Revealed – spike in data breaches for Canadian businesses since COVID

Revealed – spike in data breaches for Canadian businesses since COVID | Insurance Business Canada

Revealed – spike in data breaches for Canadian businesses since COVID

The threat of cyberattacks has only grown over the past two years of pandemic, and a new survey by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) further confirms this.

According to the results of the CIRA Cybersecurity Survey, three in 10 Canadian IT security professionals (29%) experienced a breach of customer and/or employee data last year. This is significant, as CIRA noted that this is nearly double the amount of 18% recorded in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other eye-opening findings of the report include:

  • 55% of IT professionals had characterized their organization as “more vulnerable” to cyber threats because the employees are working remotely.
  • 82% of participants said that their organization has a cyber incident response plan, while six in 10 organizations have used their plan in the last 12 months.
  • 15% of organizations reported a loss of customers following a cyberattack – this is also double the amount it was pre-pandemic.
  • 59% are concerned about the possible impact of Bill C-27 – the so-called Digital Charter Implementation Act – on their organizations. One provision of the bill, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, would change the way user data is protected and stored.
  • 63% consider preventing data flows from going through foreign countries (known as “data sovereignty”) as “more important” than price when selecting a cybersecurity service vendor.
  • The number of organizations with cybersecurity insurance increased to 15% in 2022 – CIRA expects this trend to gain momentum in the years to come.

“The pandemic has raised the cybersecurity stakes for organizations across the country,” commented CIRA Cyber DNS general manager Jon Ferguson. “Threats are more common and more sophisticated, and customers are holding brands accountable for mishandling their data. It is our hope that this survey will provide some perspective on the issues and help raise awareness on the problem we are facing.”