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Cyber security a growing concern for Canadians – IT World Canada

Canadians are more concerned about cyber security than they were in 2016.

According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)’s latest Internet Factbook, 75 per cent of Canadians are worried about the threat of cyber attacks against organizations they know, a 13 per cent increase from 2016.

They’re also less likely to make online purchases from a business after a cyber attack: Nearly 45 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they would probably stop buying items online from a business following a major cyber attack, which happens nine times more often per capita in Canada than in the U.S.

“The first step to building a better online Canada is understanding the experiences, perceptions and needs of Canadian internet users,” Byron Holland, CIRA president and CEO, said in a press release.

Jacques Latour, CIRA’s chief technology officer, echoed Holland’s statement, while calling for investment in Canada’s Internet infrastructure, which he said would contribute to a healthier online environment in Canada.

“Over three quarters of Canadians are concerned about their personal information on the Internet if it is stored or routed through the U.S,” Latour said. “Investing in Canadian Internet infrastructure, which includes local Internet exchange points that help Canadian data stay within our borders, should be a priority for governments, businesses and Canadian Internet service providers.”

But it’s not just large companies that have to contend with cyber attacks. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Cyber Security in Canada report says 71 per cent of all breaches impact small businesses.

Ransomware attacks, which lock down a user’s system in a demand for money, are now seeking an average of $1,000 and becoming increasingly popular among hackers targeting businesses with a lack of resources and technical expertise, the report said.

Mobile devices, which Canadians are using twice as often since 2013 to access the Internet, are another gold mine for cyber attacks.

A survey conducted by Dimensional Research earlier this year reported that 20 per cent of companies’ mobile devices have been breached, while 24 per cent didn’t know if they had experienced an attack.

According to Dimensional Research, nearly 65 per cent of companies aren’t sure they can prevent mobile cyber attacks in the first place.

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