Cyber security – an increasing concern for Canadians

June 28, 2018

With a steady increase in the cyber attacks department, Canadians are now more than ever worried about cyber security threats among organizations – at least that what the statistics of CIRA show. Studies have also indicated that users are less likely to resort to an e-commerce business after finding out it was faced with a cyber attack in the past. The surveys clearly show how Canadians are up to even ten times more keen to avoid certain organizations that have dealt with issues of this kind than Americans. While it is obvious that Canadians have fully embraced cyberspace, with over 70 percent banking online and more than 50 percent covering their taxes electronically, security concerns seem to not decrease in number.

Protection for users

A quick research on the web it all it takes for one to find out that more the 75 percent of Canadians are worried about the personal information posted or shared on the internet, mainly when that information is either monitored or stored through the United States – according to tech officers at CIRA. It seems like investments are being awaited, which will have the role of improving the country’s internet infrastructure, the main goal is to ensure Canadians of a healthier online environment. Organizations, internet providers, as well as governments focus on maintaining the Internet infrastructure of Canada within its own borders, adding to the overall security level of data protection and internet usage.

Small enterprises are being affected most

While one may think that big companies are the ones being threatened by hackers mainly, in reality, small businesses are the ones more prone to dealing with a cyber attack. As specialists from Chamber of Commerce’s Cyber Security claim, more than seventy percent of attacks target and affect directly small companies and their clients.

CAIP objectives

As cyber threats become a more worrying issue in the Canadian e-commerce and online environment scene, the country’s associations of internet providers continuously work on bringing more effective strategies to the table and providing a higher level of security to both organizations with online activities and e-consumers. While handling copyright and internet privacy and access mainly, the association has also focused much of their efforts towards the security part of e-commerce and internet usage. What users need to know about CAIP is that it collaborates with Canadian Advanced Technology Alliances, to ensure their work is being carried out in the most effective manner, and the strategies implemented actually deliver the security improvements desired. The organization always pursues actions to keep the masses informed regarding relevant factors that revolve around safe internet usage. Policies are also perfected on the regular for both internet providers and users to access viable benefits.

While cyber security attacks cannot always be prevented, and they remain something e-users need to think about, regardless if they are e-commerce entrepreneurs or simply consumers, things seem to go in a proper direction with new rules and policies being promoted against attacks. Security and privacy continue being expanded, with CAIP as the main player in the battle against cyber attackers.

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Yes, cyber attacks are a real threat to the Canadian society

June 20, 2018

Canadian society is vulnerable to cyber attacks, and the proof lays in the thousands of companies that are shut down every year by a malware or virus. Tech professionals have analyzed the phenomenon and they warned the society that cyber criminality is a growing threat everyone should fight against. Why are hacktivists such a great threat to the Canadian society? A single person can create a lot of damage by using only their intellect and a computer. The attacks made on companies are conducted by small-scale criminals, but if a terrorist organization collaborates with cyber criminals then the damaged caused could bring a country to its knees.

The main reasons behind cyber attacks

Every hacker has their own reason to attack a company or a person, but the majority of incidents happen for financial gain. When a company is attacked by hackers they want to earn money. They can use numerous strategies.

They can create a data breach in order to have access to personal detail and perform identity theft. If they have access to personal information they can take any one’s identity. The purpose of identity theft is to commit fraud.

Some cyber attacks target companies or influential persons with the purpose to make financial demands. This is a modern strategy of blackmailing a company or a person. In the majority of cases, the computers are frozen and the hackers ask a sum of money in order to offer the users access to their data.

There are also hackers who perform cyber attacks because they want to make a social or political point. With the data, they obtain they can destroy their targets. They leak the information on well-known web pages and they stop only when the target stops its normal activity. In the majority of cases, the targets are from the political environment, but there are many cases when they come from other various domains.

