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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. While it’s important to take Internet Safety seriously every day of the year, this month serves an important reminder of the realities of the current online climate. Here are top five stats that help illustrate the importance of securing your accounts in today’s digital age.

1. 75 per cent of Canadian companies are likely to pay ransomware.

According to a 2016 international study of 5,400 IT staff across Canada, the US, UK and Germany, Canadian organizations were most likely to pay ransomware demands and are ranked amongst the highest for lost revenue and business interruption. Interestingly, the research also highlighted that Canadian organizations had the highest rate of file loss (82%), followed by the UK (32%) when not paying the ransom.

2. Cyber-crimes reported in Canada rose over 50% during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CAFC (Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) received over 30,000 allegations of cyber-fraud in 2020, compared to just over 20,000 in 2019. This represented over $100 million in losses by Canadian organizations, compared to $80 million in 2019. In a worrying trend, the report also highlighted that cybersecurity risks rose for Canadian business owners who were forced to digitize as lockdowns slowed down their in-store revenue.

3. In 2019, 94 per cent of malware was delivered by email.

With 306.4 billion emails being sent everyday worldwide, this statement is especially unsettling. For years, we’ve been taught how to recognize dangerous spam emails: check to see whether it’s being sent from a legitimate email address, don’t click on unfamiliar links and be skeptical of unusual language used. Sadly, our gut instincts on whether an email is safe is no longer suffice. Read our recent blog Why It’s Time to Stop Sending Attachments Via Email to learn three ways you can avoid falling victim to ransomware attacks.

4. The average time to identify a breach in 2020 was 228 days.

What’s more, in 2019 it took another 73 days for the company to “fix” the breach after its been discovered. The average cost to these businesses can be as much as $3.92 million.

5. Unstructured data in corporations is increasing at a rate of 62% per year.

By 2022, it’s predicted that 93 per cent of all data will be unstructured. On average, three per cent of that data contains sensitive information. Without managing your repositories, you’re at risk of carrying high quantities of ROT (Redundant, Outdated and Trivial) data which can increase your risk footprint and overall IT costs for storage and infrastructure management.
Luckily, there is a way to get ahead of your unstructured data by implementing a data mapping and cleaning plan. 
These five stats only scratch the surface of the cyber security issues out there today. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to stay informed on industry news, developments and more.