Cybercriminals definitely have Canada on their minds. They have seen that Canadian businesses don’t really have much protection against cybersecurity threats. Cybercriminals have targeted them multiple times, and a lot of businesses still don’t do much to protect their companies.
The Latest Cybersecurity Reports on Canadian Businesses
According to a recent cybersecurity report, in 2018 Canada ranked third among the countries with the most cyberattacks in the world.
A 2018 cybersecurity survey by CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) reported that 88% of respondents were concerned about future cyberattacks. It also stated that 78% were confident in their cybersecurity measures, while 37% had no anti-malware protection. An astonishing 71% of businesses had no security patching policy, leaving their systems full of security holes.
The report also stated that 40% of respondents have experienced a cyber incident in 2018.
Given these, and many other, reports about many Canadian businesses not being adequately protected against online threats, cybercriminals will definitely target them, now more than ever.
How Can Canadian Businesses Protect Their Companies?
Canada needs to start taking cybersecurity very seriously. Here are the most important steps every Canadian business should take right now.
1. Using a Firewall
A firewall is the first line of protection that every business should have in place. Installing it is essential for anyone who connects their device to the internet.
A firewall will monitor the network and connected devices for any suspicious activity. If an unauthorized user tries to get into the system, the firewall will block them and immediately sound an alarm. That way, no one outside the computer network can gain access.
2. Installing Antivirus and Antimalware Software
Antivirus software protects against computer viruses, while antimalware offers an extra layer of protection against advanced malware programs.
Installing both on every device, and updating them regularly, is a very important security measure to take. They can detect a potential breach, and remove any virus or malware from the system.
3. Applying Security Patches
Cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to exploit security vulnerabilities in various software. This is why developers regularly release new security patches to fix those vulnerabilities.
Every business should apply those security patches as soon as they’re available so that they can effectively protect their devices and data.
4. Using a VPN
A VPN offers the best protection against cybersecurity threats. It will encrypt your connection, effectively protecting all your devices and data. It will bypass geo-restrictions, which is ideal when you’re traveling and need to access your corporate network or work PC remotely.
A VPN with servers in Canada will keep you and your entire workforce anonymous online. So no one will ever be able to gain access to your system and steal your data. Explore the best VPN services in Canada, and find the one that fits your needs best.
Canada, unfortunately, is often targeted by cybercriminals. If your business is operating here, don’t let hackers harm you. Be smarter, use the necessary tools, and you’ll take your cybersecurity to a whole new level.
5. Regularly Backing up Data
Data backups are also very important, as they keep data safe and secure on remote servers. If a breach occurs, and you need to get your systems offline, you can easily restore them later. Your backup servers will also let you retrieve all your data.
6. Encrypting Data
You should encrypt all your data to keep it safe and secure from prying eyes. That way, if a breach happens, no unauthorized user could ever misuse your sensitive data. Make sure you also always use encrypted email when sending sensitive data, especially passwords.
7. Using Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are absolutely paramount. They contain numbers, symbols, and both upper- and lower-case letters. They don’t contain any personal information, nor anything else that someone can easily guess.
The most vital thing is not to use the same password for more than one account, as well as to change them regularly. Also, be sure to use two-factor authentication for extra security.
8. Using a Password Manager
Password managers provide excellent password security. They provide you with a master password for all your accounts, generate random passwords for each, and change them regularly.
If a hacker ever cracks your master password, your password manager will instantly generate new passwords for all your accounts, together with a new master password. It will keep doing so until the threat is gone.
9. Encrypting the WiFi Network
Every business that uses a WiFi network in their workplace should use advanced encryption to secure it. Cybercriminals often crawl into systems via WiFi networks, but strong encryption will keep them out.
10. Conducting Cybersecurity Training
Every employee should be fully aware of potential cybersecurity threats. Most importantly, they should know how to prevent potential cyberattacks.
For instance, they should never click on any links in their emails, unless they’re absolutely sure they come from reliable sources. They also shouldn’t connect any unprotected device to the corporate network. Take the time to train them properly, so that they don’t leave any door open for hackers to get in.