Businesses are prioritising investment in cybersecurity despite the overall IT budget cuts amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a Kaspersky report on ‘Investment adjustment: aligning IT budgets with changing security priorities’.

The share of cybersecurity in IT spending has grown from 23 per cent in 2019 to 26 per cent in 2020 for small and medium businesses (SMBs). For enterprises, cybersecurity’s share in spending has increased to 29 per cent in 2020 from 26 per cent last year.

“Cybersecurity remains a priority for investment among businesses. This is despite overall IT budgets decreasing in both segments amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and cybersecurity cuts affecting the most economically hit SMBs,” the report said.

“External conditions and events can influence IT priorities for businesses. As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, organisations have had to adjust plans to meet changing business needs – from emergency digitalisation to cost optimisation,” it further said.

Read More

This week: A sugar-hit budget lacking in big ideas, James Packer faces the music (sort of), and Jacinda-mania part II.


A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.

Australians were reminded of this political maxim when Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday unveiled a record A$213.7 billion ($153 billion) budget deficit, equal to 11% of GDP, for the financial year started July 1.

The optics couldn’t be more different from last year, when Frydenberg proudly forecast the first budget surplus in more than a decade. (The Liberal Party even started selling A$35 “Back in Black” coffee mugs to mark the occasion). But that was before Covid-19 upended the world and before a government that won an election on promises of fiscal rectitude once again discovered we’re all Keynesians now.

relates to Australia’s Budget Lacks Big Ideas, Despite the Stimulus Sugar Hit

The centerpiece of the budget was a near-A$100 billion cash splash of personal tax cuts, wage

Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — New, eye-popping federal budget figures released Thursday show an enormous $3.1 trillion deficit in the just-completed fiscal year, a record swelled by coronavirus relief spending that pushed the tally of red ink to three times that of last year.

A family takes group portrait, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, outside of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

© Provided by Associated Press
A family takes group portrait, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, outside of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Congressional Budget Office released the unofficial 2020 figures Thursday, saying the deficit equaled 15% of the U.S. economy, a huge gap that was the largest since the government undertook massive borrowing to finance the final year of World War II.

The government spent $6.6 trillion last year and borrowed 48 cents of every dollar it spent, CBO said. The numbers amount to a 47% increase in spending, led by $578 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program for smaller businesses, and a $443 billion

Read More

A 55-year-old Melbourne business owner has responded to the government’s support for employing young people with a tweet advertising a part-time role for “a woman just like me”.

a close up of a man wearing a hat: OKaye Services

© Provided by Smart Company
OKaye Services

And, amid a budget that has done little for women, let alone women over the age of 35, the callout has struck a chord.


Load Error

Speaking to SmartCompany, Kaye Stirland says her business was “born out of necessity”.

“I had had a really rough five years,” she says.

The entrepreneur had faced bullying in the workplace, her marriage broke down, and health issues left her needing surgery.

“I was absolutely broke,” she says, living off food parcels and the kindness of friends.

After a stint driving for Uber and taking other odd casual roles, she did finally find full-time work.

But, while dealing with a family member’s health issues, and her own mental

Read More

By Arundhati Dutta

logo: A board displaying stock prices is adorned with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) logo in central Sydney

© Reuters/DAVID GRAY
A board displaying stock prices is adorned with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) logo in central Sydney

(Reuters) – Australian shares rose over 1% on Wednesday, with the benchmark index settling above the 6,000 level for the first time since Sept. 3, after the government pledged to spend billions to help pull the economy out of its historic COVID-19 slump.


Load Error

The S&P/ASX 200 index <.axjo> closed 1.3% higher at 6,036.4, extending gains into a third session.

After market hours on Tuesday, the government announced A$17.8 billion in personal tax cuts and A$5.2 billion in new programmes to boost employment in a budget that tips the country into its deepest deficit on record.

Though not much of a surprise, the budget is definitely supportive of markets in the short- to medium-term, according to Nick Twidale, director and co-founder at brokerage X-chainge.

