Cyber security course helps Indonesian small business

Biscuit maker Mentari Nur Utari had been considering how to turn overseas enquiries for her unique food product into an export strategy.

However she had not considered that protecting the business from cyber attacks was an important part of her trade plan, until she attended an Australian designed course.

“Before joining this program, to be honest, I did not really care about cybersecurity”,  she said.

“I already knew about cyber crime but was not really aware. Since knowing the various [cyber] risks from this program, I am now more careful when using the media, the internet and when something happens, I know what to do and who to contact.”

The course covered subjects including data protection, digital business resilience, e-commerce and trade regulations.

It was developed by The Australia-Indonesia Centre with funding from the Australian government (DFAT) and support from the Indonesian government and agencies.

Ms Utari, the founder of Mokies, makes biscuits (or cookies) from a mix of wood ear mushrooms and oats and has more than ten thousand followers on Instagram, the main social media marketing channel for Indonesians.

She is also one of 127 participants from across Indonesia who have completed the six week course and learnt how to implement cybersecurity measures in their business.

Regina Kindangen is the third generation of her family in their rattan handicrafts and furniture business. Established in 1981, Nancy Craft Co already exports to 43 countries. However she was keen to develop skills in cyber security.

“In my opinion, this is a great program because Indonesia has become the target of cybercrime,”  said the Jakarta businesswoman.

“It means that there are many [foreign] people who want to cooperate with Indonesian companies, but if they hear about the incidents of cybercrime, maybe they will think twice because of a lack of cyber protection. But if we can show that we’ve passed this training and it’s safer they’ll probably be more confident {to work with us].”

The participants were mentored on the range of topics by Indonesians with experience in information systems and business planning, to guide them to regional and global markets

“From this program, I get to know how to grow a business, and also get tips on how to enter the Australian market,”said Ms Utari.

Furniture maker Regina Kindangen said that she would share her knowledge with friends so they realised they could take action themselves.

“I don’t want to hear anymore that they are getting harmed due to ignorance of various cyber crimes. I want to echo that being cyber secure is not dependent on fate but on knowledge, and that we can learn,” she said.

The program was designed by the AIC Industry Fellow Professor Caroline Chan.

The Australian Government funded the program through DFAT’s E-commerce Aid for Trade initiative. It was 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).

Picture of Helen Brown

Head of Communications and Outreach
The Australia-Indonesia Centre