Fewer frauds are costing Canadians more money in 2021, according to recent statistics from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, as the COVID-19 pandemic has given way to new cybersecurity risks for businesses, according to a recent study by IMB Security.
As of Aug. 31, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre pegs the impact of fraud thus far in 2021 at $144 million lost, up from $106 million in 2020. This increase of almost 36 per cent comes with a significant drop in the number of Canadians who report frauds and have fallen victims to them.
In 2020, 71,092 Canadians reported frauds. The number of victims also dropped to 36,334 from 42,182. But as noted, the illegal gains from these frauds are up.
Businesses appear to have become increasingly vulnerable to fraud. As first reported by Insurance Business Canada, a new study by IBM Security, Canadian companies are paying for more compromised credentials and faulty data security, as the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to new cybersecurity risks.
IBM studied data breaches in more than 500 companies worldwide including 26 based in Canada between May 2020 and March 2021 and found Canada ranking in the global top three for data breach costs, with the average incident costing around $6.75 million. Not surprisingly, damages were the highest in the financial industry, followed by the health care industry.
The most common method behind data breaches were the use of stolen credentials, accounting for 20 per cent of attacks.
While IBM’s study focused on large companies, small-to-medium-sized businesses employing most Canadians are of course not immune to cyber-scammers.
A study (albeit dating back to 2013) identified businesses with fewer than 250 employers as the largest growth area for targeted cyber attacks with 31 per cent of all attacks targeting them.
For more information and tips to stay safe, see getcybersafe.gc.ca/en.
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