The impact cyber attacks have in Canada

When a country is the target of cyber attacks the main reason behind them is to fuel a conflict with another nation. Hackers have the purpose to exploit Canadian capabilities with their attacks. Depending on the sponsor of the attacks the reason can differ. Hackers can steal military technologies and sell them on the black market to governments of other nations or to terrorists. Someone with a laptop with internet access can access classified information and can produce great damage. Hackers are aware that the danger of being caught is quite small because they do not come into a battlefield, where they can be killed if they are caught by the enemy.

Who is at risk?

Every individual and organizations connected to the Internet can be a target of cyber attacks. Hackers can change, disrupt, stole and destroy the information from any computer that has internet access. Entertainment organizations deal daily with the loss of money because hackers stole their intellectual properties. Cyber attacks target all sectors, not only the retail and financial ones. They can have a negative impact on transportation, politics, healthcare, manufacturing and even energy. Cyber criminals have no limit, so it is important to be aware that the threat is real, and that every one of us needs to learn how to protect themselves.

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Online threats, types of attacks and cyber security – the complete guide

June 14, 2018

Most people work with the Internet nowadays, but they are not aware of the risks they expose themselves to. Considering the latest innovations in technology, it would be impossible not to get a little worried about the implications of cyber attacks and other online threats. This article is going to present the most frequently encountered online threats, the existent types of attacks and some general knowledge about cyber security. No matter what’s your current knowledge level regarding this topic, you will get to know the basics in just a few minutes. Informed people can stay away from trouble if aware of these implications.

Cyber security represents a multitude of processes and technologies that are used entirely to protect data assets from attacks and online threats. The last few years were troubling in terms of tech because of the many data breaches that were reported. Thus, cyber security started to be the focal point of governments and enterprises when it comes tot heir IT infrastructure. Nearly everyone is now possessing a mobile phone or a device that can be the victim of an online threat, so cyber security doesn’t stop at a business level – it can affect the life of regular people. The cyber security market is worth around $800 billion that is spent on securing computers, IoT devices, mobile devices and so on.

For each type of attack, there is an area of protection that should be invested in when it comes to cyber security. The most common cyber attacks include zero-day attacks, cloud-data breaches, mobile malware, targeted attacks and SQL injection. All are based on vulnerability, either in terms of software or in terms of mistakes that the users make without being aware of it. The main purpose of all cyber security attacks is to steal data or execute malicious programs to harm a company, a person, or even the government.

The areas of protection that are relevant to each type of attack mentioned above include network defenses, endpoint protection and in motion & at rest data defenses. Enterprises invest tremendous amounts of money on keeping hackers or infiltrators away from stealing their critical data. Compromising devices in a corporate environment can lead to the company’s bankruptcy if irremediable. It is important to monitor data permanently and use correlation tools in order to find and stop any suspicious activity.

A regular PC user will experience online threats at least once over a one-year period. Malicious software, trojan horses, botnets, worms, spyware are all common threats that can be encountered in the online field if not being precautious. For people who engage in online shopping very often, phishing can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, investing in cyber security is now a must, rather than an option. Keeping data protected by taking the right measurements to avoid breaches will save you a lot of trouble later. Even though it sounds complex at first, it is very easy to gather relevant information on this topic and apply it to your own situation.

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The Canadian Association of Internet Providers – purpose and goals

June 6, 2018

The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) was created back in 1996 with the declared goal of protecting, developing and improving the Internet use in Canada. Focused on mutual interests of Canada and other international entities to create a safer, more secure Internet, connectivity and online services. The organization aims to deter any type of online abuse or related behavior that might endanger the freedom or dignity of the Canadian citizens. Providing competitive Internet services is another declared goal of the organization.

Cybersecurity challenges, for legal entities

While in 2004 cyber threats were considered low-risk, things are different in today’s climate. At least when it comes to national security, cyber attacks are considered to be just as dangerous as terrorist attacks. The cybersecurity strategy aims to consolidate Canada’s position regarding Government’s security in the online, but also citizen’s security. The matter is a problematic one because the Internet, at its origins didn’t aim to be a secure virtual space, but to make information more accessible and facile, for all categories. From where cyber security concerns arise. CAIP aims to consolidate both security and online freedom, but also to encourage competitiveness in the sector. In 2016, there were multiple types of cyber attacks that aimed at different assets.

