Cyber security incidents continue to attack about one-fifth of Canadian businesses, hitting about 43 per cent of large businesses, 29 per cent of medium-sized businesses and 18 per cent of small companies, according to Statistics Canada.

The industrial sectors most commonly attacked last year were the information and cultural industries sector (37% in 2019 compared with 30% in 2017), the wholesale trade sector (34% in 2019 compared with 27% in 2017) and the professional, scientific and technical services sector (32% in 2019 compared with 27% in 2017).

Most common cyber security incidents deal with theft or ransom

Attempts to steal money or demand a ransom payment or steal personal or financial information remained the most common cyber security incidents reported.

Although motives related to stealing money or financial information were common in 2019, a total of 12% of businesses impacted by cyber security incidents reported that they lost revenue and 3% reported that they made a ransom payment.

Most businesses do not report incidents to police. Some of those that did had insurance policies and paid an average cost of $27,000 to recover from the incidents.

Consultants or contractors resolved almost 30 per cent of cyber security incidents.