Data breaches rising among Canadian companies

Data breaches rising among Canadian companies

Canadian organizations are increasingly dealing with cybercriminals, but a large portion of businesses are still unprepared to combat the majority of threats.

According to a recent study by TELUS and the Rotman School of Management, breaches of publicly traded companies in Canada rose 50 percent in 2012, as the average public enterprise was hacked 18 times.

Breaches by employees accounted for 42 percent of government computer hacks, while 40 percent of all attacks targeted small- and medium-sized businesses, the report said. Despite highly publicized breaches throughout the world, many Canadian companies were unfamiliar with hacker strategies, with 9 percent reporting they take no security measures.

"So the small- and medium businesses are actually the perfect target since they have lots of money, certainly more than an individual user, and yet they don’t have very good security," said security expert Kevin Haley, according to the Financial Post.

Hackers are also targeting small businesses in the United States as a recent National Cyber Security Alliance survey revealed 80 percent of small companies lack an internet security policy for employees and only 52 percent have a strategy for securing business information from cyberthreats.