#CyberFLASH: Are Canadian firms lagging behind with IT security?

rb-ca-securityAre Canadian companies lagging behind our U.S. counterparts when it comes to strategic information technology spending? I recently had lunch with a friend and that troubling question arose.

My friend works for a multi-national information technology (IT) company. We ended up chatting about some pressing topics in our industry – new cyber threats, government surveillance, large-scale security breaches, among others.

What was disconcerting was that he mentioned that based on his experience working on both sides of the border, he sees Canadian companies trailing behind our U.S. peers in investments in people, process and tools when it comes to information security.

“Companies in Canada aren’t really seeing the need to invest and executives don’t understand the risks,” he said.

This begs the question: Are we less vulnerable to these kinds of security threats than our U.S. neighbours?

The answer is no. In 2013, Symantec released our annual Norton Report that showed the cost of cybercrime to Canadians was $3-billion for the year, more than twice the cost from the previous year. And while attacks targeting institutions like government agencies and retail giants may seem to be most prevalent and serious given the exposure they receive in the media, the reality is, no organization is immune.

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