Cybercrime is a serious concern for businesses of all sizes in Canada. Whether it's a phishing attack, malware infection, or data breach, the costs of dealing with cybercrime can be significant. The Government of Canada estimates fraud and scams totalling $275 million from 74,525 occurrences in 2021.
The statistics from the government complement another worrisome statistic, which states that Canadian businesses experienced over 4,000 ransomware incidents in 2020. The report estimated that at least 27 percent of the affected firms shelled out money to gain access to their data while indicating that the average ransom paid was US$154,108.
Why is cybercrime affecting Canadian businesses?
There are several reasons behind the increase in cybercrime affecting Canadian businesses. One is that companies are increasingly reliant on technology, which gives criminals more opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities. Another reason is that many companies don't have adequate security measures in place to protect their data and systems. Finally, as global trade increases, so does the risk of cybercrime.
Ten Tips to Prevent a Cyberattack in Your Organization
Despite the increasing threat of cybercrime, businesses can take steps to protect themselves.
1. Keep your software up to date: Regularly update your software, including your operating system, web browser and any plugins or add-ons. These updates often include security patches that can help protect your system from attack.
2. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication: Use strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or another device in addition to your password.
3. Schedule regular penetration testing: A penetration test, or pen test, is a simulated cyberattack on an application, network, or computer system to identify potential attack paths and vulnerabilities. Regularly testing your security systems for vulnerabilities helps identify and fix any existing issues in your security system.
4. Regularly back up your data: In the event of a ransomware attack or data breach, having up-to-date backups can help you recover your data without paying a ransom.
5. Train your employees in cybersecurity: Educating your employees on cybersecurity risks and best practices is one of the most effective ways to protect your business from attack. Ensure your employees know how to spot phishing emails, identify suspicious websites, and use strong passwords.
6. Invest in cybersecurity insurance: Cybersecurity insurance can help cover the costs of a cyberattack, including the cost of restoring data, legal fees, and damages paid to customers or clients.
7. Control user permissions: One of the most common ways attackers gain access to systems is through stolen or weak passwords. Controlling user permissions using the ‘least privilege’ principle can help prevent unauthorized access to systems and data.
8. Monitor your network: Regularly monitoring your network for unusual activity can help identify malicious activity and stop an attack before it happens.
9. Implement a security incident response plan: In the event of a security incident, having a plan in place can help minimize the damage and get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
10. Work with a cybersecurity partner: Cybersecurity is a complex and constantly evolving field. Working with a partner who specializes in cybersecurity can help you keep up with the latest threats and ensure your systems are as secure as possible.
Cybercrime is a serious threat to businesses of all sizes. By taking steps to protect your business, you can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime. Packetlabs is a Canadian penetration testing company with advanced capabilities that go beyond industry standards. Contact the Packetlabs team today to find out how your security posture can be strengthened.
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