October is Cyber Security Awareness Month in Canada

How to protect your small business


Cyber Security Awareness Month is an internationally recognized campaign held each October to inform the public of the importance of cyber security.

This campaign is focused on helping all Canadians be more secure online, by being informed and knowing the simple steps to take to protect themselves, their families, their workplace and their devices. The month is divided by themes which highlight different aspects of cyber security.

On Social Media

Weekly Themes

How Cyber threats work

How cyber threats work | Cyber Security Awareness Month

A cyber threat is an activity intended to compromise the security of an information system (such as a computer network, a website, or even a social media page) by altering the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of a system or the information it contains. These activities take place in the online space. Cyber threat actors are simply individuals or organizations, they may have different motivations, skill sets, or capabilities but often the end result is often the same. In general, they seek to demonstrate their capabilities, cause harm to an organization or individual, or profit from online activities. Cyber threat actors aim to take advantage of vulnerabilities, low cybersecurity awareness, and technological developments to gain unauthorized access to information systems in order to access or otherwise affect victims’ data, devices, systems, and networks. Sometimes, even sophisticated actors use less sophisticated and readily available tools and techniques because they meet their needs and require little effort on their part. Understanding how cyber threats work is the first step in protecting yourself and your organization from their activities.

How Cyber Threats affect you

How cyber threats affect you

As Canadians put more of their information online, they become increasingly attractive targets for cyber threat actors. Canadians’ exposure to cyber threats increases with the growing number of Internet-connected devices, such as televisions, home appliances, thermostats, and cars. As an individual, you may be the victim of cyber fraud and extortion attempts from cybercriminals. Actors can use cyber tools and social engineering to extort money or information from Canadian individuals and businesses. You may have heard of these techniques or you may have already been the victim of a cyber incident. Some of the most commonly used tools are adware, ransomware, denial of service, password cracking, pharming, phishing and malware. The good news is that even as the range of tools and techniques at the disposal of cyber threat actors continue to increase, the different tools and techniques at the disposal of businesses, organizations and everyday Canadians can protect against even the most sophisticated attempts.

How to protect yourself online

How to protect yourself online

A common misconception when it comes to cyber security is that you have to be an expert with an array of sophisticated tools at your disposal in order to protect yourself from cyber threats. The reality is that everyone is capable of adopting simple behaviours that can protect them from the most common cyber threats. In some cases, you may already be aware of these behaviours, but you either underestimate their importance or you choose to ignore them because they are inconvenient. You may also be confused due to the overwhelming amount of security advice you receive on a day to day basis.

For individuals, your personal behaviours online are just that – personal. How you manage your accounts, or what level of security you choose to implement is your choice. But at the very least, it should be an informed choice. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security developed the following steps, because they are simple to put into practice, yet when implemented as a set they are very effective.

  1. Practice good password etiquette
  2. Accept updates to your mobile devices, computers, and applications
  3. Secure your social media and email accounts
  4. Be on guard for phishing (and spear-phishing) messages
  5. Store your data securely and know your back-up procedures

How to protect your small business

How to protect your small business

If you’re like most small or medium businesses in Canada, the Internet is an indispensable tool to succeed in today’s digital economy. Getting online allows you to reach new customers and grow your business. And even if you don’t have a website — or a social media account — you probably depend on the Internet for everyday business operations like banking, payroll or ordering supplies. However, being online requires being safe and secure. As a small or medium business, it’s easy to think that you are too small to warrant the attention of cyber criminals. In fact, cyber criminals are now actively targeting smaller businesses because they believe their computers are vulnerable. Cyber security is a shared responsibility and, depending on how your business is structured, there are likely other people — co-owners, managers or employees — who should also be familiar with the information you’ll find in this guide. You do not need to be an expert to be cyber safe. But you certainly owe it to yourself and your customers to make cyber security a priority. Working with other business owners and partners across industry and government is a great way to ensure a more cyber safe future for everyone.

How we can work together

How we can work together

Cyber defence is a team sport. Government, industry, academia, and civil society must all work together to strengthen Canada’s cyber security. Canadian cyber systems, inside and outside of government, hold valuable information that is critical to our health, our economy, and our security. Those systems are targeted by threat actors. We need to work together so we can strengthen our resiliency against those cyber threats. Let’s build a community where sharing is the default and where we prioritize the security of all of our systems over gaining a competitive edge.

Ways to Get Involved

  1. Bookmark the Get Cyber Safe website and come back regularly for cyber security resources, tips and tools.
  2. Follow, like and share Get Cyber Safe content on TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.
  3. Use #CSAM, #cyber, #cybersecurity in your posts during the month of October
  4. Follow Canadian Centre for Cyber Security on social and keep up to date with their advice and guidance.

For questions or additional information please contact [email protected].

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