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  • The End of Year Cyber Siege: Rising Ransomware Attacks Across Canada

    3 Steps to Cyber Resilience

    The end of the year is typically a time of celebration and optimism for the future, but some Canadian organizations were marred by ransomware breaches that had a significant impact on many large organizations throughout Canada. Read on to discover the reasons behind this alarming trend and why tighter cybersecurity measures are needed.

    Ransomware attacks are essentially encryption-based data extortion where threat actors block access to your data until a ransom is paid, after which a decryption key is given to retrieve data. According to a ransomware trend report, businesses and organizations in Canada remain among the top 3 most lucrative targets for the threat actors after the U.S. and the U.K.

    November 2023 ransomware events in Canada included:

    • Toronto Public Library will continue to restore systems well into 2024 after a significant ransomware attack.
    • The Government of Canada data breach incident potentially affected information of current and former Government of Canada employees, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police personnel.
    • Moneris — the payment processing giant faced an unsuccessful ransomware attack, reports no data loss.

    Why are ransomware attacks on the rise?

    As our lives become increasingly digitized, the rate of ransomware attacks follows suit. Cybercriminals are becoming shrewder and exploiting this shift for financial gain. The rise of cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, provides an untraceable payment method, making the operation risk-free and lucrative. Artificial Intelligence (AI) further empowers these cybercriminals by automating the finding and exploiting weaknesses in security systems. But AI isn’t just the bad guys’ tool; it can be our superhero, helping to detect and block these attacks before they strike.

    3 Steps to Cyber Resilience for organizations in Canada

    1. Penetration Testing
      Conducting annual penetration tests, or more frequently following significant infrastructure changes, is a proactive measure to discover vulnerabilities before cybercriminals do. This approach offers a high ROI by preventing breaches that could incur substantial expenses.
    2. Use Future-proof Tools
      Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (MEDR) is a next-generation solution that protects supported endpoints and responds to neutralize potential threats before they compromise your operations. MEDR is a future-proof response to today’s highly sophisticated cyber attacks.
    3. Employee Cybersecurity Training
      Human error often causes cyber breaches. Therefore, quarterly cybersecurity awareness training for employees is crucial. This cost-effective measure could save your organization from significant financial and reputation losses.

    Additionally, choosing a competent IT partner is your best bet in this fight. The right partner will build both offensive and defensive strategies around your business infrastructure, catering to your budget. A strong partnership with your IT vendor goes beyond business; it’s a commitment to growth and stability.

    Learn more about how Konica Minolta can help here.

    December 12, 2023

    Cybersecurity, From Our Experts