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News   February 10, 2023   by Adam Malik

Cyberattacks hit nearly half of businesses

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Cyberattacks continue to hit small businesses.

Almost half (45 per cent) of Canadian small businesses experienced a random cyberattack, according to a survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Another one-in-three (27 per cent) experienced a targeted attack.

“Cyberattacks are a growing threat to small businesses but enhancing cybersecurity can be intimidating and accessing cybersecurity support can be costly for small businesses,” said Mandy D’Autremont, vice president of marketing partnerships at CFIB.

The survey also found that: 11 per cent of businesses had experienced a whaling attempt (a phishing attack that targets or impersonates a CEO or business leader) in the past year; Businesses in the professional services (57 per cent random, 28 per cent targeted) and wholesale (58 per cent random, 38 per cent targeted) sectors were most likely to report experiencing cyberattacks in the past year; and only 11 per cent of businesses had offered mandatory cybersecurity training to their employees in the past year. Eight per cent had provided optional training.

The CFIB announced the launch of a new Cybersecurity Academy, an online education program to train business owners and their employees on how to improve cybersecurity in their businesses. The training was developed in partnership with Mastercard and its cybersecurity specialists. Topics include preventing ransomware and cyberattacks, recognizing fraud and identifying and preventing social engineering.

In the fall, Insurance Bureau of Canada noted that businesses needed to do more to prevent cyberattacks, noting that educating staff on risks needed to be a priority. A survey of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada found that only a third of employees (34 per cent) said their company provided mandatory cyber security awareness training. Meanwhile, one in five (21 per cent) of employees believed that most cyber breaches are minor and easy to resolve. “The reality is that these breaches can have a devastating financial impact,” IBC said.

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