On October 20th, Dominic Vogel, a Cyber Security Specialist, spoke to us about cyber risk.  Dominic is a frequent security commentator on radio/TV/social media and was recently appointed to the BC Provincial Cyber Security Advisory Committee.
Cyber crime is one of the most pressing risks that organizations face.  It has become as much of an inevitable reality as death and taxes.  Criminals see small/midsize businesses (SMBs) as easy marks and, as a result, 75% of cyber tasks are focussed on SMBs.  Cyber criminals usually gain entry to corporate networks through individual logins or email accounts (phishing) to disable systems or steal valuable data.  The result can affect the organization's ability to operate as well as the safety, privacy and relationships with clients, business partners and employees. 
Dominic shared the growing magnitude of this global threat:  100,000 security incidents were reported in 2018 with 2,260 confirmed data breaches spanning 82 countries and costing in excess of $400 billon.  The most common threat is ransomware:  55% of small Canadian organizations have been impacted, with 75% forced to pay ransom and 40% targeted more than once.  The paradox is that smaller businesses with fewer resources are easier targets and need to be extra vigilant. 
Dominic provided a list of practical security measures that organizations and individuals can take to prepare for these risks, including the following actions:
  • Backup critical files/data
  • Install basic security software
  • Use multi-factor authentication and password manager apps or programs
  • Update applications and apply patches
  • Restrict consumer cloud storage access
  • Build a culture of prevention: educate staff about safe online security.
For more information, check out these helpful links: