2021 was another big year for cybercriminals. In addition to the attack on global meat producer JBS, which shut down facilities in Canada, the U.S., and Australia and resulted in a ransom of about $11 million being paid, an unauthorized party gained access to the Canada Revenue Agency user credentials. This resulted in 800,000 taxpayers being locked out of their accounts.
And those are just two of the attacks for the year. There are many others, that we’ll touch on in this article.
Cyber security companies have been scrambling to keep up with ever more sophisticated attacks and the rise of ransomware as a service (RaaS). This is where large criminal groups package and sell subscriptions to the assets required to conduct a ransomware attack.
Ever since the start of the pandemic, the best cyber security companies have been working to extend network security for remote workers. Phishing attacks have skyrocketed in an attempt to take advantage of the disruption in office workflows and the fact that many businesses haven’t yet properly protected work-from-home employee data.
Cyber security solutions now need to keep up with state-sponsored hackers using AI and machine learning to automate attacks and make them smarter. While the criminals are taking advantage of advanced technology, there are still many small and mid-sized companies that haven’t adopted important strategies like zero-trust security.
Let’s take a look at the attacks that Canadian businesses experienced in 2021 and the statistical trends in cybercrime.
Cyber Crime Statistics in Canada
Whether you are looking at cyber security Toronto, Montreal, or another city statistic, the figures don’t look good.
In multiple areas, Canadian cybercrime is getting worse, and businesses are suffering the damage. Costs associated with a lack of good cyber security solutions include:
- Costly downtime
- Cost of remediating attacks
- Lost business
- Lost productivity
- Legal costs for exposed data in a breach
- Compliance penalties
Let’s take a look at some of the key threats that cyber security consulting services have been seeing.
Ransomware Increased in 2021
Ransomware is one of the costliest forms of cyber attack because it can instantly shut down a company by locking it out of its data. During the first half of 2021, ransomware attacks across the globe skyrocketed by 151%.
Additionally, the Cyber Centre in Canada reported 235 ransomware incidents targeting Canadian organizations between January 1st and November 16th, 2021.
The Sophos State of Ransomware Report 2021 found that 39% of Canadian businesses had suffered a ransomware hit the prior year, and 65% of them anticipated being subject to a ransomware attack in the future.
The average cost to remediate ransomware for a Canadian company is $1.92 million.
Phishing & Fraud Remain Big Problems in Canada
When asking cybersecurity companies Canada organizations trust to name one of the biggest threats, they’ll generally agree it’s phishing.
Phishing attacks are an “all-in-one” threat that can deliver many different types of attacks, including credit card fraud, credential theft, ransomware, spyware, and many others.
During the first six months of the pandemic, a full 42% of Canadians experienced some type of cyber security incident, and 34% of them experienced phishing attacks.
The total amount of money estimated that Canadians lost to fraud in 2021 was $230 million.
Cyberattacks on Canadian Businesses That Happened in 2021
Now, let’s take these statistics and show how they impacted companies. Without strong cyber security solutions, organizations can easily succumb to an attack that could put them out of business or cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions).
Here are some of the Canadian cyber attacks that you may or may not have heard about in 2021.
Toronto Transit Commission
Surprisingly, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) never filed a cyber security report when it was hit with malware that encrypted its data in October of 2021. There was no word on whether personally identifiable information was leaked.
950,000 postal addresses were breached when a third-party supplier of Canada Post was hit with a cyberattack in May of 2021. In most cases, parcel recipients’ names and addresses were compromised, and in 3% of the cases, an email address or phone number was breached.
FortisOntario and Cornwall Electric
In March of 2021, FortisOntario, the parent company of Cornwall Electric, announced that a third-party contractor handling billing was the victim of a ransomware attack. The company was not aware of data being breached but asked customers to remain vigilant of suspicious activity on their accounts.
Avoid Becoming a Cyber Crime Statistic
No one wants to be included in the group of victims of various cyberattacks. The best way to protect yourself is to work with a cyber security consultant like Dynamix to find out where your level of protection stands and where there are vulnerabilities.
IT security is not something you want to put off until later. Attacks continue to become more sophisticated every day.
Schedule a Cyber Security Audit Today
Looking for better cyber security in Toronto or Calgary? Dynamix Solutions can conduct a thorough IT security audit and make affordable recommendations to fortify any found vulnerabilities.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call Toll Free: 1 (855) 405-1087.