Media Releases Oct 20, 2021

Cybersecurity a greater concern for Canadians than COVID-19 – here’s how Canada can step up: Canadian Chamber of Commerce


(OTTAWA) – October 20, 2021 – Improving cybersecurity is top of mind for Canadians, and despite an increase in cyber-attacks that leave Canadians and businesses reeling, cybersecurity has not received the national attention it deserves.

According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, 65% of Canadians are worried about falling victim to a cyber-attack, a greater concern than both climate change (63%) and COVID-19 (60%), and topped only by a fear of job loss (75%). A full 80% of Canadian CEOs are concerned too, along with 40% of small businesses, and for good reason.

“Cyber-attacks have severe and sometimes irreversible consequences for businesses including reputational damage, major business disruption, financial loss, and loss of trust, not to mention the personal cost for individuals who fall victim to cyber-attacks,” says Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director for Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Cybersecurity issues affect everyone, including government, businesses of all sizes, and individuals and everything from our economic growth to our national security. Yet – despite the many documented incidents, reports, and statistics – it often gets pushed to the back of the priority list. We need to shift our cybersecurity mindset from a nice-to-have, to an absolute necessity as it’s an urgent issue that requires significant investment.”

To address Canada’s urgent cybersecurity needs the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, together with a coalition of 30 cyber and technology organizations of all sizes from across the country, has developed 11 recommendations on how the federal government can step up its cybersecurity game.

They fall into three main categories:

  1. Growing Canada’s economy by accelerating the competitiveness of Canada’s cybersecurity industry.
  2. Securing Canadian critical infrastructure, supply chains, and businesses of all sizes from cyber threats by investing in cybersecurity at levels comparable to Canada’s G7 peers.
  3. Boosting Canada’s cybersecurity skill-set by making related education, talent development, and retention a national priority through investments in programs that diversify the cyber workforce pipeline.

COVID-19 has accelerated Canada’s digital expansion at a pace unimaginable before the pandemic. If there was ever a time to get serious about our leadership and investment in cybersecurity, it’s right now. We cannot afford to drag our feet any longer – our economic growth and the security of Canadians, their businesses, and our country depend on it. 

To see all 11 recommendations and learn more, visit CyberRightNow.ca.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:
Emily Walsh
ewalsh@chamber.ca