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Annual CIRA Cybersecurity Report details struggles faced by organizations during pandemic


OTTAWA  – October 6, 2020 – Today, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released its 2020 Cybersecurity Report, which details how the cybersecurity landscape has shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 500 Canadian IT security decision-makers were surveyed to learn more about how they are coping with the increase in cyber-threats.

The report’s release this morning coincides with CIRA’s participation in MapleSEC—Canada’s newest, most hands-on cybersecurity conference.

Read the full report:

Key facts

  • One-third of respondents said their organization was targeted with a COVID-19 related cyber-attack (i.e. fake contact tracing app, COVID-19 test results phish, etc.).
  • About three in 10 organizations report a spike in attacks since the pandemic started.
  • Just over half of organizations have implemented new cybersecurity protections in response to COVID-19.
  • One-quarter of organizations experienced a breach of customer and/or employee data in the last year. Another 38% don’t know if they did or not.
  • Organizations are less likely to inform a regulatory body of a data breach, with only 36% doing so in 2020 compared to 58% in 2019.
  • Fewer organizations expect to increase human resources dedicated to cybersecurity in the next 12 months, with one-third planning to do so, down from 45% in 2019.
  • Seven in 10 surveyed are concerned with data flow through countries other than Canada.
  • One-third of respondents said they used personal devices for work purposes.

Executive quotes

“Our research shows that COVID-19 has fundamentally transformed cybersecurity. The threat landscape has changed, but, most importantly, the pandemic has created an environment of anxiety and uncertainty that cyber-thieves are exploiting. Now more than ever, cybersecurity is an issue no organization can ignore.”

– Jacques Latour, chief security officer, CIRA

"The pandemic has propelled many changes to the cybersecurity footprint of organizations that were long overdue. The challenge now is to ensure this heightened awareness translates into a culture of cybersecurity that endures beyond the current crisis. While we hope to put COVID-19 behind us soon, cyber-threats are with us to stay. Canadian organizations must continue to be vigilant and apply ongoing resources to combat this growing threat."

– Dave Chiswell, vice-president, product development, CIRA

Additional resources

About the Canadian Internet Registration Authority

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services—such as CIRA DNS Firewall and CIRA Canadian Shield—that help support its goal of building a better online Canada. The CIRA team operates one of the fastest-growing country code top-level domains (ccTLD), a high-performance global DNS network, and one of the world’s most advanced back-end registry solutions.