A new report from Mastercard shows that the average data breach costs Canadian businesses $5.64 million while only 39 per cent of businesses are implementing adequate cybersecurity tools.
However, the average cost of a data breach cost is higher for the U.S., at $9.4 million.
According to the report, cybercrime has increased by 600 per cent since COVID-19 pandemic with remote work resulting in a 238 per cent rise in cyberattacks.
The report states that the rise of cyber threats increased in cost with the current worldwide cost of $6 trillion, accounting for one per cent of the global GDP. The research estimates that this cost will rise by $4.5 trillion in the next few years.
In recent months, several large Canadian companies and organizations have fallen victim to cybersecurity breaches, including Indigo, Sobeys, SickKids Hospital in Toronto and the LCBO.
Mastercard also surveyed Canadian businesses and consumers and found that only half of consumers change their passwords when prompted by a platform, when hacked, or not at all. Half also say they use the same password on most of their accounts.
The survey indicates that more than half of (53 per cent) of Canadians consumers have experienced a security threat as they heavily rely on businesses to protect them.
Breaking down the data, 86 per cent of Canadian consumers said they are concerned about digital security threats while 53 per cent stated they’ve already experienced a security issue.
To avoid potential risks, 68 per cent of Canadians consumers prefer to use a third-party payment platform as 82 per cent don’t trust a company to protect their data, according to the research.
The survey also found that 38 per cent of Canadian consumers surveyed said their accounts were hacked by a fraudulent text message and the same percentage experienced phone scams.
Meanwhile, more than one-in-three (34 per cent) Canadian businesses said they’ve experienced fraud from using internet software or services.
In addition, 38 per cent of Canadians businesses said they have experienced digital payment fraud while the same percentage experienced a fraudulent account takeover. Another 33 per cent said they experienced identity theft while 40 per cent said their accounts were hacked.
Overall, consumers are worried about having their identity stolen from information they share with a retailer, data breach at companies they shop with and having their data stolen through phishing. As many as 91 per cent say they believe that companies should spend more to protect their data while 81 per cent consumers say they don’t trust a company to protect their information.
The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, involved among 4,009 individuals (2,002 from Canada) and 502 business leaders (102 from Canada). The individuals were interviewed from Oct. 26 to Oct. 31 and the business leaders were surveed from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15.
Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta.