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Cyber Attacks Affecting Canadian Businesses

A Quarter of Canadian Companies Experienced a Cyber Attack in 2021
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A quarter of Canadian businesses say they experienced a cyber attack in 2021, according to a 2022 survey commissioned by technology firm NOVIPRO. Of those businesses, more than half (56 percent) paid the ransom demanded by hackers, a third hired a negotiator, and a quarter elected to handle the situation without using a third party.

Although the health and economic situations have improved over the past year, the study shows companies are still facing risks that originated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report, companies are more vulnerable than ever to cyber attacks due to the increase in remote work. The widespread adoption of telecommuting has also increased the risk factors for computer network security. Nearly half of respondents are more concerned about a data breach since introducing a hybrid work model.

“Certain telecommuting behaviors can put an organization’s data at risk,” NOVIPRO President and Co-founder Yves Paquette said. “Maybe the computer was used to do a personal video conference at home. Maybe your teenager uses it to play online games. Your device is much more exposed to security breaches.”

Over the past two years, businesses have also started looking at IT differently. Prior to 2020, a majority of companies viewed IT as a strategic partner, but now they are seen more as an investment and necessary protection. The main IT measures being implemented or considered are cloud-based solutions, security, and infrastructure.

Employees Are Largest Source of Cyber Threats

The survey also reports that companies hit by cyber attacks in 2021 admit that internal resources were the most significant source of cyber threats (53 percent). Of these, 31 percent were motivated by malicious intent, and 22 percent were unintentional by clicking on a fraudulent link.

Despite employees representing the largest risks of cybersecurity threats, the percentage of companies that have provided training to their team has been steadily declining for the past three years. This trend shows no sign of slowing, as only 40 percent of respondents are planning to provide cybersecurity training to their teams on the topic next year. Additionally, less than half of companies claim to be very well protected against various types of cyber attacks.

“As technologies evolve and threats become more complex, it is highly recommended to provide cybersecurity training to employees at least once a year,” Chief Information Security Officer of NOVIPRO Dominique Derrier said.

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