Amid this October’s #GetCyberSafe campaign, many Canadians want companies and governments to do more to keep their data safe from ‘ruthless’ hackers
Nearly all Canadians (90 per cent) say they are "leery" about sharing their personal or financial information with any organization that's had a cyberattack or data breach, and over four in five (84 per cent) would take their business elsewhere, a new KPMG in Canada cybersecurity poll finds.
With the COVID-19 pandemic fuelling a surge in online everything – from working, shopping and connecting – more than half (54 per cent) of all Canadians say they are shopping online more than they ever did pre-COVID and an equal number say they're getting many more suspicious-looking emails as well.
"While social distancing has made us much more reliant on all things digital, the surge in cyberattacks and data breaches amid the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to undermine trust, with as many as four in five Canadians warning they would reconsider doing business with anyone that failed to keep their data safe," says Hartaj Nijjar, KPMG partner and national leader of Cyber Security Services. "The new reality in which we've living demands that every organization take a much-harder look at their cybersecurity strategy, systems, and protocols."
Since the pandemic started, Canadians have been hit mostly by phishing (38 per cent) or spear fishing (13 per cent) cyberattacks. Phishing attacks occur when attackers masquerade as authentic organizations to dupe the target into opening an instant message, email, or text message or clicking on an attachment. But, while phishing campaigns are sent to many recipients, spear phishing is highly targeted and personal; they look more legitimate.
"Cyber criminals are ruthless. They're after your identity, login credentials, money, and sensitive information," says Mr. Nijjar. "With cyberattacks becoming increasingly more sophisticated, organizations must do their part by improving their cyber resilience and continuing to promote #GetCyberSafe awareness and education."
The online poll of 2,003 Canadians was conducted between September 15 and 18.
Key Poll Highlights
Rebuilding confidence is key
While most Canadians have faith in organizations to safeguard their information, two in five (38 per cent) Canadians are not confident their personal information can be kept safe, with 17 per cent saying they are "pretty cynical" about the ability of companies or governments to protect their data. Over three in five (61 per cent) feel they no longer trust the government to keep their personal information safe.
"Canadians are sending a clear message that much more work needs to be done on the cybersecurity front to rebuild confidence and trust," says Mr. Nijjar.
Canadian CEOs already recognize the potential financial and reputational damage that can be inflicted by cybercrime, with CEOs identifying cyberattacks as one of the top three threats to their growth prospects, according to KPMG's recent 2020 Global CEO Outlook.
Other Poll Findings:
Businesses: 5 Cybersecurity Tips
KPMG used Methodify, an online research automation platform, to survey 2,003 Canadians during September 15-18.
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