  • 64% of the cyber attacks registered in Canada in 2016 were asset misappropriation.
  • 32% of the online threats in Canada, during 2016 were cybercrimes.
  • Bribery and corruption attempts in the virtual space had a 24% ratio in 2016, in Canada.
  • Procurement fraud, with a ration of 23%.
  • Accounting fraud, 18%, for the same year.
  • Fraud regarding human resources, with a ratio of 12%.
  • Money laundering – 11%.
  • The rest of the cyber threats registered in Canada in 2016, were also of an economic nature, endangering the well-being and dignity of the Canadian economic entities, but also of their finances.

Cybersecurity challenges in Canada, for private users

CAIP’s main objectives are described initially an organization’s information.

  • To assist and reinforce the usage of good practices regarding privacy policy, access to the Internet, security and copyright matters, but also implement good practices in terms of e-commerce security. The goal is to support the development of this sector throughout Canada.
  • Increase awareness among Canadian citizens regarding the Internet and related services. It promotes the use of these services at a large scale, for all age categories and social backgrounds.
  • To design and implement policies that are beneficial for all parties involved: Internet providers and users.

CAIP has a standard procedure when it comes to taking action against Internet providers. First, the association will identify reliable information regarding the abusive content. Second, the association, with the help of legal authorities will review the abusive content. And lastly, the association will notify the creator, providing a timeframe of seven days for them to reply to the sent notification, before taking any further legal steps.

Cyber security threats increase in frequency and change their nature, which makes them more dangerous than they were previously thought to be.

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How the government of Canada tackles cyber security

May 31, 2018

The growing dependence of the Canadian society on information and communication technology systems translates into the fact that they face a higher risk of cyber attacks. Cyber attacks are a serious risk to humankind, equal with natural disasters and extreme weather conditions. Cyber risks have escalated, beginning with 2017, is much more prevalent and disruptive. Offensive manoeuvrs are amazingly intricate and they target individual Canadians, as well as companies. In spite of growing awareness of the threat, not much is known about whom hackers set their eyes on. Threats to important infrastructure represent a national security priority. It’s a good thing that the Canadian government is working on cyber security issues.

Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy (CCSS)

Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy, or CCSS, was released in 2010 to highlight the government’s plan on how to secure cyber systems and protect citizens online. Over the course of the Strategy-funded activities, the numbers of data breaches have declined, not to mention that there have been improvements in the ability to detect, prevent, react and recover from attacks launched from another computer. What the federal government wants is to have a place where Canadians can turn to for help when it comes to staying safe online. Therefore, the federal cyber security strategy will be updated. The plan for cyber security is to enhance flexibility in terms of meeting cyber-attacks and collaborating with the provinces. The strategy will receive millions of dollars over 5 years. Many individuals have applauded the federal measures, stating that they will make Canada more secure.

Money is coming to protect the 2019 election

The government will make a considerable investment in building a resilient defense against cyber attacks. According to some sources, Elections Canada will receive money in order to protect themselves against foreign interference in the 43rd Canadian federal election. Taking into consideration that the potential for cyber attacks to sabotage the democratic process is very high, Canadians are willing to do whatever it takes to protect the election. The country still relies on paper ballots, which are marked by voters and hand-counted on officials. What about the funding that Elections Canada will receive? It will be used to train and retain experts in cyber security. Practically, it’s money well spent.

International integration

Cyber warfare doesn’t know any boundaries. Simply put, cyber-attacks aren’t restricted by time and space. Due to modern information and communication networks, it’s easier than ever to carry out offensive manoeuvrs. It’s important to understand that Canada’s cyber security regime exists in the context of a social unit. Canada is one of the few countries that have signed the Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe. At present, it remains one of the most relevant informational agreement regarding criminal activity involving computers. The level of cooperation between parties continues to improve, while the treaty is evolving to meet new challenges. Canada’s approach can be described as international. The approach takes advantage of private sector initiatives at an international level. When expertise and deep knowledge of cyber security are combined, the results are spectacular.

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