Investors looked past

Read More

(Bloomberg) —

Pedestrians are reflected in a window as they walk past an electronic stock board at the ASX Ltd. exchange centre in Sydney, Australia.

© Photographer: David Moir/Bloomberg
Pedestrians are reflected in a window as they walk past an electronic stock board at the ASX Ltd. exchange centre in Sydney, Australia.

Australia’s decision to support a swath of industries to help stimulate an economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic means there will be few “losers” in the stock market, according to analysts.


Load Error

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled a budget Tuesday that forecast a shortfall of A$213.7 billion ($152 billion) in fiscal 2021, and pushes debt and deficit to a peacetime record amid a raft of tax cuts, wage subsidies and investment in infrastructure and manufacturing. Australia’s benchmark stock index rose 0.9% as of 1:21 p.m. Sydney time.

Australia is trying to drive a private-sector led recovery and get people back to work as it seeks to recover from its first recession in more than three decades. Potential tax

Read More

The federal government’s big spending budget has won praise among small business advocates, who’ve welcomed the focus on tax incentives, wage subsidies and mental health support. 

Josh Frydenberg wearing a suit and tie: Josh-Frydenberg

© Provided by Smart Company

But they say there were also some missed opportunities to help business operators access professional support amid the coronavirus recession.


Load Error

Writing for SmartCompany from the budget lockup on Tuesday night, Mark McKenzie from the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia said when taken together, individual budget measures, including the expanded asset write-off scheme, loss carry-back provisions and JobMaker hiring credits, will have a positive effect on business confidence.

“While these measures may appear relatively modest in isolation, when considered in aggregate, they create a climate of confidence at a time when most small business owners are struggling with unprecedented uncertainty,” McKenzie said. 

“For that reason alone, the measures announced for small businesses in the federal budget

Read More

news, federal-politics, jack waterford, federal budget, budget 2020, 2020 budget, capitalism, invisible hand, trickle-down

The coronavirus recession budget involves many opportunities to use the word unprecedented, but here’s one not being mentioned. This is the biggest budget, proportionately, ever devoted by a Western economy to the fundamental theory of modern capitalism: the theory of the hidden hand. Never has such a budget made it easier for a private sector entrepreneur to invest or spend money; indeed, if the investment is into someone else’s goods and services, and the spending produces a job for another, the government will handsomely subsidise it. One might think that any business, or any person, with a viable idea for developing a business able to make profits has never had it as easy as they will have it once the budget is adopted. Just to make things easier, a vast number of Australian consumers will be

Read More

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government on Tuesday announced plans to cut income taxes, create jobs for young people and stimulate business investment with a raft of pandemic measures that would create a record 214 billion Australian dollar ($153 billion) deficit in the current fiscal year.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced his annual budget plans for the year that started on July 1, with economic forecasts based on an assumption that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available next year.

But the Treasury Department has warned that economic realities could be “substantially different” from its forecasts without a vaccine.

Net debt will increase to 703 billion Australian dollars ($503 billion), or 36% of gross domestic product, at the end of the current fiscal year and peak at 44% of GDP in mid-2024 when debt will exceed 966 billion Australian dollars ($691 billion).

“This is a heavy burden, but a necessary one

Read More

Given that so much of how the coronavirus pandemic will unfold remains uncertain, budget assumptions are more critical than ever.

The economic statement delivered by the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, on Tuesday assumes that a lot of things will go right, including that a vaccine will be available next year and that further outbreaks in Australia can be locally contained.

While a big economic rebound is forecast next year, Treasury officials imply this should be taken with a grain of salt, warning of “substantial uncertainty around the global and domestic outlook”.

Here is a rundown of the key numbers, predictions and assumptions from the 2020 federal budget 2020.

The economy

Unsurprisingly, there will be a big hit to the economy this year. What is surprising is the pace of the recovery as assumed by the Treasury.

The budget papers say real GDP is expected to fall by 3.75% in the 2020

Read More