Has a cyber attack affected your business…yet?

Last month, Vector Networks attended the IT Connect Conference at Champlain College in Lambert, Montreal. This year’s topic was Cybersecurity – a topic that is affecting more than the average IT technician.


In 2016, Oath announced that one billion Yahoo user accounts were hacked.

In 2017, over 140 million people were affected by the Equifax Breach.

In 2018, Under Armor’s app, MyFitnessPal, was attacked, leaking information of approximately 150 million users.

In January 2019 alone, there were over one billion records leaked from cyber attacks and data breaches.

There has been no shortage of data breaches, malware attacks, phishing emails and any cyber attack you can think of. By the end of this year, on a global scale, cybercrime is expected to cost more than $2 trillion.

Cybersecurity is clearly a growing concern that cannot be ignored. As a result, Vector Networks decided to learn more about the subject by attending IT Connect 2019. There were well over a dozen presentations at the conference, but our team focused on two areas of interests including the Canadian Cybersecurity Strategy, and IoT Security. This is part one of a two-part series on what we learned at the IT Connect conference.


Canadian Cybersecurity Strategy

Presented by Véronique Ménard from the Canadian Center for Cyber Security


The government is concerned with any critical infrastructure that may cause major disruption to its citizens. This can include a major reduction of food, water, and now, the increasing concern for cybersecurity.  As a result of major technology shifts, the federal government introduced a National Cyber Security Strategy that will fund the Canadian Center for Cyber Security. It has already allocated $507.7M over five years starting in 2018 and $108.8M per year every year after that.


Has a cyber attack affected your business…yet?
Photo of the Canadian National Cybersecurity Strategy


The Cyber Security center will use the funds to execute four main roles. It includes informing Canadians about cybersecurity matters; providing Canadians with advice, guidance, and assistance on cybersecurity; defending cyber systems, and leading the government’s response to any cybersecurity events. The organization also partners up with critical infrastructure enterprises to help better protect Canadians.

Véronique Ménard explained that on a global scale, Canadians spend the most time online with about 43.5 hours per month. She continued to express that cybersecurity cost the Canadian economy around $1.7 billion in 2018 alone. Here are two publications from the Canadian Center for Cyber Security for better insight on the current cyber threats.

The first evaluated the national cyber threat against organizations and citizens, identifying how Canadians and their businesses are currently being cyberattacked. It was discovered that 85% of Canadian businesses were the victim of a phishing attack in 2018 and, in the same year, 19%  of them revealed they were a victim of ransomware.




Has a cyber attack affected your business…yet?
Photo summary of the first publication in discussion
Has a cyber attack affected your business…yet?
Photo summary of how cyber attacks are affecting individuals


The second publication aimed to identify what may be harming the integrity of elections in Canada. Ménard highlighted election manipulation through social media. The study revealed that voters have never been more influenced by social media than today. On the other hand, the continued use of paper ballots has helped keep minimalize threats in comparison to using electronic voting machines.


Has a cyber attack affected your business…yet?
Photo of the second publication in discussion


The newly formed Canadian security unit is in its infancy, but we are interested to learn more about their studies and what they will reveal. For example, how do they plan on protecting connected devices in hospitals, or airplane control towers, or how to prevent the manipulation of traffic lights? Will there be regulations for software products? Will they introduce a cybersecurity label certifying products?

Overall, as a business in Canada, Vector Networks is reassured to know the Canadian government is acting against cybercrimes. Cybersecurity cannot be overcome by a single business or individual. In a large scale study of 4000 organizations, it was revealed that 70% of businesses are not prepared for a cyber attack. Another study revealed that 71% of Americans were scared their personal information would be hacked. Whether you are an individual or business, here are some resources to help you strengthen your cybersecurity.