Queen's University

Canadian businesses unprepared for cyber attacks: Queen's University expert

2013-11-12

Queen’s University computer and internet security expert David Skillicorn can comment on the Canadian Cybercrime Survey results released today. The report showed few businesses are prepared to defend themselves against cybercrime.

Dr. Skillicorn, a professor in the Queen’s School of Computing and a cyber hacking expert, says the report is a disappointing snapshot of Canadian businesses’ awareness of the risks and costs of cyber attacks.

“About 70 per cent of businesses surveyed reported at least one successful attack in the previous year,” says Dr. Skillicorn. “The remaining 30 per cent could be businesses with strong defences - but it's much more likely they were attacked and don't know it. The largest class of attacks reported (50 per cent) were viruses, malware and trojans -- the easiest to defend against. Any business that has taken even rudimentary steps (installing antivirus, installing antimalware, patching rapidly, changing default passwords) to protect itself should rarely see such attacks succeeding. So much for the alleged 64 per cent of senior management who take cyber threats seriously.

“Most businesses are almost completely unprepared to respond to a cyber attack, lacking internal procedures and much awareness of who could help in government. There's also some naivety, for example about the relative risk of insider attacks.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officer Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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