3. Backup your data regularly to the cloud, or an external hard drive. Why not set a reminder in your calendar to do this at the end of each week? Losing valuable customer information and data could be extremely damaging, not only to the running of your business, but to your reputation.

If you need further information and guidance on how to tighten your cyber security, the Australian Cyber Security Centre has resources specifically for small business. 

Don't wait until it's too late! 

With courage and hope,

Cheryl Gray

Public holiday entitlements

Need help unravelling public holidays and work entitlements? The Fairwork Ombudsman website includes essential information and dates for each state. Find out more here

Encouraging more female voices in economics

The Women in Economics Network (WEN) is providing an opportunity to win $750 by submitting an article as part of the inaugural Credible Economist Writing Competition. The competition is an initiative of the Credible Economist blog series which promotes female voices in economics. The brief is to submit an article of no longer than 800 words on an economics topic. Submissions are due by 1 April. The best three articles will receive prizes - $750 for first place, $550 for second place and $250 for third place. Head to the competition website for more information.

Need help growing your business profile and skills? 
Opportunities to promote your business and upgrade your skills don't need to cost the earth. Don't forget to tap into your business supplier networks and the many free services provided by local, state and federal governments to help boost your business. Banks, the Australian Taxation Office and many government agencies are recognising the value of supporting small businesses and offering incentives and new services. An example is CommBank's Benefits Finder which puts customers in touch with a huge range of grants, programs and other offers. 


News from Queensland

Congratulations to WNA Member Liz Golding who delivers the BrisAsia Fashion Festival tonight! WNA Members attending will enjoy the VIP treatment, thanks to Liz. And congratulations to Kassandra Behrendt whose Pagoni jewellery creations will feature in the runway show. We can't wait to share the photos!

Our sold-out Brisbane North networking breakfast on Tuesday certainly lived up to the name "Nourish and Nurture". The conversations and connections were incredibly valuable, and we had a special visit from a business networking group in Ireland, keen to see what WNA is up to. Thanks Dearbhaile Donagh for popping in to say hello! We're looking forward to strengthening WNA's global connections - stay tuned for news on that soon!!!

Don't forget to book for our next networking breakfast at Ralph & Co, Camp Hill, on 31 March. Book here.

And tickets are now on sale for our "Samba at Sunset" event at Hanworth House on 1 May, in support of our Dancing CEO, Jo Sainsbury, and Women's Legal Service Queensland. There's exotic food and dancing, amazing raffle prizes and excellent company! Book here. 

Also in support of Women's Legal Service Queensland, the following Dancing CEOs events are taking place:

Epic Gala Giving Ball  at Victoria Park Golf Course, Saturday 30 April

Old School Disco  Saturday 30 April 2022, 7pm – 11pm

WNA Charity of Choice Event 

The Carers Foundation Australia Who Cares? Lunch will be held at Victoria Park on 17 June.  This is a not-to-be-missed event in support of unpaid carers in our community. Book here as tickets are selling fast.


News from Victoria

WNA Networking Breakfast - 7 April - Melbourne

From a one-goat town in Greece to a life of passion and purpose in Australia, hear one woman's journey of growth and discovery; learning a new language, fighting cancer, depression and finally discovering her true creative self. 

Kassandra Behrendt is the founder and Creative Director of Pagoni, known for her keen eye, sense of style and unique creative flair. She shares her business and personal journey with energy and flair. Book your tickets here.


News from New South Wales

Beyond Blue has partnered with Ahead for Business and Counting on U to deliver a wellbeing seminar on Tuesday 29 March, as part of NSW Small Business Month. The webinar will provide practical steps and strategies to promote personal wellbeing in the workplace, and insights into how to look out for and care for others who may be going through challenging times. The webinar is an opportunity to hear from small business owners and a panel of mental health experts.
More info and register here.

Services and support for flood impacted areas

Residents and business impacted by flooding can access support services and assistance through the NSW Government. Click here for further details. 


News from Tasmania

Special Event - Hobart, 29 March

Get ready for an emotional rollercoaster, one we promise will have you laughing, crying and learning.

If you have ever wondered about the power of voice and sharing your story, this is a must-attend event! Elena Gosse is a successful CEO and business owner, public speaker, mentor and advocate against domestic and family violence. She believes in being the change she wants to see in the world. 

Click here to book your tickets to this special event. 


News from South Australia

Confused about Easter trading hours? Our friends at National Retail Association have collated an easy-to-read guide for when all states and territories can trade on the Easter and Anzac Day public holidays this year. This includes non-exempt trading hour restrictions for Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Anzac Day. View the guide here.

For information on SA grants and financial incentives for business owners, including COVID recovery grants, bookmark this site.


News from Western Australia

On 29 March, the WA Small Business Development Corporation will host a workshop on Running your Business from Home.  Click here for details and bookings. 


News from the Northern Territory

For information on Northern Territory Government grants and financial incentives for business owners, add this link to your bookmarks.


News from the ACT

The ACT Government has released its priorities for the economic development of the ACT for the coming years to make Canberra an even better place to live, work, visit, study, do business and invest in. 

The priorities include making Canberra a city ‘that gives you back time’ - focusing on the wellbeing of Canberrans and time-saving digital initiatives for people and businesses. Read more here.

***FINAL REMINDER*** Applications for the ACT's 2022-2023 Environmental Grants Program close on 4 April. The program supports the community to address environmental issues they are concerned about, restoring and conserving natural places that are special to them, and engaging other community members to do the same. Find out more here


Do you have news to share?

We love spreading the word about the achievements of our fabulous WNA members. If you'd like to have your news featured in a future edition of The Friday File, drop us an email to


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