South Australian Business News

What to do when communications go down

Anthony Caldwell
Wednesday, November 8th 2023

Has your business gone offline because of this morning’s Optus shutdown? Business owners should treat this as a stark warning of what a possible cyber-attack could look like. 

According to data collated in the recent September Quarter the South Australian Business Chamber William Buck Survey of Business Expectations, only 15% of businesses expressed concern about Cybersecurity. 

A Cyberattack may not mean a breach of customer data. It could be a shutdown of systems that much like a telco going offline, means your business has no access to the internet, rendering the ability to take payments, communicate and transact through point-of-sale systems nearly impossible. 

This morning, the South Australian Business Chamber CEO Andrew Kay spoke with Five AA offering advice to business owners about how to best handle the situation if it is affecting your business. 

  • Go cash only: If you are a retail or hospitality establishment, you will have to switch back to cash transactions. You will also need to take a record of transactions to balance your tills at the end of the day.
  • Communicate: Let your customers know that you are still trading, (if you are still trading). Access your social media through a friend/​family/​staff phone that operates on another telco and explain your situation to customers. If you can direct all calls to a mobile from another, put that number in your post.
  • Redirect numbers: Depending on the systems you use, you may be able to redirect landline business phones to your own or a staff member’s phone to remain in contact with customers and suppliers.
  • App-based communications: If you communicate with business contacts or customers through apps such as WhatsApp, use that facility to spread the word that your network is down, but you have alternative means of communication.
  • Keep safe: Remember, in case of an emergency, all mobile phones are still able to call triple zero.

It is estimated that 400,000 businesses across Australia have been affected by the outage.


Anthony Caldwell

Manager, Marketing, Media, Communications
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