Blog Dec 01, 2020

Three Cyber Threats to Keep on Your Radar


Get informed and protect your customer data and reputation

Small business is important to Canada. Nearly 98% of businesses are considered small — fewer than 100 employees — and account for 69.9% of the private labour force in Canada.

It’s no wonder why Canada’s small businesses continue to be prime targets for cyber crime. And as this sector takes advantage of digital innovation to stay competitive — using more cloud technologies, embracing remote work, or moving their operations entirely online — the cyber security risks steadily increase.

An estimated 71% of Canadian small businesses surveyed by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) reported experiencing at least one cyber attack that impacted the organization in some way, including time and resources, out of pocket expenses, and paying ransom. Among those businesses that were victimized by a cyber attack, 13% indicated the attack damaged their reputation. 

A cyber attack can happen in minutes, and just one incident can prevent access to the systems you need to run your business, compromise your customer data, or force you to stop operations entirely.

If a security breach happens and data is stolen, posted, or sold, it may result in steep fines, time and expense for data recovery, and extended downtime. You may also have trouble retaining customers and pursuing new business. New data shows that costs from lost business — such as customer turnover — account for nearly 40% of the total cost of a breach.

Unfortunately, many small businesses lack the resources or knowledge for a strong security defence. Some may not understand the cyber threats targeting their operations, or how to get started with cyber security. 

Whether it’s phishing emails used to launch ransomware and encrypt or lock your critical files — or fraudulent emails designed to redirect financial funds — your staff, customers, vendors, data, computer systems, and business are at high risk. 

It’s time to understand the cyber threats targeting your business.

Three cyber threats to keep on your radar

Phishing

Phishing is a cyber attack method that attempts to gather personal information — usernames, passwords, credit card details, even bank account numbers — using deceptive emails and links to malicious websites.Phishing relies on realistic-looking emails to fool recipients into clicking a link or opening an attachment.

New research found that 25% of data breaches involve phishing. For Canadian businesses, phishing continues to be a serious threat. Consider this, spear phishing — a more targeted form of phishing that requests money or information from a specific person, organization, or business — was the number one scam in Canada last year with losses of almost $37 million.

Ransomware 

Ransomware is malicious software designed to encrypt your computer files, emails, and other data, until a ransom is paid. Strains of ransomware can completely lock your computers and devices, preventing any access to your systems. Cyber criminals are also using double extortion ransomware — attacks known as “doxware” and “extortionware” — that first restricts access to your data, then threatens to disclose the sensitive data to the public. 

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by next year, a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. And this is no minor inconvenience. Last year, ransomware cost Canadian businesses $2.3 billion in downtime. 

Business email compromise and email fraud

Business email compromise (BEC) and email frauds have quickly become expensive cyber risks.  

BEC typically targets a company’s finance and procurement departments or a business owner.  This type of email attack attempts to initiate a financial transfer to an attacker-controlled account. 

The tactics are effective. BEC attacks can result in losses of hundreds of thousands, or even billions, of dollars. Data revealed 86% of data breaches are for financial gain and found that credential theft, such as BEC, contributed to 67% of the data breaches in 2019.

Is your business safe from cyber attacks? Find out.

Don’t let a cyber attack take your operations down. Your customers’ trust and your business reputation are too important to risk it — take control of your cyber security now.  

Contact our cyber security experts today for a free consultation to identify the security prevention you need and learn how to easily put this in place.