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The survey by CIRA found that 66 per cent of businesses with 250 to 499 employees experienced a cyber attack in the last 12 months. At the same time, it estimates that 70 per cent of data breaches happen against companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Globally, the Ponemon Institute reports that the average cost of a breach last year was US$3.86 million, up by 6.4 percent from the prior year. It notes that Canada has among the highest costs from a breach, including items such as notifying victims and engaging forensic experts.

These trends raise concerns given CIRA’s findings about the preparedness of Canadian businesses. Its survey showed that 37 per cent of respondents didn’t have anti-malware protection and 71 per cent didn’t have a formal patching policy.

The threats are coming says the report by the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, “but by knowing the threats, we hope that action can be taken to prevent, detect and respond.”

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