Cyber security, CIRA Release. Have you been attacked?

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released its 2018 CIRA Cybersecurity Survey yesterday. The survey, which looks at how people understand and perceive cybersecurity in Canada, has unveiled alarming results about the awareness of cybersecurity threats and the actions they take to contest them..

Alarmingly, the survey of 500 individuals with the responsibility over IT security decisions in small and mid-size businesses across Canada found that there is a significant detachment between Canadian businesses’ awareness of cybersecurity threats and the actions they take to combat them.

Specifically, the CIRA detailed that 38 percent of respondents said they are unfamiliar with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s federal privacy law that governs how businesses handle personal information of customers. What’s worrying is that this is in spite of the fact that 59 percent of respondents said they store customers’ personal information!

Another shocking highlight, the survey reported that 40% of respondents said they have experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months, with 1 in 10 facing 20+ attacks. According to the CIRA, the number who experienced an attack increased to 66% among larger businesses (250-499 employees).

Problematically, 67% per cent of respondents outsource at least part of the cybersecurity footprint to external vendors disconnecting them from the threats. 78% of participants reported that they were confident in their level of cyber-threat preparedness, yet 37% admitted that they don’t have anti-malware protection installed. Additionally, 71% of respondents did not have a formal patching policy, which CIRA notes can expose them to massive security holes.

One of the most worry-some details of the report found that only 54% of small businesses provide cybersecurity training to their employees, despite the fact that phishing attacks are designed to directly exploit employees.

In the end , the survey shows that 88% of respondents said they were concerned over future cyberattacks, resulting in 28%  saying they will add cybersecurity staff in the next year.

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