Last year, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security received 305 reports of ransomware assaults, a notable increase from around 295 reported the previous year.

These ransomware attacks targeting Canadians and Canadian companies are evidently growing in sophistication, posing a significant threat.

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Sami Khoury, the head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, emphasized the crucial need to address this issue promptly. He also highlighted the government’s pivotal role in implementing robust defense measures.

“The threat is real, the threat is growing, and we can’t talk about it enough,”

Khoury told CP24, underscoring the urgency of acknowledging and addressing the escalating cybersecurity risks.

According to the report, in the past, ransomware attacks primarily focused on infiltrating systems and demanding money for the release of hacked data. However, the nature of these attacks has evolved significantly. Nowadays, the main objective is to breach networks and acquire valuable data and sensitive information, which can then be sold.

ransomware attacks are on the rise in Canada.

Khoury points out that corporations have become more adept at handling such attacks by implementing robust backup measures in case they get locked out of their systems. Consequently, attackers have shifted their tactics, aiming to gain access to valuable knowledge and data that can be monetized for their own gains.

According to the report, such occurrences have become alarmingly common, leading Khoury to assert that cybercrime now stands as the nation’s top threat. Last year, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security received 305 reports of ransomware assaults, a rise from approximately 295 incidents the year before.

Over the past year, ransomware assaults have targeted prominent entities such as Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, Indigo, Sobeys, and Suncor Energy Inc. However, Khoury disputes the accuracy of these reported numbers. “I can promise you that the true figure is nowhere near that…

Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children

According to Khoury, one of the reasons for the disparity between reported incidents and the estimated true number of cybercrime cases is that many companies feel embarrassed or hesitant to report such incidents. This reluctance to report can lead to a significant underestimation of the actual cybercrime landscape.

Khoury recommends that businesses take proactive measures to bolster cybersecurity and protect against potential attacks. This includes using strong and unique passwords, implementing multi-factor authentication, and educating themselves about security risks and best practices.

Khoury emphasizes the critical importance of maintaining strong cybersecurity measures, particularly in light of the geopolitical tensions involving countries like Russia, Ukraine, China, and others.

Khoury conveyed a sense of confidence in Canada’s ability to defend itself from cyberattacks.

“We have the ability to make a difference. “I don’t want to leave you feeling hopeless,”

he explained.

“There are a lot of good tools and suggestions, and if something minor occurs on a network, you can phone us and we will assist you in diagnosing it.”


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