One in five businesses hit by data breach: Survey

4:08AM | Tuesday, 30 April

Australian businesses are at danger of online privacy and security breaches, as new research reveals many organisations have not received appropriate training.   Research by online security company McAfee of 500 Australian organisations found 38% of respondents had never received training in the management and storage of sensitive data.   The shocking finding comes just one day after the local head of group buying company LivingSocial said the government should impose stricter regulations for handling customer data in the event of a breach.   The study found one in five Australian businesses have been affected by a data breach and 14% of the respondents were unsure whether they had been targeted or not.   Even more alarmingly, when a business had suffered a security breach, the study found 18% told no one outside the business and 67% of the time neither a member of senior management nor a privacy officer was informed.   Government organisations were less likely to know whether or not they had suffered a breach than a private business, with 31% of government respondents stating they had been unable to determine if they had suffered a breach.   McAfee global chief privacy officer Michelle Dennedy told SmartCompany all Australians need to be better educated about their online security.   “It’s amazing how many people aren’t aware of the importance of online security, it’s a huge issue,” she says.   Dennedy says it’s becoming an increasingly important issue for Australian SMBs because more and more are utilising cloud-based technology. The study indicated 21% of all organisations surveyed used cloud-based services such as Dropbox and YouSendIt.   “The level of security depends on the service. They’re not terrible negative things, but you have to be careful about which provider you’re using and read the terms. Some are quite safe and quite ready, but a lot will say to you there is no guarantee of the security of your data,” she says.   In the past 10 years, Dennedy says technology has progressed and services can now deploy more security, but SMBs can take precautions to ensure they’re protected.   “If I was an SMB I would make sure I understood the perimeters and look to things like encryption technology, then you’ve protected your asset.”   Dennedy says to imagine your data as dollars when thinking about security.   “Spread out your data between providers if you’re worried about the security of one,” she says.   This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

Group buying industry amends code to crack down on compliance and complaints

3:41AM | Friday, 15 March

An industry code developed to regulate the group buying sector has been tightened, with additions including more clearly defined refund conditions and specifications over how many vouchers are sold in an individual deal.

Expert predicts trickle-down effect for group buying after LivingSocial raises $110 million

3:45AM | Friday, 15 March

US-based daily deals giant LivingSocial has raised another $US110 million from investors, with an industry expert predicting a trickle-down effect for smaller players.

Group buying consumer spending revised down to $530 million

3:56AM | Monday, 11 March

Group buying niche players have been warned of tough times ahead following predictions that consumer spending in the sector will drop to $530 million this year, revised down from more than $600 million.

Pizza Hut to battle gourmet market with ambitious franchise plans

8:28AM | Monday, 13 August

Pizza Hut has announced a plan to open 11 new stores before Christmas, having already opened 11 this year, as mass-market pizza franchises fight back against the rise of gourmet pizza bars.

Group buying consolidation gathers pace as and Ouffer merge

6:08AM | Monday, 18 June

Australia’s group buying market is in the midst of a consolidation period, according to analysts, after Melbourne-based site announced it will merge with Sydney-based site Ouffer.

LivingSocial closes down Jump On It

6:23AM | Friday, 8 June

US group buying giant LivingSocial has closed down sister site Jump On It, transferring all subscribers and customers into LivingSocial Australia, three months after acquiring Jump On It.

Yahoo!7 to stop Spreets performance payments as group buying market dries up

4:00AM | Monday, 16 April

Yahoo!7 may be starting to encounter the downside of the group buying industry as a new report indicates the media giant is no longer expected to make any more performance-related payments to its subsidiary Spreets.

Expert offers planning tips after Pinterest co-founder departs

4:20AM | Wednesday, 4 April

Start-up founders need to be realistic about how long they intend to stay with their business, an expert says, after Pinterest co-founder Paul Sciarra announced his departure from the company.

Five start-ups to watch in the Digital 100

3:58AM | Tuesday, 27 March

Dropbox, LivingSocial and Craigslist are among the world’s most valuable start-ups, according to Business Insider’s Digital 100 of 2011, which also identifies new additions to the list.

Get your employees to open up

3:14AM | Tuesday, 20 March

Yesterday I talked to you about LivingSocial chief Tim O'Shaughnessy, who had a great suggestion for meeting the challenge of email.

LivingSocial swoops for Aussie start-up Jump On It

3:43AM | Monday, 5 March

US group buying giant LivingSocial has acquired Australian start-up Jump On It, one year after taking a 31% stake in the company, in a deal believed to be worth around $40 million.

Group buying industry adopts code of conduct

11:15AM | Wednesday, 2 November

The group buying industry has unveiled its first code of conduct, following a series of complaints by businesses and consumers over the practices of certain operators.

Twitter to open up promoted tweets to advertisers

6:20AM | Monday, 4 June

Twitter is to place advertisements in the timelines of users who follow a particular brand, but an industry expert says small businesses should be wary of using the network as an advertising platform.

Harvey Norman enters daily deals domain

4:46AM | Friday, 8 April

Gerry Harvey has entered into the competitive world of group-buying, launching a daily deal shopping site just weeks after announcing plans to head online.

Is there any start-up mileage left in the group buying model?

4:59AM | Friday, 27 April

The group buying model spearheaded by US firm Groupon has caught on like wildfire in Australia, with a plethora of similar sites including Zoupon, OurDeal and Spreets opening up shop over the past year to offer their services to an Australian audience.