Cybersecurity and Internet technology

There has been no shortage of major incidents of cyberattacks to help bring the issue to the front pages of the international news.

Akamai, a company that monitors the incidence of DDoS attacks quarterly, point to a 71 per cent increase in the DDoS attacks year of year and a 138 per cent increase in attacks over 100 Gbps.

CIRA has long been an advocate for strong and progressive cybersecurity protections and is one of the major advocates in Canada for both DNS security and emerging standards that would support the secure transfer of online data (DNSSEC). To this end, CIRA’s tracking research examined Canadians perceptions on several areas of digital and data security.


Awareness of cyberattacks against organizations or companies

Awareness of cyberattacks is split in Canada, with only 42 per cent of Internet users reporting that they had heard of an attack. Of those who were aware of an attack, incidents involving companies Target, Sony, and Home Depot topped the list. Government agencies (or general mentions of “government”), were also highlighted.

Chart showing data from CIRA that shows that 42 per cent of Canadians are aware of cyberattacks against organizations or companies.

Base: Canadian Internet users
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016


Awareness of companies that experienced a cyberattack

Chart that lists which companies of organizations that respondents to CIRAs tracking research were aware of. Target, Sony and Home Depot top the list.

Base: Canadians aware of cyberattacks
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016

67 per cent of respondents were concerned about their personal information given cyberattacks. Importantly, this concern carries genuine business and reputational risk. 47 percent of respondents indicated that they were unlikely to make a purchase from an online retailor following a cyberattack. Non-profit organizations are also at risk, with 48 per cent or respondents stating that were unlikely to make an online donation following a breach.


Level of concern about cyberattacks against organizations that may have access to your personal information

Chart showing data from CIRA that showing that 67 per cent of those aware of attacks are concerned about their personal information.

Base: Canadians aware of cyberattacks
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016


Likelihood that you will continue to make purchases from an online retailor or business following a cyberattack

Chart showing data from CIRA that showing that 47 per cent of respondents are unlikely to make purchases from companies that experienced a cyberattack.

Base: Canadians aware of cyberattacks
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016


Likelihood of making donations to a not-for-profit organization or charity following a cyberattack

Chart showing data from CIRA that showing that 48 per cent of respondents are unlikely to make donations to non-profit organizations that experienced a cyberattack.

Base: Canadians aware of cyberattacks
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016


Supporting the Canadian Internet Community

There is some modest concern in Canada about the sovereignty of Canadian data, given the traditional dominance that the American market has in cloud-based services and Internet technology. This concern has likely increased post-Snowden, but many Canadians remain either un-aware or un-concerned about their personal data and personal privacy. Only a third of Canadians are aware that Canadian infrastructure runs through the US or that many cloud services store their data in the US. This can likely be explained by the relative naiveté of most Internet users to the Internet’s actual operations and architecture.

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Of those Canadians who are aware of these issues 64 per cent are concerned about their data.


Awareness that some Canadian Infrastructure runs through the US

Chart showing data from CIRA that shows that 59 per cent of Internet users are unaware that Canadian’s Internet infrastructure runs through the US.

Base: Canadian Internet users
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016

Awareness that many Canadian cloud services store data in the US

Chart showing data from CIRA that shows that 56 per cent of Internet users are unaware that many Canadian cloud services store data in the US.

Base: Canadian Internet users
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016


Level of concern for privacy/security of personal data that is routed through the US

Chart showing data from CIRA that shows that 64 per cent of those aware of the issue are concerned about data being routed through the US.

Base: Canadian Internet users aware that infrastructure flows through the US
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016


The security of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is an emerging area of concern for security experts. The recent cyberattack against DNS provider Dyn has been traced to Internet-connected devices.

Of those Canadians who are aware of Internet of Things technology (only 31 percent), two-thirds are concerned about the security implications of these devices. This level of concern correlates positively with age, where those over 55 are much more likely to be concerned than those 18-34.

Chart showing data from CIRA that shows that 66 per cent of those aware of the Internet of Things are concerned about the security implications.

Base: Canadian Internet users aware of the Internet of Things
Source: CIRA tracking research 2016

Caption here
    Age
All respondents 18-34 35-54 55+
Total Concerned 66% 51% 64% 79%
Very concerned 25% 16% 22% 36%
Somewhat concerned 40% 36% 42% 43%
Neutral 20% 30% 19% 13%
Not very concerned 6% 9% 7% 3%
Not concerned at all 1% 2% 1% 1%
Total not concerned 8% 11% 9% 5%
Don’t know 6% 8% 8% 3%