TORONTO – Many Canadian businesses are not prepared for cyber attacks. A new poll finds that 44 percent of small and medium-sized businesses do not have any defences against possible cyber attacks, and 60 percent have no insurance to help them recover if an attack occurs.
Nearly one in five businesses (18 percent) polled have been affected by a cyber attack or data breach in the last two years.
Almost 40 percent (37 percent) of businesses hit by a data breach estimate that the attack cost them over $100,000, while 20 percent had no idea of the cost of the breach.
Half of small business owners surveyed believe that their business may be vulnerable to a cyber security attack, and 56 percent stated that they’re concerned about how a breach could affect their business.
“Cyber attacks are real threats to small businesses that sell products via e-commerce or maintain electronic data about their customers,” said Ryan Stein, executive director, policy with IBC.
“A technology-system breach containing this information can cripple or ruin a business.”
The poll also showed that more than a third of respondents do not know what expenses are covered in a cyber insurance policy.
“Specialty insurance coverage for cyber risks is relatively new,” Stein pointed out. “However, threats to organizations and the possibility of legal action against organizations are realities that business owners should consider.”
When many businesses conduct all of their activities electronically, and the majority of assets are in the data they collect. There have been several high-profile personal information breaches that have affected tens of millions of records and cost the affected companies millions of dollars.
The poll, commissioned by IBC, and conducted by Leger canvassed 300 owners of small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees.