New Cybersecurity Education Project

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva

Seven in ten (72%) small business owners are more concerned than ever about cyberattacks on their business, according to a new joint survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and Mastercard. One in four (24%) small business owners reported increased cyberattack attempts against their business in the last year.

“The last two years saw a huge number of small businesses increase the amount of business they are doing online, which has many benefits but also introduces new risks,” said Laura Jones, CFIB executive vice-president. “It’s critical to make it easy for business owners to protect themselves in this new environment.”

According to the survey, 8% of small businesses were victims of a cyberattack that cost time or money in the last year. On average, these businesses lost $26,000, including the value of lost time. The impact on small firms can be immense, with some losing as much as $500,000 and others reporting a long-term effect on their operations and reputation. Cyberattacks include attempts to damage a business’s computer system, stealing money digitally, or stealing banking or client information. 

CFIB and Mastercard are working together to build targeted training that provides small business owners with what they need to know regarding cybersecurity in a user-friendly format. Later this year, the new CFIB Cybersecurity Academy will deliver digital lessons on a mobile-first and gamified platform for small businesses and their employees. Topics will include preventing ransomware and cyberattacks, recognizing fraud, and identifying and preventing social engineering. With 60% of small businesses planning to do more to improve their cybersecurity this year, it’s not surprising that 76% of survey respondents say they would be interested in this training.

“We are really excited about this partnership because cybersecurity can feel intimidating and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. According to the survey, 50% of businesses are not sure how to start improving their cybersecurity protection, so we are kickstarting with a webinar next week to help CFIB members up their game on cybersecurity right away,” said Jones.

“Small businesses are vital to our economy. With rising cyberattacks, it’s important that they are equipped with the right resources for success,” said Aviva Klein, Vice President, Digital Payments and Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard in Canada. “Together with CFIB, Mastercard will ensure Canadian small businesses are prepared for today’s cybersecurity threats through the CFIB Cybersecurity Academy.”

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