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Cybercrime hits new peaks in Canada

February 1, 2023
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin companies offering cybersecurity products or services may find opportunities in the Canadian market.

Cybercrime and fraud soared in Canada in 2022, with nearly 71,000 reports and losses that totaled a record $530 million, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

That’s an increase of nearly 40% from the $380 million in losses in 2021—the previous high. And those figures probably reflect only 5%-10% of the total losses, since most people don’t notify police when they are victims, says the agency, which is jointly managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau, and the Ontario Provincial Police.

The three types of fraud most often reported in 2022 were phishing, extortion, and personal information scams, all designed to get victims to pay or to give out sensitive personally identifying or banking information.

The largest losses reported in 2022 were investment scams, cryptocurrency fraud, romance scams, and spear phishing, which involves stealing account credentials or financial information.

According to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security—part of the government’s Communications Security Establishment—cybersecurity has become a top concern for Canadians over the past two years.

The organization’s National Cyber Threat Assessment 2023-2024 says the COVID-19 pandemic greatly expanded Canadians’ use of the internet. More people now work remotely, order goods online, and access medical care virtually, widening opportunities for cybercriminals. Increased use of the Internet of Things, connecting a variety of devices, also raises the potential for fraud, the report says.

In addition, ransomware attacks against businesses and governments are up since 2020, and state-sponsored cyberthreats against Canada are a constant problem—particularly from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea—according to the report.

As a result of the uptick, more Canadian businesses may want to conduct risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities and strengthen their security requirements.

Wisconsin companies offering goods and services that can securely manage client data—as well as identify and stave off cyberattacks—may find eager customers.

Events such as Security Canada’s International Security Conference & Exposition, to be held in Toronto Oct. 25-26, may offer an opportunity to network with participants in the Canadian cybersecurity market.














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