As the pandemic continues to leave a lasting impression, Canadian businesses and brokerages face a boom in Cybercrime.

Canadian Cybercrime – Thriving in the Pandemic

Covid-19 has been an unprecedent occurrence affecting many people and businesses across the globe. Unfortunately, this has also given opportunity for cyber attackers to target vulnerable systems whilst many are now working from home.

On average, 2/5ths of Canadian’s have faced Cybersecurity breaches, attacks, or incidents during the pandemic.

The CAFC (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) received 30,752 reports of Cybercrime in 2020 worth $160 million in losses – an increase in crime of 48.8%. Since March 2020, 42% of respondents to a survey stated they had suffered at least one online security attack. Out of the people that had suffered at least one incident, 36% reported a loss of value (money, data and/or time).

From these stats, if we look at 100 businesses on average in Canada, then:

  • 15/100 businesses suffer from a successful cyber attack
  • 13/100 businesses lose valuable time from a cyber attack
  • 1-2 businesses out of 100 suffer a significant loss of money, or company data, considered highly valuable and irreplaceable

The most shocking statistics are that only 29% reported the crime had even happened to the authorities. That means that 4 out of 15 people will report a Cybercrime (on average), but only 1 out of 15 individuals will report the crime to the police.

This means that the attacker has plenty of opportunities to attack another individual, a small business, or even an insurance brokerage.

But how many companies were affected by Cybercrime over the last year? According to the CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business), they estimated that around 61,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Canada were victims of some Cybercrime.

What kind of Cybercrime are you at risk of?

As Cybercrime increases, more and more cybercriminals are fishing for various methods to gain access to individual bank accounts, or small business funding’s through “work at home” laptop setups and mobile phones.

Of the reported 61,000 small-to-medium-sized businesses affected by Cybercrime, 80% said the crime took place through email and phishing scams. 50% also reported that they were hit with malicious software through their laptops (personal or work-provided).

So, what are the current popular methods of Cybercrime globally?

  • Phishing – A Cyberattack disguised as an email to trick the recipient into providing information or installing malware.
  • Cyber Fraud – Crime committed via a computer with the intent to corrupt another person’s individual and financial information stored online.
  • Malware – Software designed to disrupt, damage, steal information by gaining access to a computer system.
  • Hack Attacks – Attempts at hacking a computer system through software, keystroke tracking, ransomware attacks (and more) via an insecure computer connection to a company’s network.

Protecting Your Assets from Cyber Criminals

As Cybercrime advances, criminals find and take advantage of vulnerabilities they can find in hardware, software. This means more businesses are being targeted, and even more, are getting away with attempts are fraud.

What are these cyberattacks targeting? Personal information, commercial information, data, and financial assets – valuable to all businesses of any size. However, as cyber fraud in Canada becomes more sophisticated, so are the methods of preventing crime.

Always Report Cybercrime

Cybercrime is Cybercrime – just because a company didn’t lose data or financial value does not mean it didn’t suffer a valid “attack” from a hacker.

Crimes that go unreported, more so because the company didn’t suffer financial damage, tend to remain undetected and may in the future return to place another attack on the same company where they may become successful in creating financial loss.

The Canadian government is doing more to prevent Cybercrime and ensure hackers are prevented from harming Canadian businesses.

According to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, the government supports creating a central hub called the “National Cybercrime Coordination Unit,” dedicated to cybercrime investigations in Canada and providing additional law enforcement for cyber-related incidents.

Additionally, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has various published guides to help Canadian businesses become more Cybercrime aware.

Upgrade Your Cyber Security Protocols

Invest in your Cybersecurity protocols. As many of us work from home, we leave ourselves open to potential Cybercrime.

By not updating your security protocols to ensure your business is protected even in the comfort of your employees’ homes, you are leaving yourself open to a great deal of risk – the consequences of an attack uncertain until it happens.

While you invest and discover your weak technology points, you can reduce risk exposure in various small ways. For example, you can:

  • Make sure you are using the most up-to-date of any desktop applications and software you are using. 
  • Avoid downloading applications for work on your mobile device or any other device that isn’t your official active work laptop/system.
  • Use different passwords for all your work-related software or accounts, and ensure your browser does not save any log-in data.

You can find more advice by visiting https://cyber.gc.ca/.

Cyber & Technology Liability Insurance

Sometimes it is difficult to prevent a Cybercrime no matter how well put together your Cybersecurity system is – when this happened, Cyber Liability Insurance can help save you from the potentially devastating effects of any cyber-attack on your company.

Cyber Liability insurance is designed to help an organization mitigate risk exposure and improve the recovery following a cyberattack claim.

At Servca CA, we can help cover small, medium, and larger organizations from Cybercrime and related claims. We can also offer coverage for insurance brokers in Canada – as the insurance sector faces a great risk of Cybercrime for hackers looking for financial gain.

With access to Lloyd’s, we are able to help handle those challenging, more complex, heavy risks that local brokers may find difficult to place. We are able to provide various benefits alongside our Cyber Liability policies including:

  • Full limit cover for fraud and dishonesty of employees
  • Cyber Terrorism Protection
  • No Limitation for Insured Losses (caused by Untargeted Malware)
  • Globally recognised Cyber Solutions – prevent data breaches & data loss
  • Broad coverage for Intellectual Property Rights Infringement
  • Cover for First & Third Party Privacy & Network Security

If you want to know how Cyber Liability works in a specific professional or healthcare industry through the London Market, we are able to assist you with your enquiry. You can read more about the cyber liability insurance we offer and our cover options here:

https://www.servca.ca/professional-liability/technology

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[Disclaimer] Any figures or statistics featured in this article have been sourced via Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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