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CIRA entered the cybersecurity space a few years ago with the launch of our D-Zone Anycast DNS service which leveraged the expertise we had gained from managing the .CA domain name registry. Last year, we again expanded our portfolio of Canada-first solutions with the introduction of D-Zone DNS Firewall to protect Canadian businesses and organizations from malware.

Both of these products evolved from technology CIRA had developed to fulfil its mandate to build a better online Canada, and provided us with the opportunity to interact with many organizations across a variety of sectors in Canada in a whole new way.

For me, the ride has been eye-opening as I am now plugged into the global cybersecurity news cycle where the frequency of successful attacks is enough to make anyone curl up into a ball and weep. However, it is also very exciting as CIRA is now helping hundreds of thousands of Canadians across municipalities, universities, school boards and hospitals. These institutional customers have a serious and unique problem as they support large numbers of different user types on both private and public networks. For example, by providing a K-12 school with a D-Zone DNS Firewall we are helping to keep malware off every school and student computer, which also leads to fewer families having their home networks impacted by infected laptops.

Which bring us to the recent release of the 2018 CIRA Canadian Cybersecurity Survey – Fall Edition. As CIRA has expanded into the world of cybersecurity, the main focus has been the institutional space where resources aren't as plentiful and the threat landscape is unique. However, we identified another type of organization with similar problems—small and medium-sized businesses. While enterprise cybersecurity often gets most of the attention, it is these smaller businesses that are increasingly on the front lines in the battle against cyber-threats.

To help understand the Canadian cybersecurity landscape we surveyed 500 small and medium-sized businesses across Canada with the sponsorship of our technology partner, Akamai.

We hope that the information in this report proves useful for organizations looking to benchmark their cybersecurity preparedness, evaluate the service providers that sell IT and security services to Canadian companies, and assist governments in understanding where there are gaps that they can help close. 

Here are a few highlights of the findings of the report:

  • Fully 40 per cent of respondents experienced a cyberattack that required at least some attention in the last 12 months.
  • Almost 40 per cent didn't have knowledge of Canada's privacy regulations, PIPEDA, and how the coming changes in November could impact their business.
  • 28 per cent were planning to add cybersecurity staff in the next 12 months.

That is just three of the many highlights in this landmark survey of Canadian SMBs. Register for and read the entire survey here.