Canadians Quickly Lose Confidence in Organizations with Poor Cybersecurity

Posted: March 24, 2022

It stands to reason that a business or organization that experiences a data incident will also see some level of backlash when that incident comes to light. However, it can be easy to overlook how deep this backlash can run. For instance, how would your client base react to the news that you had been infected by ransomware? If you answered somewhere along the lines of “terribly,” you certainly aren’t alone.

Let’s get into the weeds a little and examine just how damaging insufficient cybersecurity can be to your business’ reputation.

Ransomware and Other Attacks are Surging, Spurring a Federal Response

Did you know that, in 2021, 61.2 percent of all businesses in Canada were targeted by ransomware? In the interest of transparency, that statistic comes from a survey that specifically targeted organizations with over 500 global employees, but the point still stands. We simply can’t assume that number was any higher or lower for the average SMB—especially when other statistics from Emsisoft estimate the total amount demanded ballooned by 2.5 times from 2019 to 2020… and that’s not even considering that Emsisoft also stated that underreporting habits could have understated the real scope of the problem by four times, making the true costs range not around 796 million, but somewhere closer to 5 billion.

Yikes.

Considering this, it is no wonder that four ministers—Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, Defence Minister Anita Anand, and Small Business and Economic Development Minister Mary Ng—signed an open letter last December urging organizations to increase their cybersecurity practices.

In this letter, there were a few cybersecurity best practices referenced that we can agree with, including having a backup and recovery plan prepared, keeping up with your cybersecurity protections, and even a reference to baseline cybersecurity controls that we can also assist you with implementing.

Public Opinion of Your Business is Directly Tied to Your Security Record

These kinds of protections are only more important to implement, as a somewhat recent (as of this writing) survey indicates. While the survey wasn’t taken from as large or diverse a sample as we’d prefer (1,611 Canadians who had opted into the voluntary Angus Reid Forum), the results just go to show that cybersecurity is important for your organization’s reputation as well as its practical defenses.

This voluntary survey demonstrated a clear relationship between the trust that respondents felt for organizations and those organizations’ security records. For instance:

  • 48% indicated they weren’t confident in the cybersecurity utilized by their utility providers.
  • 45% indicated they weren’t confident in the cybersecurity utilized by Elections Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency (which was targeted by a cyberattack just last summer), and student loan assistance providers.
  • About 30% of respondents weren’t confident in the cybersecurity utilized in their bank or other financial institution.
  • 77% of respondents lacked trust in social media platforms and the cybersecurity they utilize.

It is important to point out that these results are likely somewhat skewed, as it was a voluntary survey funded by the Angus Reid Institute that only collected data over a period of four days. Having said that, it still represents how important it is to manage your business’ cybersecurity.

That’s where we come in.

Digital Sky is here to assist AREASERVED businesses with their information technology needs, including their cybersecurity. You want your clientele and customer base to be confident in your ability to protect whatever data they share with you as part of your business’ transactions. We can help prevent you from giving them a reason not to be.

Give us a call at (250) 483-5623 to learn more about our services.

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