Cybercrime in Canada

Written by Mike Boutwell

September 5, 2022

Cybercrime comprises any type of criminal activity that focuses on a computer or a device connected to a network. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police stated that any activity that consists of a cyber element like the internet, or devices such as computers, mobile phones or tablets that are essential in the execution of a criminal act falls under the category of cybercrime.

Moreover, Canada has a distinct cybercrime trend with ransomware, phishing, and data invasions being conducted at different rates. According to the Cyberthreat Defense report by Cyberedge Group, 78% of the institutions in Canada underwent approximately one cybercrime during 12 months in 2020 which increased to 85.7% in 2021. Hence, depicting a rapid surge in the rise of cybercrime in Canada.

Issues of online fraud

Canadians are highly affected by online fraud. Cybercrimes are often performed for financial gains, by deluding individuals to participate in investment scams. Other types of cybercrime acts in Canada revolved around romance frauds, with victims being targeted by dating scams through fake websites and portals. The Canadian Anti Fraud Center (CAFC) reported that Canadians were deprived of $100 million Canadian dollars in 2021 as the dependence on online platforms resulted in these criminals having easy access to sensitive information.

Cybercrime in the health sector

During the Pandemic, as the reliance on the internet increased so did cybercrime. As a result, 34% of Canadians were affected by phishing, out of which 14% got phishing emails comprising forged Covid-19 results.

The Health industry was most drastically affected in the second portion of 2021. Canada is considered to be the second most affected country in terms of data exposure on leaked sites. A recent survey by Palo Alto Networks revealed that 39 organizations in Canada had their data illegally released on ambiguous sites. Even though acts of cybercrime are widespread throughout Canada, Ontario experienced the highest rate of such incidents.

Cyber attacks in Colleges and Airlines

Canada has a significant prevalence of cybercrime, as it constituted the 4th position on Kon Briefing’s December 2021 cyberattack list. One of the most recent examples of cybercrime in Canada took place in College Montmorency on 11th May 2022 when a cyberattack invaded the computer network, causing the students and staff to halt their lessons until help from the Ministry of Cybersecurity was achieved. Furthermore, the airline Sunwing was also stopped as a consequence of a security breach in April 2022.

Steps taken to combat cyber attacks in Canada

Even though many instances of cybercrimes are observed in Canada, their prevalence is still less compared to other countries. With an adequate amount of funds, 11.1% allocated to the IT budget, quick response and strict reinforcement of cybercrime laws have enabled the officials to keep the cybercrime rate lower. Furthermore, the National Cyber Security Strategy was formulated with the intention of solidifying cyber security and expanding its frontiers.

Some cyber systems that ensure public and national security should be fortified so that no interference occurs in their functioning. These systems include electricity grid stations and communication networks.

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