Cybersecurity 101

What is cybersecurity and why does it matter to your business?

Today, it’s more important than ever for small and medium-sized organizations to take cybersecurity seriously. In an increasingly digital world, more and more businesses have moved online. Doing business online means your employees, customers, and supply chain might be exchanging confidential information or funds digitally, from all over the world.

And whether it’s through your mobile devices, social media accounts or online store, cyber criminals are always looking for ways to take advantage of potential weaknesses in your business’s cybersecurity measures.

But first, what is cybersecurity?

In simple terms, cybersecurity is the practice of putting certain measures in place that protect you from cyber threats and attacks. Cybersecurity protects your information, devices and networks from being exploited by cyber criminals.

Cyber attacks are more common than you’d think

Did you know?

In 2021, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business reported that nearly 25% of businesses had experienced cyberattacks since March 2020, with 5% overall saying the attack against them was successful.

Expanding your business online can have so many benefits, like having employees work remotely or reaching new customers in different geographical areas. This also means that cyber attacks are becoming more common in these virtual environments.

A cyber attack can have devastating affects on a business, including:

  • financial and business loss
  • litigation
  • reputational damage
  • increased consumer prices
  • intellectual property theft

Some businesses may never recover after being the victim of a cyber attack.

Practising good cybersecurity protects your business from threats, and gives you a competitive advantage in your industry. Taking cybersecurity seriously inspires trust from customers, partners, investors and suppliers.

Protect your business from cyber attacks

To protect your business, it’s important that measures are in place to secure your data, devices and networks. The Government of Canada recommends 18 security controls to protect your business, covering topics such as:

  • education
  • preparedness
  • protection
  • detection/mitigation
  • recovery
Hand typing on a keyboard with exclamation points floating around it.

Getting your business cybersecure takes time and effort, but the investment is necessary to ensure your business and your customers are protected.

The CyberSecure program offers a free, self-paced online eLearning course that will help you understand the certification requirements.

Why get certified?

Once your organization puts into place all of the required security controls, you can apply for certification. Getting CyberSecure certified has many benefits, including:

  • limiting the impacts of a cyber incident
  • enhancing your competitive advantage and attracting new business
  • reassuring your customers and investors that their information is protected
  • improving your cybersecurity knowledge

Learn how to get certified by visiting the CyberSecure certification webpage.