CIRA cybersecurity

Surveying the Canadian cybersecurity landscape

It wasn’t too long ago when the threat of cyberattack was exclusively the nightmare scenario of the IT manager of a major corporation. It was a thing for the movies, with shadowy hackers in surprisingly stylish clothing often standing up for the little guy against a faceless monolith.

It wasn’t too long ago when the threat of cyberattack was exclusively the nightmare scenario of the IT manager of a major corporation. It was a thing for the movies, with shadowy hackers in surprisingly stylish clothing often standing up for the little guy against a faceless monolith.

Those days are long gone.

As access to cloud data and global publishing platforms have democratized information for the masses, so has the toolkit of the cybercriminal been made accessible to anyone with a network connection.

Unfortunately, with cybercrime at an all-time high, the search for targets has expanded–to everyone.

It is in this in mind that we at CIRA decided to undertake our first Canadian Internet Security Survey. With more than 2.7 million .CA domain names under management, we are in a unique position to survey the threat landscape in Canada to determine where the challenges are, what gaps exist, and how businesses are coping.

In late 2017, we reached out to .CA Registrants who identified as either businesses or institutions (this includes non-for-profits and government) to ask them about their cybersecurity concerns, challenges, and awareness.

Nearly 2,000 respondents provided us with an invaluable picture of how the Canadian cybersecurity landscape is shaping up in 2018. While cybersecurity is a hot topic around the world, Canadian data is hard to come by. As part of our mandate to build a better online Canada, we believe that ensuring the internet is safe and secure is just as important as making sure it is fast and accessible.

For example, more than a third of respondents indicated that they don’t spend anything on security solutions for the home networks and devices. As any IT manager knows, the most glaring hole in your network security is when your devices or data goes off the network.

We’ve recently seen the Canadian government allocate $500 billion over the next five years to improve cybersecurity across the country, and organizations such as the Communications Security Establishment and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are increasing both their resources and focus to this growing threat.

Canada is starting to take the threat seriously.

And why shouldn’t we?

If last year’s Equifax hack didn’t demonstrate that even U.S.-based attacks can impact Canadians in the era of cloud computing, perhaps the more recent (and closer to home) hacks on the Children’s Aid Society, Conservative Party of Ontario or Bell Canada can help make the case that cybercrime is here, and it doesn’t discriminate.

With the average ransomware demand now as low as $1000, Canadian businesses of all sizes are a target. It is our hope that the 2018 CIRA Canadian Cybersecurity Survey can play a small part in helping businesses stay vigilant, get prepared, and stay on top of the latest trends in the war against cybercrime.

Read the 2018 Canadian Cybersecurity Survey

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