Cyberattacks on rise, surveys reveal

By HUB SmartCoverage Team on December 2nd, 2021

A new survey from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) found a significant portion of Canadian organizations suffered cyberattacks over the past year.

CIRA, which manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of Canadians, found in their annual Cybersecurity Survey that 36 per cent of this nation’s cybersecurity professionals feel the volume of cyberattacks has increased during the pandemic, up from 29 per cent of organizations last year.

The survey also found in the past 12 months, nearly one in five Canadian organizations (17 per cent) experienced ransomware attacks – and of those that experienced ransomware attacks, 69 per cent indicated they paid the ransom to avoid business downtime, reputational damage, and the costs from not paying.

“It feels like the pandemic forced 10 years of cybersecurity adoption to happen in about 10 weeks,” CIRA general manager for cybersecurity and DNS services Mark Gaudet told Insurance Business Canada recently. “The pivot to work-from-home and employees using their own devices really increased the number of security threats facing organizations, and the bad guys did everything they could to take advantage of the situation.”

Staff protections

Gaudet added while cyber threat actors are ramping up their attacks, Canadian (organizations) implemented new policies, technologies, and security training for staff protections they plan to keep in place after the pandemic.

Other findings include:

  • 64 per cent of organizations surveyed said they support legislation that would prohibit paying ransom demands.
  • 59 per cent of organizations have cybersecurity insurance coverage as part of their business insurance; 29 per cent have a cyber security-specific policy.
  • 95 per cent of organizations indicated at least some of their new COVID-19-related cybersecurity protections will be permanent.

Meanwhile, the Insurance Bureau of Canada commissioned a survey that found in 2021, 41 per cent of small businesses polled that had suffered a cyberattack reported it cost them at least $100,000, up from 37 per cent in 2019. Yet only a quarter of the 300 polled said they plan to purchase cyber insurance within the next year.

In the era of digitization and COVID-19 pandemic-induced remote working, cyber risk is fast becoming an everyday risk that touches nearly every business in the same way as workers’ comp exposure does,” Vishal Kundi, CEO of Toronto-based cybersecurity and insurance specialist MGA Boxx Insurance, said in a recent interview with Canadian Underwriter. “Nearly all businesses in North America depend on a constant connection to the Internet. Being digitally connected has led to a new era of digital crime, cost, and privacy exposure that’s wreaking havoc on businesses and society and allowing the aggressors to collect great fortunes.”

Not immune

Individuals are not immune to cybercriminals either.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre announced on its website in May of 2021 it has noted an increase in identity fraud reporting. Fraudsters are using personal information about Canadians to apply for government benefits, credit cards, bank, and cell phone accounts or even take over social media and email accounts.

From 2016 to 2020, cybercrime became almost three times more frequent in Canada, with the number of incidents skyrocketing from 23,996 to 63,523. The rate of incidents per 100,000 citizens also went up from 73 to 168 during this period.

According to the Government of Canada's cybercrime statistics from 2021, as of July 28, there were 40,341 scams reported, 28,517 victims, and $105 million lost. Scams and frauds are becoming more efficient, as the financial damage from 2021 has already caught up with the 2020 financial toll of online scams in Canada.

Identity theft takes a heavy personal and financial toll on people. Victims must spend their own time and money to clear their credit history and re-establish accurate financial records.

Some insurers, such as HUBSmartCoverage, offer an Identity Theft Policy for only $30 a year. Such a policy provides $20,000 in coverage to help restore your identity and peace of mind. Talk to your broker today!


Understanding cybercrime threats

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