To kick off the celebration of Cyber Awareness and Small Business Month in October, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has published the findings of its latest report on cyberattacks against small businesses.
IBC commissioned Leger to conduct a survey of 300 small and medium-sized business owners (with fewer than 500 employees). The survey found that 44% of SMEs do not have any sort of defence against possible cyberattacks. The poll also found that 60% of the respondents said that they have no insurance to protect them in the event of an attack.
Other key facts from the study include:
- Almost one in five businesses (18%) said that they have been affected by a cyberattack or data breach in the last two years.
- 37% of businesses affected by a data breach estimate that the attack cost them more than $100,000; 20% said they have no idea of the cost of the attack.
- 50% believe that their business may be vulnerable to a cyberattack, while 56% said they are concerned about how a breach could affect their business.
“Cyberattacks are real threats to small businesses that sell products via e-commerce or maintain electronic data about their customers,” commented IBC executive director of policy Ryan Stein. “A technology-system breach containing this information can cripple or ruin a business.”
Stein also pointed out that specialty insurance coverage for cyber risks is “relatively new,” but cyber risks and the possibility of legal action against organizations are realities that business owners will have to confront. This is particularly true when many businesses conduct their activities electronically and the majority of their assets are in the data they collect.
“Small businesses are not immune to cyberattacks, and these problems are not going away. We are encouraged, however, that some of these businesses are now beginning to turn their attention to this important issue.”