Cyberattacks are on the increase, so who is most at risk?

Cyberattacks are on the increase, so who is most at risk? | Insurance Business Canada

Cyberattacks are on the increase, so who is most at risk?
Cyberattacks are a growing problem – they’re getting easier for criminals to conduct, they’re happening more often, and they’re hitting businesses harder than ever.

And, though they can impact “everyone”, they’re proving to be particularly dangerous to small and medium-sized businesses.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in a report this year entitled Cyber Security in Canada, noted statistics that “the number of businesses reporting a loss or exposure of sensitive data … has increased every year for the past three years and 8% overall.”

Furthermore, the report noted, “along with the proliferation of attacks, the scale of losses has also increased. The number of businesses reporting a $1 million-plus loss has risen to 7% from just 1% two years ago.”

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Greg Markell, president and CEO of managing general agent Ridge Canada Cyber Solutions, said small business owners, in particular, should be very concerned.

 “The cost [for criminals] of executing these attacks has come down, which means that if they’re successful, if it’s an easy way to grab money out of organisations, then the criminals are going to do it,” he said. “Because, if it keeps working for them, [they’re thinking] ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.”

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The reason small and mid-sized businesses are at greatest risk, Markell said, is because they don’t have the budgets the bigger firms do to recover from possible attacks.

“Right now, I would say [most at risk] would be small business,” he said. “Any type of breach, whether it’s a privacy-related incident, a cyber-related attack, a ransomware-type extortion event, these things can have lasting implications on these businesses. Small business gets hits a little bit harder.

“Big companies have big IT budgets. Again, the cost on the criminals executing this stuff, that’s going down, whereas the cost of defending against it is going up.

“For smaller organisations that might not have the sophistication to thwart some of the low-level attacks, they can be quite damaging. It’s important for managers … not to turn a blind eye to this stuff. If it’s a risk you don’t want sitting on your balance sheet, you should be having a conversation with your broker about how to transfer it off, and about what that looks like.”

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