#CyberFLASH: Why hackers target Canadian insurance companies

Canada cyber security news

Thirty-nine per cent of C-suite executives in Canada actually think they will be the target of a cyber attack

Insurance companies are generally more vulnerable to malicious e-mails than banks, while a slight majority of computer security staff members surveyed do not fully disclose information technology vulnerabilities even to executives at their own firms, an IT security expert suggested Wednesday.

Kevvie Fowler, partner, advisory services at KPMG Canada, said in a presentation that insurance companies face different threats than banks, even though both industries provide financial services.

“In insurance, over 4% of email that you receive … contain malicious links,” he said, citing research conducted by security software vendor Proofpoint Inc.

“In contrast, if you look at technology companies, it is just over 1%. There is actually a greater number of threats that you are faced with in your inbox in contrast to people just like yourselves in other industries.”

Fowler, who has worked in cyber security for 17 years, made his comments during a luncheon presentation held by the Property Casualty Underwriters Club.

He added banks do “a better job of filtering these threats upstream, so they aren’t making it to the end users’ mailbox.”

Cyber attacks, he said, can be grouped to four categories of “bad actors.” The broad categories are petty criminals, “hacktivists” or terrorists, organized criminals and state-sponsored attackers.

“Bad guys know banks spend a lot of money on security,” he said. “They will focus on an industry that hasn’t made those security investments.”

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Smartphones, tablets will be targeted by cyber-spies: CSIS report

 

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OTTAWA – Hand-held devices such as smartphones and tablets could be the next frontier for cyber-spies and other rogue players in the digital world, warns a newly declassified assessment from Canada’s intelligence agency.

 

Opportunities for malicious hackers are growing as computer systems move from the back rooms of corporations and government agencies into the palms and laptops of employees, says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service assessment.

 

“New cyber attack tools and techniques will be developed in efforts to compromise Canadian public- and private-sector systems,” says the report, perhaps the agency’s most ominous forecast to date on the perils of cyberspace.

“The cyber-related threat environment will evolve and become more complex, creating ever greater challenges for Canada within the context of national security.”

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