As news reports have indicated over the past year, data breaches and ransomware attacks have been on the rise amidst the global pandemic. A 300% increase in cybercrime can be attributed to the rise of online activity since the start of the Novel Covid-19 Virus as of early 2020. After a major cyberware attack on a U.S. pipeline occurred earlier this year, Chief Shelly Bruce, head of Canada’s Electronic Spy Agency, announced that businesses should take extra steps to protect themselves as well.

Data however suggests that Canadian companies are simply not spending enough on cybersecurity.  Statistics Canada reported that Canadian businesses spent less than one percent of their total revenues on security measures and software. Around 20% of large Canadian businesses did not report any expenditure on Cybersecurity in 2019. Security measures simply do not appear to be the top priority for many large businesses and ironically, those are the businesses most at risk. Below are the ways that Canadians can begin protecting themselves against the rise of cybercrime.

1. Invest in a well-rounded cybersecurity infrastructure

Companies need to protect their systems from threats at all angles. A well-rounded system, such as Secure IT, offers a wide variety of services targeting security threats. The platform’s Security Information and Event Management analyzes multiple data streams from all of the company’s devices to detect potential threats. It includes cloud, software and hardware technology, a strong firewall, fully secured WiFi, advanced security analytics and correlation as well as live agent support at all hours.

2. Place a focus on cybersecurity training and awareness

Investing in a well-rounded IT cybersecurity software is only the first step. Companies need to establish a culture of security awareness in their workplace and place an emphasis on its importance. Some ways to do so would be discouraging password sharing, restricting network admin rights, and hosting monthly or weekly discussions on security. Businesses should educate workers on creating strong passwords, restrict certain websites and implement ways to test employees. Proactive monitoring must also be in place, to detect compromised and stolen employee data and credentials.

3. Invest in cybersecurity insurance

Even businesses with highly secured firewalls are still at risk of a data breach, as hackers are finding more and more ways to infiltrate companies’ systems. Losses from such data breaches can tremendously impact a company’s bottom line. Companies should therefore invest in a comprehensive cybersecurity insurance to mitigate the financial impact if a cyber-attack does occur.

The world is not as it used to be; in our new digital age hackers are becoming more persistent than ever before. And since companies are collecting more data than ever, a cyber-attack is bound to cause very serious consequences. These consequences not only include huge financial losses but more importantly a loss of trust from customers, and the public.

No companies are truly safe, and the only way to fight against the rise of cyber-attacks is through a multi-layered security system, a strong workplace culture and protection in the form of insurance if all else fails.

 

By: Joanna Ambros, MBA