COVID-19 turned 2020 into a business year unlike anything we’ve experienced in recent history. The global pandemic has impacted our lives dramatically, both in our home lives and in our businesses. We read the 2020 CIRA Cyber Security Report and have found a series of important trends regarding online security that every modern company should follow for continued success.

2020 Cybersecurity Trends

CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) releases an annual report on cybersecurity trends and statistics in Canada. There are several overarching trends to examine closely for online business success in 2021. First, let’s look at the data and trends. 

Spending on Cyber Security Awareness Remains Level

Overall, there were fewer organizations planning to increase their human resources spending dedicated to cybersecurity this year compared to the year before. In other words, companies are not hiring for in-house cyber security positions. 

Boost in Cyber Security Training

More than 50% of organizations implemented new cybersecurity protections directly in response to COVID-19. A total of 94% of organizations surveyed reported they had cybersecurity awareness training in place. Of those organizations, 34% said the training was mandatory for some of their employees, while 48% reported the training was compulsory for all their employees. 

Pandemic Brought a Spike in Cyber Attacks

Three out of ten organizations have seen a spike in the volume of cyberattacks during the pandemic. A total of 25% of organizations surveyed experienced a breach of customer and/or employee data in 2020. Another 38% had no idea whether cyber attackers had breached their networks or not.  

Unwilling to Report

Of the organizations surveyed, only 36% said they would likely report a breach to the appropriate regulating bodies. In 2019, 58% of organizations said they would report a security breach. 

Online Security Takeaways for 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and cyber attacks continue to evolve, there are some key takeaways businesses can use from the past year to protect their business on a continual basis. 

Continued Employee Training

As remote work continues to be a popular choice for employees in 2021 and beyond, cybersecurity training for employees remains a necessary investment for businesses. Since a large number of employees continue to work, they need to be aware of vulnerabilities they face as remote workers and steps they can take to help protect their devices and their company’s network from security threats. 

Focused Security Measures Against Cyber Attacks

The goal of cyber attacks is to steal, corrupt, or hold ransom, sensitive data such as email addresses, credit card information, passwords. Cyber attacks are constantly evolving as they react to improvements in critical security infrastructure. CIRA data shows that cyber-attacks related to COVID-19 did not replace the usual volume of attacks but added to the usual volume. Businesses can keep the sensitive information of their clients and employees safe by investing in security networks and providing additional resources for their IT management team. 

Awareness Is Key

A surprising 38% of organizations surveyed reported they did not know whether or not their data had been breached in the previous year or not. The first step to knowing whether your company’s sensitive data is secure or not is to monitor your networks. If you’re not monitoring in real-time, you’ll have no idea when your information is at risk until it’s too late and your data has been corrupted or held ransom. As business owners, you’ll need to discuss with your in-house or your external IT team the strength of your network security and your monitoring system.

Your Trusted Edmonton IT Management Firm

Alt-Tech Inc. is your cybersecurity and IT management firm in Edmonton, Alberta. If your company needs managed IT services or increased cybersecurity measures, or employee training sessions, we can help. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your cybersecurity needs.