Nearly 20 per cent of Canadian businesses target of cyberattack

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Published February 10, 2021 at 12:41 am

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With many restrictions implemented during the pandemic, businesses have been forced to adapt—many have gone digital.

However, while this has helped cut costs in some respects, it has also increased vulnerability for many businesses to cyber-attacks.

A study from the Canadian Independent Federation of Businesses (CFIB) found that nearly 20 per cent of businesses have experienced cyberattacks since March 2020, five per cent of which were successful—this accounts for roughly 61,000 small- and mid-sized businesses.

Additionally, according to entrepreneurs whose businesses were targeted, 80 per cent said the attack came by way of email scams and phishing attempts, while 50 per cent said they encountered malicious software.

Further, businesses most at risk of experiencing cyberfraud were those with 20 or more employees, those that have adjusted to facilitate employees working remotely or made any changes to their online presence, and those in the manufacturing, wholesale trade, business services, and enterprise and administration management sectors.

“While many small businesses have adapted to the pandemic by adopting new technologies, remote-work arrangements and e-commerce platforms, these changes have also created new opportunities for cyberattacks,” Jasmin Guenette, vice-president of national affairs for CFIB, said in a news release. “It’s more important than ever for small firms to protect their information systems.”

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