Cyber Security – A Costly Threat to Businesses

Cyber Security – A Costly Threat to Businesses


In today’s business world, companies of all sizes are constantly having to protect and monitor all forms of technology such as computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets making sure that company information is secured  at work, home and on the go. In a climate of persistent threats, protecting your cyber space is no longer a requirement but a necessity. In 2010, Canada ranked 6th as the world’s most common target for cyber related crimes and cyber security threats. Canada has also experienced a 53% increase in hacking related crimes in the past year alone. A recent report conducted by the Canadian Association of Police Boards of close to 600 businesses provided some very alarming figures.

49% of respondents have been a victim of cyber crime (cyber crimes include computer viruses, banking and personal information being lost or stolen through the Internet, businesses being hacked and held for ransom, identity theft and interference with critical infrastructure such as power grids, water systems or telephone services).


70% of victims of cyber crime have not reported the crime as they were unsure who to report to or did not think any justice would occur.


86% of respondents indicate that cyber crime has become a concern.


95% of respondents believe they are being targeted for cyber crime (most respondents believe the greatest threats are identity theft, financial fraud and computer viruses).

Cyber security can be defined as follows:

Securing vital and confidential information such as banking information, client data, and passwords from various forms of online attacks such as hacking, virus and spyware.

The larger the business, the more complex cyber protection can become especially for businesses collecting payments via credit cards online. As millions of dollars’ worth of transactions are conducted on the World Wide Web daily, there is a growing need to impose effective protection and measures to counter and repel cyber related crimes. Businesses must continuously update their software and internal procedures since new threats are being introduced on a daily basis. A news story posted in a local Vancouver paper advised that the police authorities were looking for information on individuals that were embedding technology into Point of Sale Terminals that records credit card information and then transfers the data to purchase products/services online. When the owner of the credit card received their bill, they noticed the merchant where they purchased their product had put through thousands of dollars. The business owner is contacted about these purchases and has no idea what has happened and thus has to spend time looking into the matter that can take days while potentially getting a bad rap from customers and having services suspended by the credit card company. Ultima


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