Here’s a list of large public breaches of academic institutions reported in March 2019. It’s a bit of a niche category but given the makeup of our membership it makes sense to use this sector:
There are far more examples, at least 20 more, but I think the point is made: schools are often targeted by cyber criminals. Strangely enough, there’s nothing special about schools that make them more likely to be attacked than other types of organizations yet the numbers are high. You may be curious - it sure seems like a lot of schools are being targeted. The underlying problem is scope - it only seems like a lot of schools are targeted because you don’t realize how much cyber crime is committed. In fact, the amount of cyber crime almost doubles every two or three years in Canada with many other countries having similar statistics. See for yourself on the Stats Canada site: there were 15,184 cyber-related violations reported in 2014 and 27,829 in 2017. The full reference report is available here: Stats Canada Police-reported Cybercrime.
How bad will it get?
These numbers will only get higher as the number of people using the internet increases alongside a massive improvement in hacking techniques and tools. Experts predict this trend will continue.
Though many organizations are increasing their security they are faced with a number of issues, most notably having to play security catch-up. Organizations that have not secured their networks will become bigger targets than ever. Those who don’t take security seriously will have ever increasing risk with no reward.
Canada is the most secure
Canada ranks very well according the current reports. Though different criteria influence the exact ranking, Canada is consistently in the top 25. The 2017 Global Cybersecurity Index lists Canada as a leader and based on the scores in the report we are actually closer to the top 5 according to Comparitech’s Cybersecurity assessment.
Canada is doing very well and so is the US so cyber security is not too bad in North America relatively speaking.
Canadian law enforcement has created the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) to focus on traditional cyber crime activities such as mass marketing fraud, advance fee fraud, internet fraud, and identification theft which covers the bulk of cyber crime targeting individuals.
Have you been targeted by a fraud scam? Consider contributing to the CAFC by reporting it.