Over 100 small businesses move closer to secure, international online operations

A pilot project to help Indonesian businesses develop their cyber security skills is already proving popular, with more places opened up to meet demand.


The course is now at capacity, with 27 entrepreneurs joining the initial 100 in the second session due to interest from Indonesian national and city governments.

Titled ‘Cybersecurity skills for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)’, the training covers everything from e-commerce basics and data privacy to cyber threats and international trade regulations, guiding these promising local businesses into regional and global markets.

The Australian Government funds the program through DFAT’s E-commerce Aid for Trade initiative. It is being delivered by The Australia-Indonesian Centre in partnership with Indonesia’s National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), the Ministry of Cooperation and MSMEs (Kemenkop UKM), and the Association for Information Systems Indonesia Chapter (AISINDO).

Allaster Cox from the Australian Embassy welcomed participants on day one and stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation around cyber issues for the Australian Government.

Speaking in Indonesian, Mr Cox noted the pleasing fact that 60% of the businesses taking part were owned by women. “This is very important for increasing the role of women entrepreneurs in Indonesia,” he said.

Indonesian language coming from Australians was very appreciated, said Pak Anton Setiawan from BSSN, in reference to both Mr Cox and the AIC’s Helen Brown who MC’d the morning. Pak Anton also shared some scary figures on cyber attacks in Indonesia:

“In 2019 there were 260 million cyber attacks [including] 70-80 million attacks on MSMEs,” he said, noting that just 14% of these MSMEs had been prepared for an attack.

“That’s why we need multi sectoral collaboration to strengthen the cyber security of digital economy actors, especially MSMEs.”

Dr Tony Dwi Susanto from AISINDO, also a lecturer at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), opened proceedings on day one, and AISINDO president Pak Abdul Ghofur delivered a presentation later on.

A slide showing the geographic and gender make-up of the participant cohort. Top image: Dr Wahyudi Agus from Universitas Trunojoyo speaks with Dr Dina Dellyana from ITB on day two.

On day two participant numbers soared past 100 as Kemenkop UKM and the Jakarta city administration found the opportunity too good to miss for 27 more small business operators.

The entrepreneurs spent day two with Dr Dina Dellyana from Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) who discussed the role of social media in improving business performance, with topics including branding, networking and customer service.

The first two days have built participants’ e-commerce knowledge for upcoming lessons in online resilience, cyber safety, digital trade laws and more.

The Indonesian Government aims to see two million MSMEs online by the end of this year reported Bukalapak’s Head of Public Policy Alex Chandra at a recent AIC In Conversation webinar.

But, to produce more economic growth and less cyber mayhem, they will need key skills that are not gained in the course of setting up a successful offline business.

“A challenge for MSMEs,” Ibu Destry from Kemenkop UKM told the group on day one, “is that it’s not enough to simply enter the digital world, but there’s also the issues of sustainability and cybersecurity.”

This program serves as a crash course in all these areas to help up-and-coming MSMEs succeed online. It is designed and co-ordinated by AIC Industry Fellow Professor Chan, also the head of accreditation at the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Picture of Tim Fitzgerald

Digital Communications Manager
The Australia-Indonesia Centre

Picture of Febi Trihermanto

Research Officer, Indonesia
The Australia-Indonesia Centre