Cyber Snapshot: Key Findings From Our Recent Study – Security


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Cybersecurity is one of the hottest issues facing businesses and organizations in Canada today. Despite this, many are still not equipped with a cybersecurity plan and few resources are available to analyze cyber activity in the Canadian market. To fill this gap, Blakes prepared the yearbook Canadian Cybersecurity Trends Studynow in the third year.

Below are five key takeaways from our study, covered in a recent Blakes webinar:

  1. Increase in cyber attacks. The number and destructive power of cyber attacks increased dramatically in 2021. Threat actors are evolving their methods, with threat types changing on a monthly basis. This means organizations must remain vigilant as they update their cybersecurity policies and educate their employees on cyber awareness.

  2. ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks remain the most common form of cybercrime. In a typical ransomware attack, a threat actor encrypts an organization’s system, rendering it unusable, stealing the organization’s data and demanding payment for a decryption key and a commitment not to publish (and delete) the stolen data. Our study found that 56% of companies choose to pay the ransom when faced with ransomware attacks. The amounts of these ransoms are also increasing – in 25% of cases, the ransom paid was over $1 million.

  3. reporting requirements. There are currently mandatory breach reporting requirements under federal privacy laws and, in Alberta, provincial laws. Quebec’s reporting requirements will go into effect in September 2022 and will result in fines of up to CAD$10 million or 2% of an organization’s global revenue for non-compliance.

  4. Trends in Litigation. Class action lawsuits over privacy are on the rise, but getting them certified is proving a challenge. Courts do not accept general concern and despair over hacked personal data as a basis for awarding damages. However, hackers should worry. In a recent precedent, a Canadian hacker was sentenced to almost seven years in prison for orchestrating large-scale ransomware attacks and had to pay his Canadian victims C$2.8 million.

  5. Cybersecurity due diligence. Cyber ​​due diligence is a crucial step in mergers and acquisitions today. It should start by looking at the nature of the target’s operations, its cyber sophistication, transaction value, dates in dispute, timeframe, and potential liability. The process should also include a review of applicable laws, an analysis of the target company’s IT infrastructure, and an assessment of its cybersecurity policies and practices.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the topic. In relation to your specific circumstances, you should seek advice from a specialist.

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