Cyber Security Incidents Mostly Unchanged From 2017

Despite several high profile cyber security incidents disclosed publicly by Canadian businesses in 2019, 21 per cent of the overall Canadian business population reported being impacted by cyber security incidents, which was the same proportion as in 2017, says Statistics Canada. Over two-fifths (43 per cent) of large businesses (250 or more employees) were impacted by cyber security incidents in 2019, compared with 29 per cent of medium-sized businesses (50 to 249 employees) and 18 per cent of small businesses (10 to 49 employees). The industrial sectors that most commonly reported being impacted by cyber security incidents in 2019 were the information and cultural industries sector (37 per cent in 2019 compared with 30 per cent in 2017) and the wholesale trade sector (34 per cent in 2019 compared with 27 per cent in 2017). Of cyber security incidents, nine per cent of businesses in 2019 identified that they were impacted by attempts to steal money or demand a ransom payment and eight per cent said the motive was unknown. Attempts to steal personal or financial information was the motive for six per cent. However, most Canadian businesses continue to use anti-malware software (76 per cent in 2019 and 2017), eMail security (73 per cent in 2019 compared with 74 per cent in 2017), and network security (69 per cent in 2019 compared with 68 per cent in 2017) to protect their information and communication technologies infrastructure. This lack of usage of other cyber security techniques may still result in businesses being vulnerable to cyber security incidents.