Report: Organizations Facing Increased Cyber Threats

A stylized padlock against a blue-green, binary-code background. Representing the cyber threats Canadian organizations are facing.

Written by: Jay H.

Organizations are facing increased cyber threats, according to a new report released by the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.

“Over the past two years, targeting of industrial processes and ransomware attacks have become regular occurrences resulting in major impacts, including reputational damage, productivity loss, legal repercussions, recovery expenses, and damage to infrastructure and operations,” said authors of the national cyber threat assessment. So, “ransomware directed against Canada in the next two years will continue to target large enterprises and critical infrastructure providers”.

Cybercriminals steal information from organizations and then hold it for ransom, sell it, or use it to gain an unfair advantage. Also at risk are customer and client data, which has short- and long-term financial implications for the victims, namely global competitiveness impacts and reputational damage.

Threat actors have also been exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic, targeting Canadian intellectual property that combats the virus. Malefactors are then using this to support their own domestic public health response and profit from illegal reproductions.

Trusted business relationships between organizations are also at risk. Cyber threat actors target online and in-person payment systems, supply chain vulnerabilities, and the access managed service providers have into their client’s networks. “These activities can be used to defraud organizations, conduct ransomware attacks, or steal proprietary information or customer and client data,” said the report.

Organizations of all sizes and industries such as municipalities, universities, and critical infrastructure providers face the most threat. These organizations have valuable assets that are of interest to cybercriminals, namely intellectual property, financial information and payment systems, data about customers, partners and suppliers, and industrial plants and machinery. Also, “as a general rule, the more Internet-connected assets an organization has, the greater the cyber threat it faces”.

Cyber Risk Factors

The report lists several factors organizations possess that can increase cybersecurity risk, including:

  • Operational technology
  • Industrial IoT
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Intellectual property
  • Personal data
  • Financial information
  • E-commerce website
  • Remote work encouragement

To learn more about cyber threats organizations are facing, read our other cybersecurity posts.

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